Friday marked the final day in Shanghai and it began with a tour of the Zhou Zhuang water village, known as the "Venice of the East" due to the numerous waterways that occupy western Shanghai. The Bears walked through the village and took a guided boat tour through the town in the morning before heading to Shanghai Jiaotong University (SJTU) to play the final game of the tour.
The game at Shanghai Jiaotong University Sports Arena was lavishly done with a 40-minute ceremony preceding the contest that was played in front of nearly 4,000 SJTU students. The ceremony included speeches by the university vice president and California Athletics Director Sandy Barbour, a three-song concert by the university band, a martial arts choreographed show, aerobic gymnastics and dancing, but the loudest cheers in the arena came when national hero and NBA All-Star Yao Ming entered the building. Ming is a student at SJTU and took in the festivities and the game.
After taking on two professional teams in Beijing, the Bears took on SJTU in front of an appreciative yet hostile crowd, not unlike what Cal will see a few times during the upcoming season. After winning the first quarter 15-12 thanks to six points from both Brittany Boyd and Reshanda Gray, Cal fell behind by one point at the half.
The third quarter saw the Bears jump ahead by as many as 10 points, but a five-point and six-turnover fourth quarter allowed the home team take the 58-52 victory. With time running down to less than 90 seconds and Cal down by two, the Bears began fouling Shanghai - a team that struggled from the line throughout the game - but SJTU was able to sink all of their free throws down the stretch to hold on.
"Playing in August is a bonus so it's great to have an opportunity to go out there and look at different matchups and different combinations that we can use," Associate Head Coach Charmin Smith said. "We're using it as a chance to assess what we'll have this season. Some people played a lot of minutes for us. Reshanda Gray was great getting rebounds and finishing. Brittany Boyd has been spectacular these three games, and then just seeing some other people who haven't had as many minutes in the past getting a chance to show what they can do was good for us."
Cal has an early flight to Hong Kong Saturday and will sightsee for two days before returning to Berkeley on Monday morning.