CBA final pushing through

By Lu Wen’ao Source:Global Times Published: 2016-3-18 0:33:02

Player to ‘do everything to protect family’ in brawl

The fourth game of the CBA finals will be played on Friday as originally scheduled, the Chinese national basketball governing body said Thursday, even after a fight broke out between players and fans which threatened to postpone the finals.

The best-of-seven series was marred by a brawl involving the ­Liaoning team head coach, ­players and Sichuan fans in Chengdu, ­after the Sichuan Blue Whales won Wednesday's game against the Liao­ning Flying Leopards 109-104.

Liaoning's starting players Guo Ailun, He Tianju and Liu Zhixuan returned to Shenyang to receive medical treatment on Thursday, Shenyang-based Liaoshen Evening News reported. In a medical report posted on the newspaper's Weibo, He was suffering a fracture on his right hand.

The trio are considered key to ­Liaoning's dominance, who conceded only one game before the playoff ­finals. Their departure is likely to leave Liaoning head coach Guo Shiqiang shorthanded in the next two games on Friday and Sunday in Chengdu.

Sichuan fans were waiting for the home team late Wednesday at the gate of Jinjiang Hotel where the two teams stayed on game day. But the Liaoning team returned to the hotel ahead of Sichuan after the game.

The altercation sparked a brawl after a man in red - who remains ­unidentified but is believed to be a ­Liaoning fan - infuriated Sichuan fans at the gate of the hotel after he got off the Liaoning team's shuttle bus.

Video showed 22-year-old point guard Guo Ailun enter the hotel ­before joining the tumult, after ­finding his father was hit by Sichuan fans.

"To the Chinese fans at the ­hotel: No matter how you curse me or provoke me, it's fine as I'm a professional basketball player," Guo Ailun posted on his Weibo on Thursday. "But when it involves my family, then I will do everything to protect them. It's my instinct as a son."

Later, He reposted on his Weibo, saying under those circumstances, he would choose to be a son rather than a player.

A 47-year-old hotel security guard was sent to the hospital after ­being kicked in the head. Local police ­arrived at the hotel after the fight ­before beefing security at the hotel.

"Sichuan was unprepared for ­security outside the court," said basketball pundit Su Qun. "But it was ­really an unexpected incident."

Su said Guo Ailun's reaction is reasonable, but all findings should be based on the police investigation.

Players involved in the fight are likely to face an eight- to 10-game ban, according to CBA rules. Some of them also face detention for violating the Security Administration Punishment Act.

Some netizens called for a stiff punishment from the CBA, citing the Indiana Pacers-Detroit Pistons brawl in the NBA in 2004, when the NBA suspended nine players to a combined 146 games.

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