Beijing Ducks, led by former NBA star Stephon Marbury who notched game-high 41 points on Friday night, clinched their first-ever title of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league.
Edging defending champions Guangdong Hongyuan 124-121 at home, Beijing Ducks, who entered the finals for the first time, won 4-1 on aggregate in the best-of-seven series. Guangdong had been crowned seven times in the past eight seasons.
With the breathtaking victory, Beijing Ducks became the fourth CBA title holder in 17 years, following eight-time winners Bayi Rockets, Shanghai Sharks and Guangdong Hongyuan.
"I still can't believe we won the title and I need some time to accept the fact. Before the new season was launched, the team had been confident in playing better, but it's been a mere dream to win the title for us," Beijing coach Min Lulei said after the tough duel.
Marbury, who had never played in NBA or CBA finals before the year 2012, vowed to win a league title when he came to China three years ago. His dream also came true tonight.
Marbury was again the man of the match, chipping in 41 points, three rebounds and seven assists while teenager Zhai Xiaochuan added 22 points. Beijing's another foreign player Randolph Morris was not on fire from the field but his consistent free throw gifted him 14 points.