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Liaoning returns CBA finals after 9 years
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Liaoning Hunters returned the championship series after nine-year break as it thrashed Jiangsu Dragons 109-74 on Friday in the semifinal of the Chinese Basketball Association league (CBA) at Yingkou, Liaoning Province.

The past powerhouse, which saw off former arch-rival Bayi Fubang 3-1 in the first round, won the semifinal series 3-1 to face Guangdong Hongyuan in the finals, which set off on February 13 after Spring Festival.

Last time Liaoning entered the finals was in the 1998-99 season when it lost to Bayi Rockets (former name of Bayi Fubang).

Bian Qiang had 24 points and Olumide Oyedeji adding 23 points and 10 rebounds for Liaoning. Liu Xiangtao had 20 points.

The home team led from the very beginning and extended the gap every quarter to prove a class better than its opponent.

Han Dejun, the deepest in the bench, was called up with 3:35 minutes left of the so-called decisive match, and the reserved squad had the biggest lead of the game, 98-66.

Center Tang Zhengdong led Jiangsu by 21 points and nine rebounds and Yang Li adding 18 points.

(Xinhua News Agency February 2, 2008)

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