• Xinjiang Flying Tigers return with a 100-97 loss in Beijing after forfeiting seven games
  • Extraordinary general meeting approving return of Flying Tigers did not discuss any matters concerning star player Zhou Qi

Two weeks after quitting the league, Xinjiang Flying Tigers returned to the Chinese Basketball Association regular season in a 100-97 loss at the Beijing Ducks.

The U-turn was a result of all 19 other teams in the league agreeing to let the Xinjiang franchise return for the rest of the year.

However, during the extraordinary general meeting, the fate of Chinese star Zhou Qi was not discussed and the 27-year-old is now unlikely to return to the court for the remainder of the season.

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It has previously been suggested that Zhou could join a mid-table team to get game time and stay sharp before China play in the Fiba World Cup and the Asian Games this year.

Zhou was silent on social media for several weeks after revealing he had been receiving threats from unfamiliar Xinjiang phone numbers, as well as pressure from club officials.

But he returned to Weibo on March 15 to react angrily to a media report suggesting there had been positive changes concerning his long-standing contract saga with the Flying Tigers.

The four-time CBA All-Star wrote: "Impossible! Don't ever try to sway the direction!" and "Using me as the ladder for a step-down, a step back and taking away the chair from me, sorry, ha ha ha ha!"

After being slapped with a year-long ban on making signings by the Chinese governing body on February 17, which cited a violation of league rules on registering players, the Flying Tigers withdrew from the league late last month.

Then ranked seventh in the league with 17 wins and 11 losses in 28 games, Xinjiang have missed seven games because of the withdrawal.

After the league approved the club's return, officials said two points would be awarded to each opponent in the table, with a 20-0 scoreline recorded for each of the matches.

In their first game since the conclusion of the second phase of the league on January 17, Xinjiang had their moments at Wukesong Arena but eventually fell to a three-point loss in Beijing and are now 18th in the table, just ahead of Tianjin Pioneers and Ningbo Rockets.

There are six more games for Xinjiang this season before the regular season concludes on April 5. Since joining the league in 1999, the Flying Tigers have won one championship, in 2017, and been runners-up on five other occasions.

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This article originally appeared on the South China Morning Post (, the leading news media reporting on China and Asia.

Copyright (c) 2023. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

2023-03-18T07:36:15Z dg43tfdfdgfd