TIANJIN, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) -- Shandong thrashed defending champion Liaoning 79-60 in the semifinal of the men's under-18 basketball event on Tuesday and will play against Guangdong for the championship at the 13th Chinese National Games here on Wednesday.
Liaoning, who beat Shandong in the semifinals four years ago in Liaoning, trailed by one point after the first period, then took a 11-2 run to build an eight-point lead and forced Shandong to call a timeout. Fan Ziming scored 21 points by halftime, helping Lioning head into the second half at 37-35.
Shandong opened the third period with a 7-2 run to regain the lead and never gave it up. Fan became the only Liaoning player to score in double-digits as he finished with a game-high 31 points, while Chen Peidong and Li Xiangbo led Shandong with 18 points apiece.
"We played a great match today," said Xu Changsuo, head coach of Shandong. "My players were kind of nervous in the beginning but they took confidence from defense and played better and better."
In the other semifinal, Hu Jinqiu, who just returned from the Asian Cup and missed all three group matches due to injury, scored a game-high 21 points but still failed to lead Zhejiang to the final as it lost to Guangdong 75-60.
Zhejiang scored its lone three-pointer in the final period and had one assist throughout the match, while Xu Jie dished out five assists for Guangdong who also scored eight 3-pointers.
Guangdong was led by Bai Haotian with 18, and eventually made it to the final despite losing all three group matches.
"We played a great match tonight, especially in defense. We gave Zhejiang shooters neither too much space nor many chances, that's why we won the match," said Zheng Yonggang, head coach of Guangdong.
The final will be played on Wednesday. Enditem