TIANJIN, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- Guangdong fought back from 12 points down to edge out Shandong 69-67 in the final of the men's under-18 basketball event at the 13th Chinese National Games here on Wednesday.
Shandong, who defeated Guangdong 85-84 in the group stage, opened the final with a 9-0 run. Xue Bowen scored seven of his team-high 13 points in the first quarter to help Shandong outscoring Guangdong 23-15 in the period.
Chen Peidong, who was scoreless in the first period, made seven and combined with Li Xiangbo for 13 points in the second quarter as Shandong led into the second half by nine points.
Guangdong answered with a 15-0 run in the first three minutes and 43 seconds of the second half to turn around the table. But Shandong, who eliminated defending champion Liaoning in Tuesday's semifinal, regained its lead after the third quarter at 53-52.
Guangdong used another 9-0 run to start the final period leading by eight points. Shandong cut it to two with a 12-6 spurt. Guangdong then missed four of their six attempts in the final minutes, giving a glimpse of chances to Shandong. But their hope vanished after Shen Zijie blocked their last attempt.
Bai Haotian led Guangdong with 16 points while Shen finished a double-double of 15 and 10 rebounds, together with five blocks.
"It was not our normal performance in the first half," said Zheng Yonggang, head coach of Guangdong. "Young players were very nervous in their first final of major events. We encouraged them during the halftime, and they got relaxed in the second half, which brought us the victory."
Shandong grabbed 44 rebounds, 10 more than Guangdong did, but made only one three-pointer from 21 attempts.
"I'm not satisfied with the silver medal," said Xu Changsuo, Shandong's head coach. "We deserve more than the second place as we paid too much in last four years' preparation. My players were too young and just too eager for the victory."
The bronze medal went to Zhejiang, who thrashed defending champion Liaoning 84-45 in the third place classification. Enditem