Former NBA player Yi Jianlian was named MVP on Sunday as he contributed a game-high 28 points and eight dunks to lead the South to a 147-138 victory over the North in the 2017-2018 Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) All-Star game in Shenzhen.
It has been eight years since all 10 starters were Chinese in an All-Star game.
Playing at home in Guangdong Province, Yi started with a jump shot and an alley-oop. Two teams tied at 37-37 in the first quarter. Consecutive three-pointers helped the South establish a 78-71 lead before the half time interval.
A sudden block of Yi on Guo Ailun triggered laughters in the stadium, the latter soon responded with a dunk in fast break. The North cut the deficit to two points as the third quarter ended. Guo and Shandong's forward Ding Yanyuhang joined hands to help the North jump ahead in the middle of fourth quarter. But Jimmer Fredette and Yi secured the victory for the South with a 10-2 streak in the last two minutes of the game.
In addition to 28 points, Yi contributed 11 rebounds, two blocks and four assists. He lifted the MVP trophy before CBA chairman Yao Ming came into the court to award the whole team.
Six players of the South scored double-digits. Fredette and Marshon Brooks both had 26 points while Zhao Tailong contributed 18. Darius Adams led the North with 20 points and eight assists.
Yu Dehao of Shenzhen won the Skills Challenge and Yu Changchun took the Three-Point Shootout with 24 points.
"I didn't expect to be the champion but the result is quite good," said an excited Yu Dehao. "I am satisfied that I didn't disappoint the home crowd."
As a part of basketball reform, players of the Chinese University Basketball Association are now able to participate in the All-Star Weekend. After a slam dunk jump over three people, Zhang Jianhao from Guangdong University of Technology won the Dunking Contest.