Big fines in CBA playoff brawl
A total of 330,000 yuan ($48,290 USD) in fines were dished out to five players and two teams for a fight during a Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) playoff game last week. The Guangdong Tigers routed Shandong Gold, 126-79, in Game 3 of the first-round game. The CBA's been a little rowdy this year, and Chinese basketball officials blame it on new rules allowing for more physical play.
The fines, which were accompanied by short suspensions (two and three games for Guangdong players), don't seem to have hurt the Tigers, who went on to win their first second-round game over Dongguan, moving Yi Jianlian's former team one step closer to its fifth championship. The Guangdong roster includes NBA veteran Smush Parker and four members of China's 2008 Olympic team.
Rockets surging, Yao aching
The oft-injured Yao Ming gave Houston Rockets fans a scare when he sat out a game last week with a sore right foot. But 42-year-old center Dikembe Mutombo did exactly what he was brought in for, giving Yao a break and posting 10 points, 15 boards and four blocks last Friday in a win over Golden State. Yao returned to the lineup after tests showed his pain was just due to a bruise, and paced the Rockets with 22 points in a win over the Charlotte Hornets in their final home game. The Rockets lead the Southwest Division and are neck-and-neck with the San Antonio Spurs for third in the West.
NBA TV China
The NBA announced plans for two reality shows in China. The first will be a cheerleading competition airing on CCTV-5 (China's national sports channel) starting May 9. Brewing company Tsing Tsao is the NBA's partner for the show, in which the cheerleaders compete for a trip to train with an NBA cheering team. The second show, sponsored by China Mengniu Dairy, will be a basketball competition broadcast on Shandong Satellite TV. Airing on Fridays starting May 22, NBA Mengniu Basketball Disciple will feature young hoop dreamers competing for a shot at the NBA D-League.
Han gets assist in Sol win
Chinese striker Han Duan notched her first assist for the Los Angeles of the new Women's Professional Soccer league. The Sol beat Sky Blue FC (New York/New Jersey) to improve to 2-0. Han also had a shot on goal but came up short. The Sol play again on Sunday, April 19, against FC Gold Pride.
Doping swimmers suspended
The Chinese Swimming Association announced it would suspended five junior swimmers for two years for testing positive for anabolic steroids last June. The suspensions of Qu Jing, Liu Bingyao, Zuo Ziqiao, Fu Bo and Hu Shaozhi are retroactively effective to the date of the tests, meaning that they are already nearly halfway through their suspensions and will return with plenty of time left to train for the 2012 Olympics. Why did it take so long to issue the suspensions? That old excuse, "the Olympics." Ouyang Kunpeng, once China's top backstroker, was banned for life by the Chinese Swimming Association just weeks before the 2008 Olympics, after a positive anabolic steroids test.
Liang plays his way into fourth major
Liang Wenchong, China's most accomplished golfer to date, qualified for the British Open at a qualifying event in Singapore. Liang finished second in the qualifying tournament to earn a spot at the Open in July. Liang played in the British Open last year--it was his third Major and the first one in which he made the cut. He also played in last year's Masters and the 2007 PGA Championship (Liang makes British Open cut).
Women fail to qualify for China Open
Four women took part in qualifying competitions for the European Tour-sanctioned Volvo China Open, but none were able to qualify. Among the women looking to qualify were Wang Chun (China.org), who qualified for the Japan LPGA Tour in 2007, and Ye Zhaoying, once the world's top female badminton player (Reuters).
Tags: basketball, football, golf, Han Duan, Houston Rockets, Liang Wenchong, NBA, Ouyang Kunpeng, soccer, swimming, Tsingtsao, Yao Ming