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The Beijing Ducks' bus is surrounded by angry locals fans after the CBA playoff semifinal match against home team Shanxi Brave Dragons on Sunday. [Provided to China Daily]
Beijing guard Stephon Marbury (right) and Shanxi player Ma Kan exchange words after a collision, which later triggered an outburst from local fans, who threw bottles and other items during and after the game. [Provided to China Daily]
Ugly scenes during and after the Beijing vs Shanxi clash will see the host team facing sanctions from the sport's governing body, Sun Xiaochen reports from Taiyuan, Shanxi province
The Shanxi Brave Dragons won the game on Sunday night, but the team's fans undid some of their good work. After drawing level in the best-of-five CBA semi series, 2-2, against the Beijing Ducks after a physical home win on Sunday, the Brave Dragons were supposed to emerge as honorable winners.
However, the home crowd, which threw debris on to the court and trapped the Ducks' bus post-game to voice its displeasure at some controversial refereeing calls, tarnished what should have been a triumphant night for the host team.
Officials from CBA said the league will punish the club, but hasn't revealed the penalty.
"We will truly present what happened in the match to the disciplinary committee of the association. We believe proper penalty measures will be taken in time," Zhang Xiong, a senior executive of the CBA, told China Daily.
"It is so sad to see this type of thing happening again. At the end of the day, I think it's not what most fans wanted. The reactions (to some of the calls) could be understood, but some fans just went too far."
Triggered by Stephon Marbury's body contact with Ma Kan and an uncalled foul by Randolph Morris on Marcus Williams during a lay-up in the final two minutes, Shanxi's fans started to boo loudly before throwing litter on to the court.
The referees decided to halt play with 52 seconds left when Shanxi led 102-100. The Ducks failed to score after the 10-minute interruption.
To further express their dissatisfaction, a large group of fans gathered beside the Ducks' bus after the game and started to attack the vehicle.
The bus finally made its way back to the hotel after being trapped for more than an hour in the parking lot.
Marbury said reports of him being involved in a fracas with some of the Shanxi fans was not true as he was separated from them by a team of security officials all the way to the bus.
"I didn't do that, how could I do it over the security guards?" Marbury said after returning the hotel on Monday morning. "I can't believe it (the chaos). I can understand if we won. We lost the game and were being held hostage. This is ridiculous and uncalled for. They should enjoy their victory by feeling good about winning a controversial match."
Still, Marbury, who scored 25 points to go with 5 rebounds and 3 assists in 36 minutes, stressed he couldn't dislike the Taiyuan fans as they provided great support for him when he debuted in the CBA in 2010 with the Brave Dragons.
Fans in Taiyuan are well known for their 'over-passionate behavior' as the league punished the club twice in the regular season for similar littering violations and also warned the fans about some "improper acts" during Marbury's free throws in Game 1 on March 4.
The boisterous fans may be a nightmare for the guests, but they inspire the Dragons.
"Playing in front of the home crowd, we have a lot of pride. They get real loud, fill the gym with force and bring us power," said Shanxi scoring machine Williams, who had 34 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists to help his team maintain the lead for most of the game.
After winning Game 4, Williams said the first finals berth in the franchise's history was a very realistic goal.
"We knew if we won this game, we would have a big chance in Game 5," said the 25-year-old, who landed in the CBA in 2010.
"It's a tough road any time you advance this far in the season. It's going to be up and down. We made it through and started to play really well in the end (of the regular season).
"We have earned everything we have gotten. People didn't expect us to do well, but I had confidence in the team. They (teammates) play hard and they practice tough. If you do that, everything will take care of itself."
As the playmaker, who always draws a lot of body contact and tough fouls, Williams shrugged off the pain, saying it's something a leader should expect.
"It's pretty physical, but you still have to make plays and finish shots. We will be ready for the mental challenge (of Game 5)."
Shanxi double-teamed Marbury - who scored 105 points in Beijing's two home games - on Sunday night and Shanxi's head coach, Yang Xuezeng, said he would stick with a strong defensive philosophy in Game 5.
"Our defense made things different tonight. And we will make it stronger for the next game no easy baskets. We will keep them out of the paint and stay close to their shooters and force them make tough shots."
The mudslide occurred at an iron ore mine in the Araltobe township of Xinyuan county, Ili Kazak autonomous prefecture, a spokesman for the prefecture's fire brigade said.