Wed, 20 Jan 2021

Askia Booker (R) of Shenzhen Aviators competes during the 13th round match between Beijing Ducks and Shenzhen Aviators at the 2020-2021 season of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league in Zhuji, east China's Zhejiang Province, Dec. 3, 2020. (Xinhua/Weng Xinyang)

Five Beijing Ducks players scored in double digits as the capital side saw off the Shenzhen Aviators 98-84 in the second phase of the 2020-21 Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league.

ZHUJI, China, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) -- Five Beijing Ducks players scored in double digits as the capital side saw off the Shenzhen Aviators 98-84 in the second phase of the 2020-21 Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league on Thursday.

Justin Hamilton of Beijing scored a team-high 21 points, and Zhai Xiaochuan added 18 points and nine rebounds. For Shenzhen, local star Shen Zijie pocketed 18 points, nine rebounds, three steals and two blocks, and Askia Booker led both sides with 31 points, plus eight assists.

Beijing had a 10-0 run midway through the first quarter, building a double-digit advantage before the second period.

Although Shenzhen narrowed the difference to seven points, Hamilton kept firing as an outstanding insider and inspired his team to a 18-0 run before the halftime break, helping Beijing lead by 25 points.

Fang Shuo (C) of Beijing Ducks talks with his teammate Justin Hamilton during the 13th round match between Beijing Ducks and Shenzhen Aviators at the 2020-2021 season of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league in Zhuji, east China's Zhejiang Province, Dec. 3, 2020. (Xinhua/Weng Xinyang)

At the beginning of the second half, Booker's poor offensive performance made it hard for Shenzhen to keep chasing.

Hamilton left the court injured in the fourth quarter, but three-pointers from Zhai and Jonathan Gibson put the game beyond their rivals' reach.

"I am happy for how we played tonight. For us, it's not an easy moment because we have many physical problems. Even in the two weeks that we stayed in Beijing, many players missed a lot of practices because of the problems. But tonight my players showed the right mentality. They played good offense and defense in the first two quarters," said Beijing head coach Simone Pianigiani.

"Now we don't have energy to play 48 minutes, and we need to be smart to keep control," Pianigiani added.

On Saturday, Beijing will face Fujian, while Shenzhen take on Shanxi. ■

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