BEIJING, Feb. 26 (Xinhuanet) -- As Chinese all across the country marked the end of the Chinese New Year’s celebrations with the Lantern Festival, basketball here in China held its own celebration as the stars of the CBA lit up the night in Guangdong on Sunday night with the annual All-Star Game.
Ahead of tip-off the league announced the MVP's of the regular season...and it would be the recipient of the foreign MVP, the Beijing Ducks Stephon Marbury, leading the north up against the Chinese MVP, Yi Jianlian of the Guangdong Southern Tigers, and the south.
The stadium in Guangdong, took on the festive tone of the night with players from both sides delivering their best wishes to the audiences.
And the players, having fun ahead of the game as Zhu Fangyu of the South team sported firecrackers and Zaid Abbas of the North sported a traditional festival sign as a sash. And the great Wang Zhizhi excited to play his 13th straight and probably final All-Star game of his illustrious career.
And on his home court, the Guangdong Southern Tigers Yi Jianlian took things over early. He was on fire in the the opening quarter. But Stephon Marbury had the answer. The Beijing guard helped the North keep it close.
The showcase allows both teams to put on a scoring exhibition and put on a show for the fans.
Marcus Haislip Dongguan finishing off the alley-oop in the second. Li Gen, Marbury’s Beijing teammate, brought the crowd to its feet with a wind-mill slam. And then, Shandong's Pooh Jeter would show off his handles as he goes between the legs of Haislip and then later on, he went between the legs to set up his teammate for the easy bucket.
But as this one hit the final Q, the tone turned more serious. Marbury, hitting here. He had 24 points and 11 assists on the night.
But it would be his Chinese MVP counterpart who would lead the way for the South, as Yi Jianlin dropped a game high 34 to lead his team to a 120-117 win over the north. Yi, picking up his first MVP award of the All-Star Game to go along with his regular season MVP.