Monday, September 06, 1999


Rosters for October 6th exhibition game in Guangzou, China between Asia All-Star Team and China NT was set after the tournament. 13 players selected for the Asia All-Star Team are:

Cheng Chih-Lung, Taiwan(192, F/G)
Lo Shing-Liang, Taiwan(182, G)
Seo Jang-Hoon, South Korea(207, C)
Hur Jae, South Korea(190, G)
Ali Al-Maghrabi, Saudi Arabia
Yasser Ahmad Al-Hage, Lebanon(198, F/C)
Walid Al-Domiati, Lebanon(179, G)
Romel Adducul, Philippines(190, F)
Michael Takahashi, Japan(198, F)
Takehiko Omiro, Japan(190, G)
Choi Fung-Yue, Hong Kong(200, F)
Yaseem Mahmoud, Qatar(206, C)
Osama Mubarak, Kuwait(?, ?)
Head Coach:Cheung Tai-Wing, Hong Kong

Rumors said it's highly possible that Cheng Chih-Lung, who's the hottest player pursuit by several pro clubs in the Asian Championship, may decide to play in China next season. Cheng's contract with Taiwan's Hong-kuo Elephant had expired in the end of August and Hong-kuo's management hasn't approached Cheng for any re-negotiation yet. In the same time, Taiwan's pro league CBA is still in the LOCKOUT period--although it had announced for coming back in January next year. It's believed Cheng, who's now 30, will make the best career choice in the coming months. Taiwan local papers reported Cheng will sign with Hilton League's Shanghai Sharks, where China's 7-6 giant Yao Ming is playing. Taiwan NT 198cm center Chu Chih-Chin was also possible to make the move from Taiwan to China, rumors said.

Asian Basketball Association(ABA), a orginization trying to integrate Asian professional teams held a meeting in Fukuoka, Japan on September 5th and decided to start play in June, 2000.

Tentative results of the meeting decided to field six teams, including Taiwan, China, South Korea, Japan, Philippines and Hong Kong All-Star, in next year's schedule. Games will be played in Taipei, Seoul, Manila, Tokyo and Hong Kong. Each matchup features two games, one at home and one on the road. It means every team has 10 games to play.

In the preliminary schedule, the opening game will be on June 10 and the All-Star Game is scheduled on July 12.

In June and July, ABA played four rounds of promotion games in Sunjung (China), Zhongsan(China), Tokyo(Japan) and Taipei(Taiwan) with China NT dominating with a 9-1 records. The ABA is head by a group of Asian basketball officials from different countries, including current FIBA vice president Chin Man-Kee(Hong Kong).

China Beat South Korea, Grabbed Last Ticket To Sydney

China won their 11th Asian men's basketball title and the only birth in Asia in the Sydney Olympics when they defeated defending champion South Korea 63-45 on September 5th.

The Koreans led 15-13 in the early going but soon trailed 21-29 at the half. Cho Sung-Won's three-pointer with eight minutes remaining in the second half cut China's lead to 38-42, but that's the closest they can get. China's Hu Wei-Dong, who was selected the MVP in the tournament, buried three three-pointers in the last four minutes to seal the win.

Hu scored team-high 16 points while Gong Xiao-Bin contributed 15. NBA Dallas Mavericks draft pick Wang Zhi-Zhi collected 10 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks in 27 minutes. Korea was led by Kang Dong-Hee's 10 points. Center Seo Jang-Hoon had 9 points and 6 rebounds.

Known for a dangerous shooting team, South Korea was limited by China's brilliant defense on the perimeter, shooting for a miserable 5-19 from three-point range. Korea also lost to China 92-112 in last year's Asiam Games in Bangkok.

China coach Jiang Xing-Quan praised his team's defense and work on the boards. China grabbed the only spot Asia receives from Sydney Olympics and will look for improving their 8th place finish both in '94 World Championships and '96 Atlanta Olympics.

In the consolation game, Saudi Arabia regained their momentum in the second half and trounced favorite Taiwan 93-67 to win the third place, the highest finish in their Asian Championship history starting from 1989.

Ali Al Maghrabi tallied 36 points and led Saudi Arabia from 38-39 halftime deficit to complete the come-from-behind win. Saudi Arabia outscored Taiwan 55-28 in the second 20 minutes.

Taiwan led 12-4 in the beginning and trailed only by one, 51-52, with 13 1/2 minutes remaining. However they were upset by several calls that didn't went their way and collapsed in the last 10 minutes.

The 21th Asian Men's Basketball Championship will be held in Bangkok, Thailand in 2001.

FINAL:China 63-45 South Korea(29-21)
CONSOLATION:Saudi Arabia 93-67 Taiwan(38-39)

SEMI I: China 105-51 Taiwan(50-28)
SEMI II:South Korea 85-59 Saudi Arabia(42-30)

5th & 6th:Japan 77-61 Kuwait(45-25)
7th & 8th:Lebanon 61-60 Syria(27-34)

9th & 10th:Uzbekistan 70-56 UAE(42-22)
11th & 12th:Philippines 83-75 Bahrain(46-31)
13th & 14th:Hong Kong 68-53 Thailand(39-22)

1. China
2. South Korea
3. Saudi Arabia
4. Taiwan
5. Japan
6. Kuwait
7. Lebanon
8. Syria
9. Uzbekistan
10.United Arab Emirates
13.Hong Kong
**Tournament MVP:Hu Wei-Dong, China(198cm, G/F)

Thursday, September 02, 1999


Taiwan NT got back their top shooting form in time to shock host Japan, 77-68, in their must-win game and grabbed the final spot in the Asian Basketball Championship's final four.

Taiwan will face powerful China, which won 10 of the previous 19 Asian Basketball Championships, in semifinal. Defending champion South Korea will face Saudi Arabia, which finished fourth in 1997, in the other semi.

Lo Shin-Liang and Cheng Chih-Lung, Taiwan's most prolific scorers, put the nightmarish performance in the South Korea game behind them and tallied 25p and 24p each and led Taiwan to its first final four birth since 1995.

Taiwan NT, which shot 47% from the field in the game, used its sweet perimeter shooting to kickstart the game and led 31-21 with 5:01 remaining in the first half. But Japan's PG Kenichi Sako made a three-pointer to start a 12-0 spurt and led 37-36 at the half.

With Michael Takahashi(19rb) and Dan Weiss(14rb) dominating the board, Japan was able to maintain its lead most of the second half. They still led 62-57 with 5 1/2 minutes to go, when Taiwan made its last push.

Cheng Chih-Lung's six straight points ignited Taiwan's 10-0 run, capped by Lo Shin-Liang's three-pointer. But after Taiwan jumped back to take the lead 69-62 with two minutes remaining, they made only 4 out of 10 free throws. Meanwhile, Takehiko Orimo made two quick three-point shot to make it 68-73 with under a minute to go. However, Japan could not score any point. Taiwan finally walked away and seal the surprising victory after Cheng and Lo swished four consecutive foul shots.

Taiwan trailed 33-50 in rebounding but commited only seven tourovers. Guard Yen Shin-Shu contributed 13 points. Japan's leading scorers Takehiko Orimo and Makoto Hasegawa shot a combined 9-31. As a team, they shot a poorly 35% from the field.

Japan's headcoach Mototaka Kohama immediately resigned from the post after the defeat, citing he could not take the team to a higher level. Takehiko's 16 points led the team.

Group E(1-8)
China 107-67 Lebanon(52-39)
Saudi Arabia 93-80 Kuwait(47-40)
1.China 3-0
2.Saudi Arabia 2-1
3.Kuwait 1-2
4.Lebanon 0-3

Group F(1-8)
Taiwan 77-68 Japan(36-37)
South Korea 70-62 Syria(30-38)
1.South Kores 3-0
2.Taiwan 2-1
3.Japan 1-2
4.Syria 0-3

Group G(9-15)
UAE 88-75 Malaysia(47-42)
Bahrain 93-70 Hong Kong(39-50)
1.UAE 3-0
2.Bahrain 2-1
3.Hong Kong 1-2
4.Malaysia 0-3

Group H(9-15)
Uzbekistan 83-71 Thailand(44-34)
1.Uzbekistan 2-0
2.Philippines 1-1
3.Thailand 0-2

13:00 Hong Kong-Thailand(13th/14th place)
15:00 Bahrain-Philippines(11th/12th place)
17:00 UAE-Uzbekistan(9th/10th place)

10:00 Lebanon-Syria(7th/8th place)
12:00 Japan-Kuwait(5th/6th place)
14:00 South Korea-Saudi Arabia(Semi I)
16:00 China-Taiwan(Semi II)

11:00 Consolation Game(Semi I&II losers)
13:00 Championship Game(Semi I&II winners)

Wednesday, September 01, 1999


Host Japan lost its most crucial second round game to long time nemesis South Korea, 61-64. Japan will have to defeat Taiwan today to advance to the semifinals. However, potential matchup with China in the semi virtually declare Japan has no chance to finish better than 3rd place.

Defending champion South Korea stormed back from nine points down in the second half to win the game. Korea's brilliant team defense proved to be the winning factor, limiting the inside attack of Japan's fearsome frontcourt, 6-6 Michael Takahashi and 6-9 Dan Weiss, throughout the whole game.

With Korea rallying to reclaim the lead, 60-58, in the last minute. Japan's PG Kenichi Sako knocked down a three-pointer with 30 seconds remaining to go and made it 61-60, Japan. But Hur Jae and Cho Sung-Won scored the last four points of the game to seal the win. Korea also led 34-31 at halftime.

Michael Takahashi scored 6 points and pulled down only five rebounds in 33 minutes. Japan's backcourt was still awesome. Makoto Hasegawa tallied 20 points and Takehiko Orimo contributed 14.

Korea is now 24-13 all-time vs Japan and secured its top place in Group F with two straight wins, which means they will avoid playing China in the cross-over semifinals. Japan and Taiwan, with 1-1 each, will face each other today for the place against China in the semi.

Taiwan regained its top form and defeated Syria 89-81 in the day's last game. Lo shin-Liang led with 25 points. Huang Chun-Hsiun scored 18p and Hsu Chi-Chao 17. Cheng Chih-Lung collected 11 points. Taiwan trailed 33-35 in rebounding but shot 59% from 2-PT range and 52% for 3-PT.

China crushed Saudi Arabia 85-56 for their second straight second round wins and clinched the top place in Group E. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait will fight for the last final four spot today.

Group E(1-8)
Kuwait 86-81 Lebanon(40-45)
China 85-56 Saudi Arabia(44-22)
Standing:China 2-0,Saudi Arabia 1-1,Kuwait 1-1,Lebanon 0-2

Group F(1-8)
South Korea 64-61 Japan(34-31)
Taiwan 89-81 Syria(39-37)
Standing:South Korea 2-0,Japan 1-1,Taiwan 1-1,Syria 0-2

Group G(9-15)
UAE 94-88 Hong Kong(41-41)
Bahrain 90-85 Malaysia(44-37)
Standing:UAE 2-0, Hong Kong 1-1,Bahrain 1-1,Malaysia 0-2

Group H(9-15)
Philippines 82-58 Thailand(46-31)
Standing:Uzbekistan 1-0,Philippines 1-1,Thailand 0-1