Meet the team: Golden Bulls are bringing the top scoring threat
SINGAPORE (Singapore) - A new format was introduced for FIBA Intercontinental Cup Singapore 2023, and the Chinese Basketball Association will be represented for the first time, by CBA league finalists Zhejiang Golden Bulls.
Who are they?
The Zhejiang Golden Bulls are a club established in 1995 and playing in the Southern Division of the Chinese Basketball Association. Their steady growth was noticeable through the years, and in 2020-21 they made it to the Semi-Finals of the CBA for the first time ever.
They did not stop there. Instead, last season they played their best basketball to date, getting the number one seed in the Regular Season, before fighting their way to the Finals, where they lost to back-to-back champions Liaoning Flying Leopards.
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The fact that they are at FIBA Intercontinental Cup Singapore 2023 proves that they are hungry for more success, and will not just settle for an appearance here, nor for just another solid year in China. They want trophies, sooner rather than later.
How did they get here?
The first edition of the FIBA Intercontinental Cup took place in 1966 and throughout all this time there had never been a team from China in contention for the trophy. The Golden Bulls received an invitation to help spread both the growth of the CBA worldwide, and the growth of basketball in Asia.
Why should we watch them?
The biggest new addition to the Golden Bulls roster and the potential scoring leader in Singapore is Malik Newman, the shooting guard who spent time with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA. Newman is a player who an create his own shot, can catch and shoot, and can also drive to the rim for thundering dunks.
Last season Newman was the top scorer in the VTB United League, playing with Avtodor Saratov. The 26-year-old American is exactly the kind of guy who could flourish in China's high-scoring league, and the chances are he will show his prowess in Singapore.
Jarmar Gulley is another scoring threat, with an advantage of already knowing the environment, as he is entering his second second with the Golden Bulls. The 32-year-old has played all over the world, from the United States though Luxembourg, Israel, Turkey, all the way to China.
Wu Qian is a club legend who has spent the last six years with Zhejiang, reaching stellar status when he won the CBA Most Valuable Player award in 2020-21. Last season, he averaged 17.4 points and 5.9 assists per game in his 37 appearances in the Regular Season. He can go over 30 points easily, and his career-high is 49 points, a mark he reached in the Golden Bulls jersey back in 2019.
Inside, the Golden Bulls can count with the towering figure of Harold Yu (Jiahao Yu), the 20-year-old 2.21m (7ft 3in) center who is a constant double-double threat, with a career-best game of 35 points and 11 rebounds coming last January in the CBA.
Long story short, the Zhejiang Golden Bulls can boast of an offensive firepower like few others in the basketball world.
Who will they play in Singapore?
The Golden Bulls have a day off to start the competition. On September 22, they start their Group B quest with a matchup against Al Manama, winners of the FIBA West Asia Super League, and 24 hours later, Zhejiang will take on the Basketball Champions League winners, Telekom Baskets Bonn.
The group winners will play the big Final on September 24. The same day, the group runners-up will play for third spot in the FIBA Intercontinental Cup, and the bottom-placed teams from Groups A and B will play for fifth spot.