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  Shandong upsets Green-led Foshan 93-79 in CBA opener  

  

 

CBA's new season caught a lot of attention as the league has become a preferred destination for the stars fleeing from the NBA lock-out.  

  FOSHAN, China, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- Lightened up by an exodus of elite NBA players, the 2011-2012 Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league kicked off Saturday night in the southern city of Foshan.

  Shandong Gold stunned home team Foshan Long Lions 93-79 in the opener. Former NBA all-star dunk contest winner Gerald Green got the game-high 18 points for Foshan in his CBA debut, 16 in the second quarter.

  Foshan signed Green and two Asian Championships top scorers Marcus Douthit and Micheal Madanly for the new season, but little chemistry in the team could be seen in the first game.

  Shandong grabbed a 24-19 lead in the first quarter and kept the advantage throughout the game. Gerald Green got 16 points in the second quarter in the crowd's deafening cheering, but failed to help the hosts narrow the gap.

  In the third and fourth quarters, Shandong's edge in rebounds helped them secure the victory. The visiting team took 52 rebounds in the whole game while Foshan had only 34 but 21 turnovers.

  Alan Anderson of Shandong and Gerald Green both got game-high 18 points for their team. Douthit got a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds.

  Gong Xiaobin, head coach of Shandong, commented in the post-match press conference that Foshan's new players had enhanced the team's strength, but Shandong deserved the victory as they had prepared better for the game and the young players had committed themselves on the defensive end.

  Foshan's coach Jay Humphries admitted that his side needed to understand the new comers better.

  CBA's new season caught a lot of attention as the league has become a preferred destination for the stars fleeing from the NBA lock-out.

  Among a bunch of NBA players, J.R. Smith, Kenyon Martin, Aaron Brooks, Wilson Chandler and the Chinese power forward Yi Jianlian are the most sparkling names.

  Guangdong Tigers, the seven-time CBA champions, will still be the top favorite to defend the title, boasting Yi Jianlian, Phoenix Suns guard Aaron Brooks and former Dallas Mavericks forward James Singleton, as well as another four players in the Chinese national team. Their main rivals will be Xinjiang, who signed NBA all-star player Kenyon Martin.

  The other seven games of the first round will be staged on Sunday, while last season's runners-up Xinjiang will enjoy a bye.

  The 34-round 2011-2012 season opened 21 days earlier than in the previous year, and will conclude about one month earlier than usual. The shortened season is to ensure that the Chinese national team will have enough time to prepare for the 2012 London Olympics.

  The league introduces a series of new regulations to free the courts from conflicts and complaints and to restrict the referees.

  New explanations of the rules will empower the referees to call technical foul on players who complain or shrug to their decisions, while technical officials, coaches, journalists, arena supervisors and referee observers are invited to rate the three referees of each game.

  On-court violence humiliated Chinese basketball in the past year, including coaches beating referees, players fighting in warm-ups and gang-fighting between under-aged players.

  Founded in 1995, the CBA league now boasts 17 teams. The top eight of the regular season will enter the playoffs after mid February.

 

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