Sun, 29 Nov 2020

Marko Todorovic (R, front) of Tianjin Pioneers goes up for a layup during the 4th round match against Jilin Northeast Tigers at the 2020-21 season of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league in Zhuji, China, on Oct. 25, 2020. (Xinhua/Weng Xinyang)

Tianjin Pioneers center Marko Todorovic made a strong return to the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), despite Jilin Northeast Tigers snatching a fourth straight win in the 2020-21 season with 105-97 here on Sunday.

ZHUJI, China, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- Tianjin Pioneers center Marko Todorovic made a strong return to the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), despite Jilin Northeast Tigers snatching a fourth straight win in the 2020-21 season with 105-97 here on Sunday.

Todorovic posted a game-high 41 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out in his season debut. However, his sole spotlight play was overshadowed by a more balanced Jilin side, which had five players scoring in double figures to complete the fightback.

Zhong Cheng (C) of Jilin Northeast Tigers goes up for a layup during the 4th round match against Tianjin Pioneers at the 2020-21 season of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league in Zhuji, China, on Oct. 25, 2020. (Xinhua/Weng Xinyang)

Todorovic scored the first seven points after the tip-off, and his 16 points in the first quarter powered Tianjin to a 32-25 advantage.

Despite having Todorovic on the bench, Tianjin rode on domestic players' contribution to the offensive end to lead 55-47 at halftime.

However, Jilin withstood Todorovic's return in the second half and began to gain its ground back. Spearheaded by Jiang Weize and Zhong Cheng, Jilin turned the table 79-78 before the last quarter.

Although Todorovic was still insurmountable in the paint, Jilin could rely on Jiang's five points in a row and Dai Huaibo's basket to extend the margin to 10 points. With a five-point gap heading into the final minute, Todorovic fouled out and Tianjin saw its chance of rallying slip away.

Jiang registered 27 points and eight assists. Zhong shot eight of 13 from the field to finish with 20 points. Ding Haoran and Jiang Yuxing added 17 and 16 respectively.

Shi Deshuai was the other Tianjin player scoring in double digits, pocketing 11 points and 10 boards.

Jilin will face the Guangzhou Loong Lions on Wednesday, while Tianjin's next opponent will be the Liaoning Flying Leopards. ■

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