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Sun Minghui fuels Zhejiang past Shanghai for CBA final

Xinhua | Updated: 2022-04-18 09:15
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Sun Minghui (R) of Zhejiang Lions breaks through during the semifinal against Shanghai Sharks in the 2021-2022 Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) season in Nanchang, east China's Jiangxi Province, April 17, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

NANCHANG, China -- Sun Minghui notched a game-high 45 points to help the Zhejiang Lions edge the Shanghai Sharks 103-100, advancing into the finals 3-0 in the best-of-five semifinals of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) on Sunday.

In addition to Sun, Jahlil Okafor contributed another 13 points, followed by Zhao Yanhao's 12 points. Wang Zhelin grabbed a team-high 26 points and 11 rebounds for Shanghai. Jamaal Franklin added 21 points.

Zhejiang center Hu Jinqiu, MVP of the regular season, was absent for a splenic rupture picked up when he vied for a rebound with Shanghai point guard Franklin in Game 2 on Friday.

Though Shanghai made a 7-2 opener, Zhejiang quickly fought back after Zhao was put on the court to pocket 12 points in seven minutes. Entering the second quarter 28-21, Sun led Zhejiang to deliver a 10-0 run to end the first half 53-37.

However, Zhao was sent to hospital for feeling headache during the interval, marking Zhejiang's loss of another regular starter.

During the second half, with Zhejiang lacking momentum in attack, Shanghai made a 13-1 comeback to cut the deficit to 75-73 by the end of the third quarter.

Then Sun stood out by keeping Zhejiang's slight advantage until the final second. When Franklin failed his three-pointer attempt before the whistle, Zhejiang locked the ticket for the finals.

"It is a pity to lose the game, but all the team members worked hard during the whole season. I think they did a good job by sparing no efforts in the game, and hope that we will have a fresh start next season," said Shanghai head coach Li Chunjiang.

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