By Dan P.
Tonight I went to watch the final local game of the basketball season, the Foshan Long Lions versus the Qing Dao Double Stars.
While I am not a huge basketball fan, when I was a boy we would watch the local team, the Perth Wildcats, on TV. and I would get excited over the games I watched. During these games, I learnt the rules and some of the strategies of how to play basketball. So, when I saw a poster in the CITS travel agency window advertising the local Foshan Team, the Long Lions (lit. Dragon Lions), I knew I had to go and enjoy my first live game of basketball.
Tonight's game was close until the end, with the Long Lions winning in the game 107 - 101. There were a couple of calls that made the audience erupt in jeers and feet stomping! There were even a few slam dunks. The fans all beat their plastic clappers together, which was entertaining to watch too.
While televised basketball, especially NBA, is popular all over China, I asked a lot of people I knew if they had gone to see the Long Lions play live and they said they hadn't. This is probably because the team isn't at the top of the ladder. However the game I saw was exciting and fun.
There were even cheerleaders! Yes, little dancing princesses in pink bikinis twirling pom poms! The cheerleaders were ready to entertain at every break and time out—though the music was a little dated and uninspired. Also, everyone standing up for the Chinese national anthem at the beginning of the game was great! I like it when I see people being proud of their country.
The season's over now, but next season, you can get tickets from Qionghua Da Ju Yuan,( 佛山琼花大剧院 ) it's on Zumiao Lu. Just ask for lan qiu piao - basketball tickets. I got third row seats for 180 RMB. VIP tickets, complete with player's sweat, are 500RMB each and basic tickets in the back somewhere start from 60 RMB.
I think everyone should go see the Foshan Long Lions, and take their friends with them! We should support the local team, and even if you are only mildly interested in basketball, it's a live sporting opportunity afterall and it's the CBA—just as important here as the NBA is in the USA. You just never know. You may get to watch the next Yao Ming or Jeremy Lin in action.
Long Lions 加油 jia you! Long Lions 加油 jia you!