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CBA roundup: Hu Mingxuan's career******
ZHUJI, China, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- With three key scorers on the bench, defending champions Guangdong Southern Tigers held off Sichuan Blue Whales comeback 111-108, thanks to Hu Mingxuan's career-high 36 points in the fifth round of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) here on Tuesday.
Hu, last season's Most Valuable Player of the Finals, shot 11 out of 28 in 29 minutes when starters Yi Jianlian, Zhou Peng and Zhao Rui were rested this round.
Guangdong got off to a 32-23 first quarter, only to lose the second and the third. With 13 seconds on the clock in the final quarter, the score was 107-107.
Hu made all four free throws from a double-foul call and a back-court foul to pocket the victory.
"After four rounds of tough games, we were thinking about adjusting our key players this round and giving the young players some chances, but it seems that the rookies are still not ready to shoulder the team," said Guangdong's head coach Du Feng.
Shanghai Sharks had an overwhelming 117-93 win over Fujian Sturgeons, but coach Li Chunjiang was more concerned about the team's 26 turnovers.
"Although we won today, there is still a lot to improve," said Li, adding that familiarity comes with time in a young team that had just been through substantial rotation changes.
Wang Zhelin, former Fujian's center, led Shanghai with the game-high 31 points and 14 rebounds. The Sharks led from start to finish, leading as many as over 30 points in the third quarter. Everyone on Shanghai's roster scored, with five contributing double-digits.
In other games, the Shenzhen Aviators outlasted the Qingdao Eagles 102-92, extending Qingdao's losing streak to four games. The Shandong Heroes beat the Jilin Northeast Tigers 93-87, and the Guangzhou Loong Lions defeated the Nanjing Monkey Kings 100-88. Enditem
New Zealand opens borders with tears, hugs******
New Zealand officially opened its borders on Monday, lifting the COVID-19 border restrictions after two years.
Monday's border reopening was the first stage of New Zealand's five-step reconnecting plan, which allowed fully vaccinated Kiwis and other current eligible travellers from Australia to enter the country without the need for managed isolation.
According to Auckland International Airport, four Air New Zealand flights and one Qantas flight arrived from Australia's Melbourne, Sydney and Perth on Monday, with more than 900 passengers arriving.
More than 300 flights will be available between New Zealand and major Australian cities in March alone, said an Auckland airport spokesperson.
The airport's arrival terminal was full of tears and hugs. Families who have not seen each other for over two years reunited on Monday.
John Davis, a New Zealander returning from Australia, told local media that all he wants to do was to spend time with his family, including his granddaughter who was three years older than last time he saw her.
Under New Zealand's requirements, all passengers are required to have a negative pre-departure test, and undertake two rapid antigen tests on arrival and at day 5/6.
Meanwhile, the government is removing the self-isolation requirements for vaccinated travelers to New Zealand and Kiwis returning from the rest of the world from Thursday.
"That means all Kiwis coming home and tourists entering the country will be able to step off the plane and immediately connect with family and friends and enjoy all New Zealand has to offer," said COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins.
Travelers will still be required to be tested. If anyone returns a positive result, they will be required to report it and isolate for the same period of 10 days as a community case, Hipkins said.