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North Beat South 103-99 in All-Star Game

It was not an All-Star game for fun, but a game showed who is the best as the North All-Star team beat the South 103-99 in Nanjing on Sunday for the break of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league.

The South started to foul the North players with half a minutes left when the South was down by 100-95.

Menk Bateer, who returned to the Beijing Ducks from the NBA and NBDL (National Basektball Development League) on February, had a game-high 28 points to win the MVP.

The 2.09-meter center also won the All-Star MVP in 2002 prior to his transfer to the Denver Nuggets of the NBA.

North starting center Olumide Oyedeji contributed 25 points and 22 rebounds.

Zhu Fangyu from the defending champion Guangdong Tigers led the South All-Star with 25 points, with Ryan Forehan-Kelly from Jiangsu Dragons adding 19, and Tigers' Du Feng chipping in 15.

"I like the way the game being played. It's a good game, though it might not be a game of fun," North head coach Jiang Xingquan said. "I told my players to be serious before the game. Don't try to make the game funny if you cannot do it."

Oyedeji opened with two layups to run a 10-4 for the North before forward Zhu's 3-pointer to put the South ahead 13-12.

The North exploded when Bateer made two consecutive 3-pointers to ran the second quarter at 41-29.

Bateer, who won the NBA championships with the San Antonio Spurs on the 2002-03 season, was 6-of-6 in the field in the first half to lead the game with 15 points, including three 3-pointers.

Coach and player Hu Weidong from the South was the last star to appear on the court, but he sent the audiences to ovation with three 3-pointers to close the game at 60-56 in the third quarter.

The North, however, insisted on duo centers tactics, Bateer and Nigerian Oyedeji, both from the Ducks, to lead the game 79-67 into the fourth quarter.

Zhu's 3-pointer closed the gap at 94-90 with 1:32 to go in the fourth quarter before the North had the better of the game.

Drum dancing, sword matrial arts and a flying singer appeared during the opening ceremony of the All-Star Game.
(Xinhua News Agency March 7, 2005)

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