2017-2018 CBA final series recap - Liaoning wins first ever championship

Source: Xinhua| 2018-04-23 15:50:56|Editor: Yurou
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BEIJING, April 23 (Xinhua) -- When Liaoning's center Han Dejun slam dunked in the last minute in Shenyang on Sunday night, the whole stadium erupted.

It was a moment long in the making as Liaoning won the Chinese Basketball Association championship for the first time in its 23-year history.

As one of the most competitive teams in CBA, Liaoning has been in the Finals six times, all they've had to show for it is four wins and 20 defeats.

But this season, Liaoning fielded a star-studded squad including former NBA players Lester Hudson and Brandon Bass as well as Chinese national team players Guo Ailun, Zhao Jiwei, Han Dejun and Li Xiaoxu.

Their finals opponent Guangsha, the regular season champion, is also a very strong team featuring regular season MVP Courtney Fortson, along with Ioannis Bourousis, Hu Jinqiu and Lin Chih Chieh.

In the first game of the best-of-seven series, the injury to center Su Ruoyu was a harsh blow for Guangsha who was out-rebounded 47-36. Guangsha conceded six more turnovers than Liaoning and slipped to a 108-120 defeat at home.

Game 2 was a thriller. Guangsha led by six points with less than two minutes left in the fourth quarter before Hudson hit two long-range three-pointers in the final minutes to take the game into overtime.

Overtime saw Liaoning catch a second wind and Guangsha failed to match them. Liaoning finally ended the game with a five-point advantage and Hudson turned out to be the most crucial player.

Losing two straight games on their home court devastated Guangsha. Liaoning beat them 104-100 on Friday at home, notching up a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Liaoning head coach Guo Shiqiang knew he was not far from the championship and said that he was "especially calm now" after the game.

Guangsha couldn't challenge Liaoning in game 4 as the CBA powerhouse swept the regular season champions 4-0 to take home the CBA title.

Former NBA guard Hudson was elected Finals MVP by virtue of averaging 30.5 points in the Finals. "I just want to say thank you to the team," said Hudson. "In the regular season I wasn't playing well, but my teammates and coaches believed in me."

There were emotional scenes on the court. "It's the most glorious day in my life," said Liaoning guard Guo Ailun, who burst into tears after the final whistle. He lost two previous Finals series and the championship meant a lot to the Chinese national team starting point guard.

During the history of Chinese basketball, Liaoning has produced a lot of good players. The head coach Guo Shiqiang said that the championship means the dream is fulfilled and the spirit of Liaoning basketball is passed down from generation to generation.