Stephon Marbury’s late game heroics helped the Beijing Ducks clinch an overtime thriller 109-107 against Guangdong Southern Tigers Tuesday night at the MasterCard Center.
With the epic win, the Ducks eliminated the heavily-favored Tigers in the best-of-five semifinals 3-1 and will go on to face the Liaoning Hunters in the 2015 CBA Finals.
The first game of the best-of-seven finals will tip off March 10 in godforsaken Benxi, the home court of the second-seeded Liaoning Hunters. The Hunters have home-court advantage against the fourth-seeded Ducks. Here’s the full schedule:
Game 1: March 10 at Benxi, Liaoning, 7.35pm
Game 2: March 12 at Benxi, Liaoning, 7.35pm
Game 3, March 15 at MasterCard Center, Beijing, 7.35pm
Game 4, March 17 at MasterCard Center, Beijing, 7.35pm
Game 5 (if necessary), March 19 at MasterCard Center, Beijing, 7.35pm
Game 6 (if necessary), March 22 at Benxi, Liaoning, 7.35pm
Game 7 (if necessary), March 24 at Benxi, Liaoning, 7.35pm
These games will be televised on TV at CCTV Sports and Beijing TV, or online at LeTV and PPTV, in Mandarin. There will be English broadcast of the series, but unfortunately for Beijing fans, the feed is only available via cable systems in the US on One World Sports. We’re currently hunting around to see if public venues in Beijing has access to the feed.
Grab your tickets for Ducks’ home games NOW – tickets for the game on March 15 are already out on multiple online ticket outlets such as Maipiaotong and Jixiangpiao. We recommend the Maipiaotong for the ease of use and reliability. Prices range from RMB 300 to RMB 1,000. If you don't know how to online shopping in China at all, hit a local friend for help. Given that it’s now the finals, your chance to get tickets from scalpers outside the stadium would be very tiny.
Tuesday night’s clincher showed that the aging Marbury still has a lot left in him. The Ducks were behind by three with 6.6 seconds left. Marbury, closely guarded by Gao Shang, one of the best defensive players for the Tigers, took the incoming ball and sunk an extraordinarily tough turnaround three point jumper without a blink. The whole MasterCard Center suddenly turned completely silent for a moment and then was blown into ecstasy – Marbury’s big three had tied it up.
“Whoever is writing Stephon Marbury’s scripts needs to be smuggled out of China and into Hollywood,” wrote Andrew Crawford from One World Sports.
In overtime Marbury made mincemeat of the Tigers, scoring 9 of Ducks’ total 13 points. It was tied at 107 when the game came down to the last few seconds, Ducks’ ball. This time Marbury’s three-point jumper hit the back of the rim but Zhu Yanxi, the Ducks’ resilient power forward, tipped in the winning buzzer beater. 109-107, Ducks win.
After the game, the Ducks’ head coach Min Lulei almost burst into tears, “It was the toughest game in my life,” he was quoted as saying, Meanwhile, Marbury was caught yelling “go home!” at Guangdong’s head coach Du Feng as he was passing him by on his way to the locker room, and Du responded “f**k off” in fluent English:
An 81-year-old die-hard Ducks’ fan also caught on our eye. She cheered for the Ducks all game long and proudly showed her unparalleled fondness for Mabuli (as Marbury is known in Chinese).
Meanwhile on the ladies’ side, Beijing didn’t have much luck. The same day, Beijing's professional women's team, The Great Wall, lost 65-75 against Shanxi Flame in 2015 WCBA finals. Shanxi’s Maya Moore scored 46 points and snared 11 rebounds. Shanxi is now up two games to one in the best-of-five series. The do-or-die fourth game will be played tonight in Beijing at 7.30 pm in Shougang Basketball Center, and will be televised by CCTV Sports. The fifth game (if necessary) is scheduled on March 7 at 7.30 pm in Shanxi.
Visit the original source and full text: the Beijinger Blog