Xinjiang beaten by team packed with their former players in CBA

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ZHUJI, China, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- It's a special game for 27-year-old CBA center Sun Tonglin, when his Beijing Royal Fighters beat Xinjiang Flying Tigers 100-93 on Monday.

It's the final meeting of the two teams in this regular season, and Xinjiang was Sun's former team before he joined the Royal Fighters in 2019.

"This guy is my MVP today," said Beijing head coach Stephon Marbury about Sun, who contributed 26 points and team-high 16 rebounds from the bench.

"They are a more experienced team, but we won with better execution." said Sun.

The Royal Fighters had more than one former Xinjiang player, such as Yu Changdong, Li Gen and Wang Zirui. Each of them made their own contribution to beat their former team.

Xinjiang is among the league's top four and regarded as one of the favorites for the title, while Beijing is struggling for a play-off ticket.

The game started with both team focusing on the defense. The Royal Fighters moved ahead with an 11-point advantage after Li Gen making a basket beyond the arc three minutes into the second quarter.

The Royal Fighters was leading by 19 points in the third quarter, only to see Xinjiang move back to cut the deficit to three points with three minutes left.

Royal Fighters guard Zhang Fan stood out to make a key three pointer in the final minutes, and Xinjiang failed to survive due to Donatas Motiejunas' straight missing on the free throw line.

Joseph Young contributed 34 points for Beijing. Zhang Fan added 18.

"We played with urgency all the way until the end." said Marbury.

"We followed the game plan, and execute when we need to execute."

Motiejunas grabbed 21 rebounds for Xinjiang, along with 14 points. Point guard Ye Dehao got a team-high 23 points.

"It's all about details," said Xinjiang head coach Adiljan. "Sun is great today, and he showed our young guys how to play a good game."

The Royal Fighters will next face the Nanjing Monkey Kings and Xinjiang will encounter Fujian Sturgeons. Enditem

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