Liaoning Flying Leopards claim spot at BCL Asia 2024 after CBA three-peat

The Liaoning Flying Leopards have secured their spot at Basketball Champions League Asia (BCL Asia) 2024 after winning the 2023-24 Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) Finals.

This marks a return to the competition for the Flying Leopards, one of the winningest teams in the history of the competition formerly known as the FIBA Asia Champions Cup. The club from Liaoning has participated in the competition six times, winning the championship once in 1990 and finishing as runners-up thrice in 1988, 1992, and 1999.

Their most recent appearance in the competition was in 2018 when the games were played in Nonthaburi, Thailand.

The Flying Leopards exerted their dominance in the CBA, sweeping their opponents Xinjiang Flying Tigers, in the best-of-seven series. The Flying Tigers tried to make each game as closely contested as possible, but the champions won each game by a margin of 9 points – aside from Game 3 where they won 98-91.

This is Liaoning’s third consecutive title won, completing the elusive “three-peat” milestone. It is only the fifth three-peat in CBA history and the first for Liaoning, who are now the third team to claim this achievement.

Moreover, they are the first team since the Bayi Rockets to have won all of their Finals games across three consecutive titles. The Flying Leopards previously swept Zhejiang Guangsha Lions in 2022 and Zhejiang Golden Bulls in 2023.

CBA veteran Kyle Fogg was named Finals MVP after averaging 26.3 points per contest. Fogg has played for the Flying Leopards since 2020 after stints with the Guangzhou Loong Lions and the Beijing Royal Fighters.

The Flying Leopards’ title will most likely not come as a surprise to the fans. Aside from having won the title for a third straight time, the powerhouse club has always been among the top team in the standings at the end of the regular season. During this three-peat, the Flying Leopards have not lost more than 10 games during the regular season, amassing a combined record of 107-25, best among all teams in the same span.

At full force, the Liaoning Flying Leopards will be a team to be reckoned with at the upcoming BCL Asia.

The inaugural BCL Asia 2024 will be played from June 9-15. It was announced to be hosted in Dubai, UAE after an agreement between FIBA Regional Office – Asia and Shabab Al Ahli Dubai.

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