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Yao Ming, Lang Ping attend league opening ceremony


10-29-2016 13:03 BJT

The official start to the new season of the China Volleyball League. A couple of changes in store for the new year -- the All-Star Game is back -- and hawk eye technology, similar to what is used in tennis has been adopted. And the opening game of the season would see Shanghai facing Jiangsu. 

The sport gaining renewed popularity in this country, after the Chinese ladies captured the gold medal at the Rio Olympics this summer. 

National team coach Lang Ping and basketball hall-of-famer Yao Ming were on hand for the grand opening ceremony.

Shanghai is in blue -- and brought in Canadians Sarah Pavan and Czech hitter Helena Havelkova, despite this point, they trail.

Jiangsu features three Olympic champions, Hui Ruoqi, Zhang Changning, and Gong Xiangyu, and they help them claim the opener 25-17.

Second set now and the visitors start to pull away -- this smash helps them open up a four-point edge as they claim the frame 25-16.

Shanghai couldn't do much about Jiangsu's attack. Gong Xiangyu scored her 16th point of the game, making her the high scorer. Jiangsu go on to claim the opening victory of the season in straight sets.

"Even though it is the opening match, we still treat it like a normal game. We were facing our old opponents Shanghai, and many fans were expecting a good contest. We want to take one step at a time with five months of the season still to play. Every match means a lot to us," said Jiangsu Coach Cai Bin.

Up next is last season's league cellar dwellars Henan taking on defending champions Tianjin. Fujian visit Liaoning. Beijing, who have Olympic champions Zeng Chunlei and Liu Xiaotong on their squad, face Shandong.

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