The Terrific 12 Finals
Liaoning trumps Seoul by one point to claim title; Zhejiang Guangsha beats Beermen for third
[Macao SAR – September 22, 2019] – Today, the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA)’s Liaoning Flying Leopards claim the “The Terrific 12” title by defeating the Korean Basketball League (KBL)’s Seoul SK Knights.
In the third-place competition, the CBA’s Zhejiang Guangsha Lions topped the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA)’s San Miguel Beermen to take third. With these games, “Terrific 12”, a FIBA-recognized tournament co-organized by Sports Bureau of Macao SAR Government and Asia League, has come to an end.
3rd Place Game: CBA’s Zhejiang Guangsha vs. PBA’s San Miguel Beermen
The first game was a battle for third and fourth, pitting the CBA’s Zhejiang Guangsha Lions against the San Miguel Beermen, resulting in a 91-89 Lions victory. This win puts the Lions at third in the 2019 The Terrific 12.
In the first half, both sides were roughly evenly matched, with neither able to pull ahead significantly. Zhejiang Guangsha’s foreign import player Jalen Reynolds led the attack, at one point pulling out an 8-0 run. However, the Beermen pulled out a 4-0 run to end the half 37-34.
In the second half, Dezmine Wells and Hu Jinqiu continued to excel, but Zhejiang Guangsha had more scorers. At one point, the Lions extended their lead to nine points. Nonetheless, after a 5-0 Beermen run, the point differential sat at four with one minute left. In the last 2.6 seconds, the Beermen sank another three-pointer, bringing the game to a tight 89-91. Zhejiang Guangsha held their lead tight until the end, winning the game and taking third in The Terrific 12.
On the Lions, Hu Jinqiu dominated the game, sinking 31 points and six rebounds, including two three-pointers. Zhejiang Guangsha’s two foreign imports also did well, with Reynolds posting 22 points, 15 rebounds, and three assists, and Aaron Jackson adding 18 points, five rebounds, and eight assists.
The Beermen played well on average, with four players achieving double-digit point totals, including Dezmine Wells with 33 points, five rebounds, and four assists; Lester Prosper with 16 points; Alex Cabagnot with 15 points; and Kelly Nabong with 14 points.
Coming in third place, the Zhejiang Guangsha Lions have proven themselves to be consistent competitors. Fourth-place finisher the San Miguel Beermen have been denied a medal, but will walk away with valuable experience in their quest for a PBA grand slam, including a 101-92 win over 2018 The Terrific 12 champions the Ryukyu Golden Kings.
Championship Game: CBA’s Liaoning Flying Leopards vs. KBL’s Seoul SK Knights
In the 7 p.m, game, the CBA powerhouse the Liaoning Flying Leopards faced down the KBL’s Seoul SK Knights, with victory hanging in the balance until the very end. Liaoning vanquished Seoul at last 83-82, becoming the 2019 The Terrific 12 champion.
In this game, the Knights stormed out the gate with Jameel Warney, Aaron Haynes, An Youngjun and Kim Sun-hyung striking under the basket. Liaoning struggled to respond. In the second quarter, Liaoning began the counterattack, with Mejri forming a pillar on offense as the Flying Leopards took back the lead. At the end of the half, Liaoning led 43-38, enjoying a tenuous five-point lead.
In the second half, the Knights stormed out again with an 8-0 run to regain the lead, with Warney holding off the entire Liaoning side. With only 11 seconds left, Stephenson sank two free throws, bringing the point total to 81-77.
In the final moments, Zhejiang’s Liu Zhixuan’s free throws also found the mark. With only 1.8 seconds left, the Knights sank a three-pointer to pull the score line to 82-83, but could not save the day. Liaoning walked away with a win on a razor-thin one-point margin.
Liaoning’s Lance Stephenson conquered fans’ hearts again, contributing 34 points, eight rebounds, and four assists, including four three-pointers. In his four tournament games, Stephenson sank a cumulative 125 points, and was named MVP after the championship game. Salah Mejri was also formidable, adding 19 points and seven rebounds, while Cong Mingchen sniped three three-pointers, with a total of 13 points.
On Seoul, foreign import player Jameel Warney put up a thunderous 36 points and 17 rebounds, while Aaron Haynes punched in 26 points and 13 rebounds, and team captain Kim Sun-hyung added 11 points.
Liaoning’s success in taking the crown shows the importance of star power. The CBA powerhouse will be a formidable competitor in their regular season clashes.