Zhejiang Golden Bulls ease past Qingdao Eagles in CBA (updated)

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QINGDAO, July 22 (Xinhua) -- With five players scoring double digits, Zhejiang Golden Bulls smashed Qingdao Eagles 102-85 in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) here on Wednesday, grabbing 11 victories out of 14 matches since the resumption of the league.

Although both teams have secured their playoff berths, they were motivated to play hard for a higher rank in the regular season would give them some advantage in the playoffs.

With a slew of turnovers and missed shots in the first quarter, the home team Qingdao only made eight points in the first eight minutes after the tip-off, while Zhejiang piled on the points and built a double-digit lead by the end of the first quarter.

Qingdao rallied back during the second quarter but Zhejiang launched a 10-0 run midway through the second quarter and ended the first half 55-37. The worst came for Qingdao as two players, namely Zhai Yi and Shao Yinglun, were forced out of the court due to injuries in the first half.

Qingdao saw a glimmer of hope when they narrowed the gap to 11 points in the third quarter, but Zhejiang regained their control of the game after Wu Qian and Cheng Shuaipeng made raining points. Zhejiang maintained a lead of some 20 points until the end.

Despite the overwhelming victory, Zhejiang head coach Liu Weiwei was not happy about the performance of his players.

"I am not being hard on my players. We are a young team, and a young team must play hard in every game instead of pulling out sloppy defense and loose defensive rebounds," Liu said.

Lai Junhao, a key player for the winning for Zhejiang, said the team should work hard together to face the challenges as the playoff is around the corner.

"Our opponents converted our turnovers to too many points," Qingdao's Liu Chuanxing said, "and they also exploited our sloppy defense for easy baskets."

Five Golden Bulls scored double-digits, with Lai Junhao grabbing a game-high of 24 points and seven rebounds. Liu Chuanxing had a team-high of 15 points for Qingdao.

Zhejiang is scheduled to play against Shandong on Friday, while Qingdao will face Sichuan. Enditem

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