XI'AN, May 26 (Xinhua) -- The men's basketball team of Xi'an Tieyi High School prevailed over the High School Affiliated to Xi'an Jiaotong University (XJTU High School) 82-74 at home, clinching the 2022-2023 Junior NBA League Shaanxi competition title on Thursday evening.
Defending champion XJTU High School seized the first-leg victory 84-77 on Wednesday, as the team with the higher aggregated score is declared the league winner.
In the second leg, Xi'an Tieyi High School, initially in an underdog position, demonstrated an aggressive form from the outset. Their robust defense contained Tieyi's star player, Wang Junxi, and sustained a 40-34 lead until halftime, trailing by just one point in aggregate.
In the second half, Tao Shuoyu, the Most Outstanding Player (MOP) of the evening, helped Xi'an Tieyi High School extend the lead. Although XJTU High School pursued with effective counterattacks in the last quarter, the hosts maintained a one-point advantage until the final whistle, securing a comeback victory with an aggregate score of 159-158.
"The victory reflects our physical and spiritual toughness despite numerous key players being injured," remarked Zhao Liang, head coach of Xi'an Tieyi High School.
On the same day, XJTU High School's women's basketball team narrowly defeated Xi'an Tieyi High School 86-82, avenging their male counterparts and retaining their hold in the Junior NBA League's female division.
A total of 27 basketball teams from across Shaanxi Province vied for the title this year, starting from May 21, with 17 men's and 10 women's teams each.
The national finals will take place later this year.
As a global basketball promotion platform, the Junior NBA has launched in 75 countries and regions. In collaboration with the Chinese Ministry of Education since 2014, the program aims to enhance teenagers' participation in basketball and improve the level of campus basketball. To date, it has attracted millions of Chinese teenagers from over 8,000 primary and high schools, allowing them to enjoy the passion that basketball brings. ■