Innovations headline new CBA season

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, October 19, 2018
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Guo Ailun of Liaoning (13) passes the ball on during a CBA basketball match between Liaoning and Guangsha on Nov 5, 2017. (LI GANG / XINHUA)

The Chinese Men's Basketball League (CBA) will start its 2018-2019 season on the weekend, when 20 teams compete for the title under new rules and with more innovations.

The teams will be bracketed into four groups according to last season's standings, with teams in the same group meeting four times and teams in different groups meeting twice on a home-and-away basis.

As a result, the regular season will have 46 rounds, eight more rounds than last season, and three round matches will be played each week, compared to the previous five rounds in two weeks.

The top 12 teams in the regular season will qualify for the playoffs. Teams who finish between fifth and twelfth will compete in the first play-off round to decide the four teams that will advance into the quarterfinals along with the other top four teams in the regular season.

A new Chenghai Trophy will be awarded to the best coach and a Zhanshen Trophy to the most valuable player. "The Chenghai Trophy is named for the famous coach Qian Chenghai. Zhanshen (god of war) is one of the most famous nicknames in CBA," said Yao Ming, the president of the Chinese Basketball Association.

Defending champions Liaoning Hengrun will be in action in the opener against Shandong Gaosu on Sunday at home, while the Beijing Ducks will host Guangdong Hongyuan.

"The CBA league has had big rule changes every season in the past a few years, which makes the league more professional and more efficient. I think we have one big step [forward] every year," Beijing's guard, Fang Shuo said.

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