The Guangdong Southern Tigers won their 10th CBA title on Saturday night after defeating the Liaoning Flying Leopards in the playoff finals in Qingdao.
The Southern Tigers finished the three-game series – shortened due to COVID-19 control and prevention measures – with a 123-115 win over Liaoning in the decider. Last year, the Dongguan-based squad swept the Xinjiang Flying Tigers 4-0 in the finals.
Despite the disrupted season due to the pandemic, the Southern Tigers played nearly flawless, setting a regular season winning streak of 29 and staving off fierce competition from the Jeremy Lin-led Beijing Ducks in the semi-finals and No. 2 seed Flying Tigers in the championship round.
Guangdong’s Sonny Weems was named finals MVP, averaging 34.7 points, seven rebounds and five assists per game during the three-game series. Veteran center Yi Jianlian, who dealt with injuries against Beijing, logged 21 minutes before leaving in the third quarter with ruptured Achilles tendon, as cited by CGTN.
It’s been a wild season for the CBA, as games came to a halt in January amid the coronavirus outbreak. On June 20, matches resumed in two arenas in Qingdao and Dongguan, however fans were barred from attending. On July 31, ticket sales opened up to the public in limited capacity.
[Cover image via @超帅De少年/Weibo]