Maya Moore (center) of Shanxi holds up the 2012-2013 season WCBA's champion trophy posing for pictures with her teammates on February 5, 2013 in Zhejiang. [Photo: Osports.cn]
Maya Moore's arrival in China witnessed a perfect ending as Shanxi became the first promoted team in WCBA history to win the title on Tuesday.
Holding off Zhejiang 97-87, Moore collected 36 points, 16 rebounds and seven steals. Zheng Xianmin and Zhang Wei added 19 points and 17 points respectively.
"It's really a blessing to be able to win championship in the other side of the world (to me). Everybody wants to win, so to see the smile on everybody's face, all the hard work put into the whole season is paid off and I'm excited to be a part of it," said Moore.
Zhejiang hosted Shanxi in their new home Huanglong Sports Center here due to a one-year suspension from the Chinese basketball governing body following their fans' misconduct in Game 1. About 1,000 fans from around Zhejiang came here to support their girls.
Zhejiang's Shen Binbin opened the game with a 3-pointer and the hosts finished several fast breaks to build a 9-4 lead, forcing the opponents into a timeout. However, Zhejiang's powerful center Elizabeth Cambage didn't receive much limelight in this quarter due to her reported injury before the game by only scoring four points. Moore had eight points in this quartet to help Shanxi for a 29-23 lead.
Zhejiang cut the deficit down at the start of the second quarter. Cambage got a fragrant foul later, and after that Shanxi built a double-figure lead for the first time by 38-28. The Australian center also drew a fragrant from the opponent Ma Liang in going for rebounds, before which she began to bounce back with finishing several consecutive layups in the paint field. Moore continued her momentum by blocking shots in defense and hit a 3 in offense. Shanxi had 53-45 lead into halftime.
Shanxi remained the margin over five points in the third quarter, while their Korean player Jung Sunmin was off the court after contacting with Cambage. Jung returned to the lock room for medical check, while came back several minutes later.
Zhejiang still had the opportunity to come back into game after they only trailed by three points. However, Shanxi's Zhang Wei made a critical 3-pointer to pull away the game. With tough defense and free throws, Shanxi finally secured the victory and took the title away.
Zhejiang finished runner-up for the second straight year after losing to Beijing in last season's finals. Cambage contributed 29 points and 11 rebounds. Ji Xiao added 16 points.