Sichuan Blue Whales young center Xu Tao was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2016 Chinese Basketball Association All-Star Rookies Challenge held in the city of Dongguan in the Guangdong province of China on Jan. 16.
The 23-year-old, seven-foot big man led his North All-Stars to defeat the South All-Stars, 103-89, scoring 20 points, grabbing seven rebounds, and swatting away four shots in a lopsided affair. “It’s a victory of teamwork over an individual,” Xu said, as reported by Xinhuanet. “We played strong defence with everyone’s hardwork.”
Xu spearheaded six of his teammates to score in double figures on the way to the easy win, but it was South’s center Fu Hao who emerged as the game’s leading scorer with 30 points and 13 rebounds in a losing effort.
The first half of the game was a close one as both teams were unable to pull away from each other. However, the North pulled off a 24-14 rally in the third period to begin their breakaway until the final buzzer.Cri English indicated that the win was the North side’s first one after four years of competitions.
Meanwhile, former Miami Heat player Michael Beasley won the MVP award in the 2016 CBA All-Star Game by hauling an incredible stat line of 63 points, 19 rebounds, and 13 assists en route to the North All-Stars’ high-scoring 172-145 triumph over the South All-Stars on Sunday.
Beasley was supported by Liaoning Flying Leopards guard Guo Ailun with 28 points and eight assists. The South All-Stars were led by Guangdong Southern Tigers players Zhou Peng with 23 points and five rebounds and former NBA standout Yi Jianlian with 22 points and one assist.
In other results, the Skills Challenge was won by Guangdong Southern Tigers’ Zhou Zhandong with 34.9″ in the final round. Fujian Sturgeons’ Zhao Tailong bested Shenzhen Leopard’s Meng Duo and Beijing Ducks’ Sun Yue in the Three-Point Shootout while Shanghai Sharks’ Wang Tong was the year’s Slam Dunk champion.