The Guangzhou Loong Lions will take on NBA playoff contender Philadelphia 76ers in a preseason match this fall.
The game will take place at the Wells Fargo Center – the home of Philly’s NBA squad – on October 8, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Neither team finished where they had hoped last season, with the 76ers coming just one shot short of an eastern conference finals appearance and the Loong Lions missing the CBA playoffs after a rough stretch to close out the season.
The 76ers lineup has drastically changed since the end of last season, swapping a pair of scrappy guards in Jimmy Butler and JJ Redick for Al Horford and Josh Richardson. The team still boasts a young core, with guard Ben Simmons and center Joel Embiid at the helm. The Loong Lions started last season with Kyle Fogg and Mo Speights leading the way, but Speights is reportedly eyeing an NBA return after his one-year stint in China.
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This will be the Loong Lions second preseason game in the US in two years. Last fall, the Canton club took on the Washington Wizards after a week-long training camp in America’s capital city. In that game, the CBA product managed to keep it close throughout the first quarter, but by halftime the home team held an 18-point lead, eventually closing out the international match 140-111.
According to Zhong Naixiong, the owner of the Guangzhou squad, the team “looks to expand its influence to the international stage, and participating in NBA pre-season games is an important means in this initiative.”
In the Chinese mainland, basketball fans can get excited about the Los Angeles Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets, who are coming to Shanghai and Shenzhen to face-off in two preseason games. One quick tip for the ballers: Don’t get caught riding an electric bike on the streets of Shanghai (read: James Harden).
[Cover image via Pixabay]