Chinese Basketball Teams Punished on Match-Fixing Allegations

Chinese Basketball Teams Punished on Match-Fixing Allegations article feature image

Xinhua News Agency/Getty. Pictured: Eric Bledsoe.

Two Chinese basketball teams – the Shanghai Sharks and the Jiangsu Dragons – were removed from the playoffs of the Chinese Basketball Association and fined more than $700,000 for match-fixing accusations that stem from games two and three of their playoff series, according to the South China Morning Post.

According to the report, a particular sequence in the third game of the series caught the attention of officials, as Jiangsu conceded a 10-point closing run to blow a four-point lead. The run included five turnovers from Jiangsu.

In the CBA playoffs play-in tournament, Shanghai Sharks defeated Jiangsu Dragons 108:104 to win a playoffs berth (aggregate 2:1). Shanghai mounted a comeback to go from trailing by 4 pts within few secs. It appears Jiangsu threw the game – CBA is investigating it.

— China Sports Vision 2050 (@CSV2050) April 14, 2023

If you watch the clip above, some of the turnovers committed certainly don't look like ones that would typically be conceded by professional basketball players, and they were clear-cut enough for the two teams to be swiftly reprimanded.

Eric Bledsoe, Michael Beasley and Melo Trimble are on the Shanghai roster, while Antonio Blakeney and Devin Williams are on Jiangsu's roster.

Beyond the financial implications of match-fixing, the South China Morning Post noted that Shanghai had an incentive for the series to go to three games as well. Bledsoe was suspended for the series, and by extending the series to three games he'd only have to miss the opening game of their series against the Shenzhen Leopards.

Shanghai was accused of giving up early in the second half of game two against Jiangsu in order to facilitate this.

The CBA published a statement on Weibo, a Chinese social media website, stating "All league participants must firmly establish correct values, the concept of honour and disgrace, and earnestly abide by national laws, regulations and various management systems of the league.”

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