Defending champions the Liaoning Flying Leopards beat the Zhejiang Golden Bulls 106-70 in Game 4 of the Chinese Basketball Association Finals on Monday, taking a 4-0 clean sweep and the team's third ever trophy, after winning the league in 2018 and 2022.
Surrounded by the cheering of around 10,000 fans in Liaoning's green shirts, the Flying Leopards showed a great drive to win, starting the game with high pressure in defense and keeping the attitude until the end of the game. Kyle Fogg again became the key player as he scored 17 points and made five steals in only 17 minutes.
Liaoning's shooting guard Guo Ailun, who was absent from the first two games and only played three minutes in Game 3, scored 24 points in his 26-minute appearance. Zhao Jiwei took 17 points and Zhang Zhenlin added 19, including three powerful dunks.
The Zhejiang side dominated offensive rebounds and kept drawing fouls in the paint in the first couple of minutes. However, the team were stuck with 27 turnovers by the end of the third quarter, resulting in a depressed third quarter, only scoring eight points.
Yu Jiahao led Zhejiang's box score with 18 points, and Liu Zeyi added 10. Wang Yibo took nine points and dished out six assists, but also conceded eight turnovers.
"I want to thank everybody's effort for the team. It was a tough season. Liaoning draws a crazy amount of attention, and I was under a lot of pressure. But we convert the pressure into power, especially the veterans, they have an outstanding sense of mission," Liaoning head coach Yang Ming said.
Liaoning's point guard Zhao Jiwei was awarded the Finals Most Valuable Player twice in a row. "I appreciated the help from my team, and I would like to give the credit to our fans, as they gave me the opportunity [to win the prize]," Zhao said.
(With input from Xinhua)
(Cover: The Liaoning Flying Leopards celebrate winning the CBA Finals in Shenyang, northeast China's Liaoning Province, May 15, 2023. /Xinhua)