Saturday, December 30, 2000

2001 A-League Regular Season Preview

2001 is a brand new year for Taiwanese A-League in a lot of ways. Most of all, participating teams skyrocketed to 16 due to the collapse of the pro league --CBA. A total of five pro teams will play in the upcoming A-League season, with Hong-fu Rams the only pro team not playing. (In fact, the team even doesn't exist right now.)

Without a doubt, pro teams will upgrade the overall competition level of this semi-pro league. Local fans who are left with no pro ball to cheer about will have a chance to embrace the different looks of a more competitive amateur basketball.

Following is our Top 10 preview.

#1:Dacin Construction
Dacin came from the perennial bottom team in the CBA to the top of the A-League, mostly because of the acquisition of SF Cheng Chih-lung(192cm, formerly of Hong-kuo) and C Chu Chi-shin(198cm, formerly of Hong-fu), two of the most celebrated players in Taiwanese basketball history.

At the age of 30, Cheng is still recognized as the top SG/SF in Asia. Although Cheng is not in game-shape since ending his contract with China's Shanghai Sharks back in April, it's believed he will be in top shape when the season begins. Powerfully-build Chu will be able to use his size and powerful moves to dominate the paint without the challenge from import players.

With the help from sweet-shooting guard Hsu Chih-chao(188cm) and gifted youngsters like PG O-Yang Jin-hen(190cm), PF Lee Fong-yun(198cm), C Ha Shiao-yuan(200cm), C/F Lo Chen-kun(197cm)and PG Huang Chih-chun(180cm), Dacin is the most-loaded team in the league. 31-year-old head coach Liu Chia-fa, who led Dahwa Construction to the A-League champion two years ago, will try to lead Dacin to its first-ever A-League title.

SINA, one of the most powerful dotcom companies in Asia, took over Hong-kuo's entire lineup when Hong-kuo's mother corporation decided to dismiss the team in November. Backed up by financially-stable, the team immediately becomes the highest-budgeted team in the league.

Registered as a new team, SINA will have to play in the qualification games although most of its players are battle-tested in the CBA. SINA will be led by PG Chou Jun-san(175cm), SG Lo Shin-liang(182cm), PF Huang Chun-hsiung(200cm), C Liu Yi-shiang(201cm) and SF Chiu Der-chi(190cm), all key members in Hong-kuo's three-peat run during 1995-98.

Obviously, experience will be the strongest area of this team. On the other hand, with most of the key players above age 30 and a weak bench, whether they can endure both the qualifications and the regular season games remains to be seen. Once they overcome the fatigue factor and make it to the playoffs, they will be the team everyone fears.

#3:Yulon Dinos
After winning the 2000 President Cup, it will be a little bit harder this time for traditional power Yulon to duplicate the feat once again. To beat SINA and Dacin, red-hot young star SG/SF Chen Hsin-an(193cm) will have to take the leading role and dominate.

Yulon has four NT members in its starting lineup, including Chen Hsin-an, SG Chiu Chi-yi(180cm), SF Chou Hong-yu(195cm) and C Wu Chi-wei(202cm), but the most impact player will be veteran PG Lin Jian-ping(170cm). Lin will be asked to direct both Yulon's structured half-court offense and occasional fastbreak.

Perimeter shooting will also be the key factor to determine how far this team will go. If their outside shots don't fall, it will be hard for Yulon to contend with their opponents.

#4:Bank of Taiwan
BOT is the team which suffers the most by the addition of pro teams. They would have dominated the league if pro teams did not drop back to the amateur ranks. BOT lost two key players in Chen Hsin-an(to Yulon) and PF Chu-Yong-hong(to 2-year military service), who will not be easy to replace.

Chou Ben-tan and Kao Jian-wei will be asked to fill in Chu's ENFORCER role, while SF Lin Yu-shu(193cm) will be the primary offensive weapon BOT counts on in all games. Meanwhile, 176cm PG Hsu Hao-chen showed he is a promising and vastly underrated playmaker last year, his first season in A-League. And he is only 18 years-old. Under the guidance of veteran coach Tien Shi-ho, a potential NT coach candidate, BOT will use its physical style to be the best they can be. And don't be surprised if they pull up some upsets against pro teams.

The military team is powered by two of the best combo guards in Taiwanese basketball: Yen Shin-shu(182cm) and Chen Chih-chun(182cm). Due to the height disadvantage(according to the military law here, those who are taller than 195cm won't have to serve the two-year military obligation), Military team plays a passing-game, open-court style. They don't have the size and height to advance to the finals but will scare a lot of people.

Military's interior defense will definitely improved because of the addition of physical speciman Chu Yong-hong(formerly of BOT), while Charles Barkley-type Hong Chan-chin(190cm, 100kg) and 190cm F Chen Jian-shun providing help. SG and SF position are overloaded with Yang Che-yi(190cm, formerly of Mars), PG Chun Wei-kuo and others.

#6:Jutai Technology
Winning the regular season champ two years ago under the name of Dahwa Construction, the team found itself a new sponsor and therefore changed the team name to Jutai Technology. They are the biggest loser of the bidding war, losing Chu Chih-chin to Dacin and Hsiung Jen-jen to SINA.

But never mind. The frontline of Shan Wei-fan(195cm), Lin Che-wei(197cm) and Tan Bo-chan(200cm) is still one of the best in the league. These three frontline players complement for each other. Shan's low-post spin move is what earned him league MVP two years ago. Lin is a tenacious defender, shot-blocker and a underrated scorer while Tan is a big body that fills the paint.

Newcomer PG Fan Gan-shiang, a junior NT member, is expected to be in the starting lineup right away. Hot-shooting SG Yang Yu-min(180cm) returned to his original team from Luckipar and is expected to be the primary scorer. Jutai will need to be consistent night in and night out if they want to get to the upper level.

#7:Luckipar Panthers
Once dubbed "Team of the next Decade", Luckipar is one of the most disappointing team in recent years. They have a hard-working coach in Jack Mai but lost too many players along the way. Yang Yu-min went back to Jutai, Chen Chih-chun went into the two-year military service. And it seems C/F Lai Kuo-hong(197cm) and F/C Lin Shin-hwa(199cm) had gradually lost the competitive fire during this past year. Luckipar is destined to be in the bottom-half of the top 10 teams.

Jack Mai has been trying to bring along youngsters like SG Chao Jia-chun(184cm), PG Hsu Tze-shin(176cm) and SG Chang Chih-feng(180cm). But these kids are not matured and experienced enough to carry a team. Besides, their backcourt is overcrowded with shorter guards. Taiwanese-American Matt Bryant(188cm, Christopher Newport Univ., formerly of Mars and Hong-fu in CBA years) will possibly play for Luckipar if the CTBA approves his nationality.

#8:BCC Mars
BCC held on to its promise to sponsor the Mars after month-long negotiation, although the team was determined to enter the season even without any financial sponsor. However, this is not the same team that took Hong-kuo to the seventh game in the 1998 CBA Finals. With the oldest roster in the league, BCC Mars is at best in the middle of the pack.

Losing floor general Yen Shin-shu to military service is Mars' biggest loss in the past year. 184cm PG Chen Huei came back after completing his military service but he is not in the caliber of Yen's. 184cm SG Lin Jia-huang is the only birght spot in Mars' backcourt.

Up front, Mars boast the oldest lineup in history, with Wang Li-bin(202cm), Song Tao(208cm), San Mao-sun(195cm) all over 33 years-old. Their stamina and quickness will be severely tested. Among youngsters, only 197cm Lee Chi-yi provides a glimpse of hope, though his Lin Jen-da(193cm) and Chen Tze-min(200cm) are not ready to step in yet.

#9:Taiwan Beers
Within the span of two years, Taiwan Beers dropped from its top-team status to the eighth place finish in the last President Cup. It's hard to blame the coaching staff or the players, because several big-name players either joined other A-League teams or signed by pro teams.Without better players, the tradition-rich Taiwan Beers could not make too much noise in the league.

Known as a team prefers open-court style of play, Taiwan Beers added yet another two one-on-one players, 193cm SF Sun Kuo-chan(formerly of Luckipar) and SG Chang Shian-min(184cm, formerly of Yulon) to its rosters. The team will still rely heavily on SG Lin Jia-shen's firepower on offense.

Head coach Zan Jia-shan will hang his hope on fearless 20-year-old Lin Chih-jay(190cm), an extraordinarily gifted and versatile player who came out of nowhere and shocked everyone during last Asian Junior Basketball Championship. Taiwan Beers' primary goal will be squeezing in the top six.

#10:Yitong Credit Agency
Advancing to the preliminary games will be viewed as a huge success for Yitong Credit Agency, a team without enough capable players to compete with stronger teams. Top scorer Huang Fu-shun will probably sit out the entire series because of surgery.

Culture University, Dayeh University, Tsaishin Alumni, Fushiang Hotel, Dongnan College, Rambo Jack(Taipei Physical Education College)

(Oscar Wu, one of the brightest basketball journalists here in Taiwan, contributed to this report.)

2001 A-League Primer

Taiwan's semi-pro A-League will tip-off its 2001 season on January 3, 2001. Following is the brief introduction on this year's competition format.

2001 A-League season will be consisted of two stages: the regular season, which to be played from January to March, and the President Cup, which will be held in the end of the year. No import players are allowed to play.

Bank of Taiwan, Yulon Dinos, Jutai Technology, Military Team, Yitong Credit Agency, Culture University, Dayeh University, Taiwan Beers, SINA, Tsaishin Alumni, Fushiang Hotel, Dongnan College, Luckipar Panthers, Dacin Construction, Rambo Jack(Taipei Physical Education College), BCC Mars

Kuo-tai Life, Chunghwa Telecomm, Taiwan Electricity, Tai-yuan Textile, Ya-dong, Nan-ya Plastics

Women: January 5 - January 19
Men: January 3 - March 2
Qualification Games: January 3 - January 15
Wildcard Games: January 16 - January 17
Preliminary Games: February 3 - February 14
Second Round Games: February 16 - February 20
Playoffs: February 22 - March 2

1. Six participating teams play a double-round robin schedule in preliminary games.

2. Top two teams advance to the best-of-three Finals. 3rd and 4th place teams play a best-of-three series for third-place.

1. Top 6 teams in last season automatically advance to preliminary games.

2. The other ten teams are bracketed into Group A & B, with each group playing a single-round robin qualification games. Top team from two groups advance to preliminary games.

3. 2nd and 3rd place teams from each group will then play a 4-team wildcard games. These four teams play a single-round robin series. Top two teams advance to preliminary games, filling out the last two spots on the 10-team preliminary games.

4. A total of 10 teams play a single-round robin preliminary games. Top 6 teams advance to the second-round.

5. The six teams play yet another single-round robin second -round games with top 4 advancing to the playoffs.

6. The four teams play a single-round robin semi-final games. Top two teams advance to the best-of-five Finals. 3rd and 4th place team play a best-of-three series for third place.

Friday, December 01, 2000

A Sad Story: The Rise and Fall of Taiwanese Pro Ball

After an eighteen-month wait, Taiwanese fans are disappointed again. The CBA (Chinese Basketball Alliance) failed to stage a new season, which was supposed to open on November 18, and announced it will once again suspend all activities indefinitely on November 23.

It is definitely a shocking news for the fans and the media. The announcement also means that there will be no professional basketball action in Taiwan in the foreseeable future.

Looking back the short 4 1/2-year CBA history, maybe we will have a better idea why the CBA, once perceived as one of the strongest pro league in Asia, folds twice within a two-year span.


PART I : The Beginning and the Rise


Summer of 1993, midway thru my final year in college, four A-League team owners gathered for a meeting and talked about the idea of setting up a professional basketball league. Little did anyone know back then that after this simple meeting, Taiwanese basketball would never be the same.

Looking back, the Taiwanese basketball environment was not-- and never -- MATURED enough to stage a pro league. Attendance of A-League games kept dropping back then and fan interest toward basketball was relatively low. Pro baseball is still the No.1 sports in this island.

However, Hong-kuo Elephants, Yulon Dinos, Luckipar Panthers and Tera Mars(later changed its name to Kaohsiung Mars and BCC Mars because of ownership change) escaped from the A-League and formed the Chinese Basketball Alliance anyway. The league set up the rules in a short time and held the import player tryout with the help from some sports agencies.

After a series of exhibition games, the CBA's inaugural season was launched in November 1994, a couple months after I went into the two-year military service. At the time, NBA basketball was huge in Taiwan but clearly few people here, especially those who involved in the CBA, understood what PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL really is. For the league staff, the teams and the local players, everything was more like an on-the-job training.


Surprisingly, the CBA received relatively success in the first two years, although the competition level, the venue, the marketing skills of the league was still second-grade. And because of the success, the league expanded to six teams in just its second season, adding Hong-fu Rams and Chung-shin Tigers(later changed its name to Dacin Tigers).

Averaged attendence was more than 2000. Local corporations, especially those related to sports business, were more than willing to be the league sponsors. And the fans were excited for and curious of Taiwan's first pro basketball league. Local medias expanded their coverage for basketball. Suddenly, Taiwanese basketball's future looked brighter than ever.

The most important thing was, by playing NBA rules, allowing two imports playing at the same time and paying acceptable salaries, the league was able to attract many big-time imports like former Louisville standout Jerome Harmon. Therefore, local players' skills were dramatically improved after playing against better-skilled imports every day.

With the great reputation of paying imports, plus the never-ending nightlife and extensive fan support, imports loved playing here, even willing to take less salaries. Gradually, the CBA was viewed as one of the most powerful pro leagues in Asia. Local stars not only became every youngster's idol, they also became richer after their salaries skyrocketed. Highest monthly salary reached 350,000 NT dollars(about 11,000 USD), almost ten times higher than an average A-League player.

PART II : Chaos and Suspension


The relative success of the league did raise some eyebrows throughout the Asia, but not all things went as smooth and well as outsiders thought. In fact, there are chaos everywhere from the league office down to the teams and the players.

Management guidelines, like salary cap, draft system, player trading rule and free agency rules...etc, were not completely established in the early years of the CBA, because owners wanted to open the season as early as possible. And league office did not complete the guidelines afterwards, thus resulting numerous controvercies among the teams.

Also, teams have mixed feeling toward import players. They want to have the best imports but are reluctant to pay high-end salaries. They want to bring in the best imports to win the ball games, but they don't want imports EATING UP all those playing times of local players.

Star-studded teams like Hong-kuo and Yulon started investing more money on player salaries, game promotions and courtside activities. As a result, their budget climbed up. On the other hand, due to poor facilities and the differences between top-tier and second-tier teams, attendence figures started to nosedive. Reportedly, every team lost money. And the TV rating of broadcasted games was not looking good.

Meanwhile, local player salaries kept skyrocketing, since every team wanted to lock up its players because not too many amateur players were available. The CTBA, which is the highest governing body of Taiwanese amateur basketball, did not put in any effort to strengthen amateur basketball. And for a long period of time, Taiwanese National Team did not produce good results in international competitions.

We have to admit that several locals, like Cheng Chih-lung and Lo Shin-liang of Hong-kuo, Yen Hsin-shu of BCC Mars, established themselves as franchise players during the years. But too many locals did not improve their skills thru the constant competition against imports, averaging double-figure in scoring is almost like an impossible dream for them. For the most part, this is why the league produced only a handful of star players. Practically, no emerging youngsters brought the fans any excitement and fresh feeling during this period. As a whole, this league was like a dead pond.


However chaotic it may be, Hong-kuo and Mars brought the fans an epic and classic battle in 1998 CBA Finals. Mars took a commanding 3-1 lead after four games, but Hong-kuo refused to lose. They won the last three games all on small margins, completed the most unbelievable come-from-behind victory in CBA playoffs history and became the first team to THREE-PEAT.

Every game in the seven-game series was a sell-out. The dramatical results also made this tiny island hoop-crazy for two weeks. No ones knew that, all of a sudden, everything goes downward from this point.

Starting in late 1998, numerous Taiwanese corporation suffered financial crisis like companies in other Asian countries. Kuo-yang Group, which owned the Mars at the time, sold the team because of financial problems and threw the first BOMB of CBA collapse. After that, Hong-fu also had problems, although it did not sell the Rams.

League office did not do well on the TV broadcast extension negotiation. During the negotiation, the league and ETV, the primary bidder for the broadcasting right, had numerous conflicts and could not agree a final contract. It's not a secret that if the league end up with no TV money, it will collapse in a split of second.

That's exactly what happened. On March 14, midway through its fifth season, CBA announced it will suspend its action indefinitely. In fact, rumors had been said the league would folds starting from January.

PART III : Re-structure and Falling Down Again


CBA's suspension is a huge blow to all the fans and the insiders of the basketball circle. The league immediately pushed itself into a re-structuring mode and claimed it will re-open as soon as all the problems are resolved. They pretty much GUARANTEED the re-launch but set no timetable.

League office and teams joined forces and formed a RE-STRUCTURE COMMITTEE, which includes coaches, owners, general managers and league staff. The main task for the committee is to lay down the foundation - various managing rules and guidelines -- that was absent before the suspension.

The committee also looked for the help from the highest sports governing body NSC (National Sports Council). It hopes the NSC can be the peacemaker between the owners who have different opinions and helps bring the league a new arena in downtown Taipei area.

Actually, NSC did not want to be involved in the restructuring of the CBA, although then-NSC president Chao Li-yun did try to organize a ROUNDTABLE MEETING. In the meantime, Dacin Tigers refused to participate in the re-structure and decided to drop back to the semi-pro A-League. Dacin had always been the lowest-budget team, the dropout showed it did not want to spend extra money on professional basketball.

That leaves the CBA with only five teams. Chen Cheng-chun, owner of Hong-fu Rams and a national legislator himself, then took over as the president of both the re-structuring committee and the CBA. Chen decided to speed up the restructring process.

During the suspension, the CBA organized several corporation-sponsored tournaments to keep the players and fans busy. Plus, they want to check out the basketball CLIMATE and maintain fans' interest in local pro basketball. Among the tournaments are Mellennium Series, Windy City Festival, Sinchu Cup and Elite Four Tournament.

Finally, the good news came on June 18, 2000. The CBA announced it will re-launch the 2000-01 season on November 17(Later changed to November 18) with each team playing 40 games. Also, then-ruling party KMT decided to take over the Mars, which is the only team without an owner. League office released the details of Balance Draft, Salary Cap, regular season and exhibition game schedules in later months.

It seemed everything was going well and the league was on its way back to the glory. Insiders didn't think so, though. Some said, the biggest problem of the league is not the lack of fan support or a new arena, it's in the mindset of the team owners and the players. To be more procise, owners still don't realize they will lose money in the first few years anyway. And Local players still don't have a clue what PROFESSIONAL PLAYER means. Almost 90% of the local players failed to keep themselves in shape and improve their skills during the suspension.


Like the CBA owners and players, economic situation did not improve much during the suspension. Two weeks before the tip-off of the new season, Hong-kuo Group shocked everybody and announced it will dismiss the Elephants because of financial difficulties.

One day after Hong-kuo's announcement, Yulon also announced it will pull out of the CBA and re-join the A-League. Suddenly, the CBA is left with only three teams and again in danger of losing the new season. President Chen tried to talk the owners out of pulling teams out but failed.

Bad news keep coming. Luckipar Panthers made clear on November 22 that it, too, will not play in the new season. President Chen was forced to announced that the relauch of the CBA is suspended indefinitely. The CBA is officially dead again.

Ironically, the fall out of the CBA pleased the CTBA. CBA teams were left without a league to play in, they can only re-enter the amateur ranks if they want to keep playing and thus make this year's A-League an 18-team league, an all-time high number.

Powerful Chinese website SINA.COM decided to take over the players from Hong-kuo and use the team name of "" to register in the A-League. Yulon, Luckipar and Mars will make minor roster changes but enter the A-League with the original team name. On the other hand, Hong-fu Rams became history. Most of its players joined other teams like Da-hwa Construction or Dacin Tigers.



The league decided to keep the league office (maybe hiring only one or two employees to handle all the little things) and keep working toward re-open the season after the Board of Directors meeting, although the season is dead again.

Most players stay with their former teams and are preparing for the A-League Regular Season, which starts next January. Other players either transfer to other teams or being force to find a REAL job.

While local media lamenting for the CBA's failure, the CTBA is pretty excited aout the upcoming A-League season and keep telling everyone that it's better for Taiwanese basketball at this moment not having a pro league. The CTBA has been feeling bittersweet about professional basketball ever since the CBA surfaced, because they think the pro league STEALS players from them and making amateur basketball miserable.

As far as the future of Taiwanese professional basketball, in my opinion, the first thing we must have is making more corporations believe that investing on a basketball team is worthwhile. Since basketball is the No.1 sports in Taiwan, it shouldn't be too hard.

Secondly, all team owners have to understand what it takes to manage a pro team and the reality of pro basketball. Any pro team can not expect itself to come in and immediately make money in the first few years. Current team owners can't stand losing money even for a single season! I guess that's not a healthy mindset in terms of running a pro team.

No.3. The CTBA should finally do something good for Taiwanese basketball. They have to work hard to develope grassroots basketball in junior high and senior high schools, develop more quality coaches who really have the love of the game and have the positive perspective of the game, and develop more players. All in all, they have to increase the talent pools for Taiwanese basketball. Pro and amateur basketball will be benefited.

Some observers are saying that Taiwan is better suited for the semi-pro basketball, like what it is in Japan. Japan's JBL is organized by Japan Basketball Association and very similar to Taiwan's A-League. They also play a short season, but they have two divisions and spend more money on player salaries and team management.

Meanwhile, some are saying that Taiwan simply have not enough quality players to have a pro league. They claim six teams are too many for this tiny island, and a 4-team league is boring because of familiar matchups.

Where is the future of Taiwanese pro basketball? It seems the answer is still up in the air and no one knows for sure. Before anyone figure it all out, Taiwanese basketball fans have only two choices: turn on the TV and watch NBA games, or put up with 40-minute not-so-exciting A-League basketball.

Friday, September 29, 2000

Taiwan's Next Great Hope: Scouting report on Chen Hsin-An, Taiwan's upcoming hoop star

HEIGHT: 6-3 1/2(193cm)
WEIGHT: 187lbs(85kg)
AGE: 20
BIRTHDATE: July 1, 1980
BIRTHPLACE: Taipei, Taiwan
EDUCATION: College Junior, Taipei Physical Education College
POSITION: Shooting Guard/Small Forward
STATUS: Signed with CBA's Yulon Dinos. Endorsed by NIKE Taiwan.

* Did not play organized basketball prior to high school. Handball was his first sport.
* Father stands only 5-8, mother 5-3. Tallest member and the only athlete in the family.
* Discovered by head coach of Sanchung HS in the street pick-up games. However Chen enrolled in Songshan HS and made the basketball team after finishing No.1 in tryout score.
* Lists Philadelphia star guard Allen Iverson as his basketball idol.

* Named on Yulon Dino's Protection List. Will start his rookie pro season in November.

* Played with BANK OF TAIWAN, one of eight teams in Taiwan's amateur league(A-League). Heavily-favored BT finished third. Chen spent most of his playing time in small forward. Named to the league's All-Star Team as a rookie.
* At 18, Chen became the youngest national team member ever in May 1999, tying the record previously set by 6-3 local hoop star Cheng Chih-lung, who remains the primary scorer in the national team at the age of 30.
* Received his first U.S. college recruiting letter from Cal-State Fullerton in July. Cal-State Northridge and the University of Pittsburgh are also interested.
* MVP and All-Star Team member of the President Cup, one of the two events in A-League (the other one is the A-League regular season games).

* HS Senior. Single-handedly carried unheralded Songshan HS to the 5th place in HBL Division I in his senior year, the first year Songshan jumped to Division I.
* Averaged 20.1 PPG(#21 among all players), 5.6 RPG, 2.3 APG and 1.8 SPG in 19 regular season games. Averaged 18.4 PPG(#3 among all players in the final eight) in Elite Eight playoffs.
* Led Taiwan HS All-Star Team with 17.8 PPG in the International High School Basketball Tournament, which features four teams from Taiwan, South Korea and Japan.
* Starred in 1998 NIKE JAPAN CAMP and drew rare review from NBA star guard Penny Hardaway.
* Selected to Taiwan Junior National Team, which participated in 1998 Asian Junior Basketball Championship(Calcutta, India). Led the team with 23.0 PPG, 7.0 RPG in 9 games and was named to the All-Tournament Team. Emerged as Asian's brightest basketball star ever since. However Taiwan only finished 4th in the tournament.
* Named by ABC(Asian Basketball Confederation) as "THE MOST PROMISING JUNIOR PLAYER IN ASIA", along with 7-5 Chinese center Yao Ming, in December 1998.

* HS Junior. Led Songshan HS to the 3rd place finish in HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL LEAGUE(HBL) Division II.

Chen is a super athlete who possesses rare combination of perimeter shooting and various explosive move in the air. A very very exciting player in the open court.

The most unusual aspect of his game that drew insiders' attention is his on-court poise at this young age, plus his passing ability. He's a very unselfish player, sometime so unselfish to a fault.

Physical talent and the will to learn are two of his biggest upsides. Though spending most of his time at small forward, Chen realized he would have to be a shooting guard in order to get to the next level.

Because of his youth, Chen tends to fade into the background sometimes, referring to his elder teammates. He always let the game come to him and never force shots. This fact leads doubters questioning his desire to dominate. However Chen is not afraid to take big shot when the time's right. And he proved it in last year's ABC Championship(Fukuoka, Japan), when he provided instant firepower and knocked down several big shots as a national team reserve.

A yes-sir-no-sir type of kid...very polite...leads a simple life, all basketball and no bad habits...

Thursday, August 24, 2000

Teams Announced Protection Roster

Five CBA teams officially announced their five-man PROTECTION ROSTER on August 22. A total of 25 players are protected. Players who are not on the protection roster will be automatically in the draft pool of the September 4th BALANCE DRAFT.

Although several players were dropped from the protection list, there is no major surprise in the protection roster. Almost every team was able to hold on to its starters.

The only surprise could be former Mars Taiwanese-American player Matt Bryant. 6-2 guard Bryant, who played in U.S. Christopher Newport University, was protected by the Hong-fu Rams. Roster-thin Rams negotiated with Mars for Bryant before the announcement and will have to pick last in the first round draft.

Complete Protection Roster

Hong-kuo Elephant
Chou Jun-san, PG ; Lo Shin-liang, SG ; Chiu Ter-chi, SG/SF ; Huang Chun-hsiung, SF/PF ; Liu Yi-shiang, C

Yulon Dinos
Chen Hsin-an, SG/SF ; Chiu Chi-yi, SG ; Chou Hong-yu, SF ; Wu Chi-wei, C ; Chiu Tsun-chi, F

Luckipar Panthers
Hsu Yung-yi, SG ; Lai Kuo-hong, C/PF ; Lin Hsin-hwa, C/PF ; Chen Chih-chun, PG ; Yang Yu-min, SG

BBC Mars
Yen Hsin-shu, PG ; Chen Tser-min, C ; Lin Chia-hwang, SG ; Chen Huei, PG ; Lee Chi-yi, PF

Hong-fu Rams
Chu Chih-chin, PF/C ; Hsiung Jen-chen, SF ; Shan Wei-fan, PF ; Liaw Wei-chen, PF/C ; Matt Bryant, PG/SG

Among the protected players, Yen Hsin-shu and Chen Huei of Mars, Chen Chih-chun of Luckipar are/will be in the military service, but their team decided to protect them anyway. Protected players cannot be traded until after the balance draft.

CBA will held the open tryout on August 25 for all free agent players who are not on roster of any team right now. The official draft list will be released on August 28. On August 31 the draft order will be decided by open draw.

Wednesday, August 23, 2000

Teams Stick with Local Coaches

Hong-fu Rams hired Lee Chi-chan as its head coach and filled the last coaching vacancy of CBA teams. The hiring leaves the league without any foreign coach for the first time in league history.

A former Mars player, Lee also coached the team in two different stints and compiled a 51-54(.486) record. At one point he was a player/coach with the team. Lee was released as an assistant last year by Mars after the financial crisis of the Kuo-yang Group, which owned the Mars at the time.

Aside from Hong-fu, no other teams make coaching changes in the new season. Yulon stays with Chien Yi-fei, the only coach in its team history starting from 1994. Luckipar's Jack Mai will again be the only GM/coach in the league. Hong-kuo keeps Chiu Da-tsun, who was promoted from assistant after former American coach Paul Coughter left, as its head man. Chun Chi-men, who guided Mars to 1998 CBA Finals, also stays with the team.

In order to keep their budgets down, teams prefer lower-paid local coaches. Although they cannot but admit that most foreign coaches are better than locals in terms of basketball knowledge and coaching experience.

South Korean Cheng Kwon Hee of Dacin Tigers, the only foreign coach from the last CBA season (1999), left the team after his three-year contract expired. At the same time, Dacin announced it will not participate the 2000 CBA season. Tigers will play in the lower level A-League instead.

Prior to leaving Taiwan, Cheng led Taiwan Junior NT to bronze medal in this year's ABC Junior Championship.

Friday, August 18, 2000

CBA Salary Cap Announced

CBA announced the salary restrictions of the new season on August 16. Each team will have a team salary cap of 1.2 million NT (38,710 USD) per month, while the monthly salary for local player can be no more than 180,000 NT (5806 USD).

Compared to the old salary restrictions before the league suspended its season in March, 1999, the new figures are about only 60% of the old ones. It means teams do not want to overpay their players like they used to, and they want to run the team on minimum budget.

Even the import players will get a much lesser pay. Observers think the lesser pay for import will hurt the league because better players will opt to play in Europe or other Asian country. Before the suspension, better import player are usually paid for up to 8,500 USD per month. Under the new rule, the maximum they can have is around 6,000.

Notes on new salary restrictions ( NT : USD = 31 : 1 )
Team salary cap: 1.2 million NT per month(Import salaries not included)
Minimum player salary: 40,000 NT per month
Maximum player salary: 180,000 NT per month
Import players salary cap: 10,000 USD per month

Import players salaries will not count against the 1.2M team salary cap. Since each team are allowed to keep two imports, I figure they will applied either the 6000-4000 format or 5000-5000 format.

CBA will hold the Balance Draft, which aims on moving local players around and balancing the competition level of each team, on September 4.

Friday, August 11, 2000

CBA Balance Draft Report

Chinese Basketball Alliance, which will re-open after suspending it's season in March, 1999, will hold its first ever BALANCE DRAFT on September 4. The purpose of the draft is to balance the competition level of all five participating teams in the new season.

Each team is allowed to keep five original players, while place other players in the draft pools. Teams will make draft picks in orders decided by a later draw this week. A total of 58 players will play in the 2000 season.

The only team not participating the new season is Dacin Tigers, which announced it will leave the CBA and opt to play in the semi-pro A-LEAGUE. Cheng Chih-Lung, the most celebrated Taiwanese player thruout Asia, is with the Tigers and will be missed in the new pro season.

Broadcast Corporation of China(BCC), which is owned by political party KMT, also announced it will officially take over Mars on August 14.

League office did not release the KEPT PLAYER LIST. However, the prediction is as follows:

Hong-kuo Elephants
Conant Chu 182cm PG
Chou Jun-San 175cm PG
Lo Shin-Liang 182cm SG
Huang Chun-Hsiung 200cm SF
Liu Yi-Shan 200cm C

Yulon Dinos
Chen Hsin-An 194cm SF/SG
Chiu Chih-Yi 182cm SG
Chiu Zhon-Chi 197cm SF
Wu Chih-Wei 202cm C
Chou Hong-Yu 195cm SF

Hong-fu Rams(still one player short)
Chu Chih-Chin 198cm C
Shun Jen-Zen 190cm SF
Shan Wei-Fan 195cm PF
Wu Shien-Chen 188cm SG/PG

Luckipar Panthers(5 out of 6)
Chen Chih-Chun 182cm PG
Lai Kou-Hong 197cm PF
Lin Hsin-Hwa 199cm C
Yang Yu-Ming 180cm SG
Hsu Yon-Yi 190cm SG
Sun Kuo-Chan 194cm SF/PF

BCC Mars(5 out of 6)
Yen Hsin-Shu 182cm PG
Chen Huei 185cm PG
Lin Chia-Huang 184cm SG
Chen Tser-Ming 200cm C
Yang Tse-Yi 192cm SG
Lee Chih-Yi 197cm SF/PF

The Balance Draft will be broadcasted live by MUCH-TV, which will also be the league's new television partner. There will be 120 games in the 2000 season.

After the local balance draft, teams will start bring in import players. Sources said the league has dropped the idea of import draft and will let the teams find players on their own. The league believes the import draft spends too much money and, based on past experience, teams were not satisfied with the players in the draft pool.

CBA will again set the height limit of 6-8 on imports. Players who are between 6-4 to 6-8 will be classified as BIG import. Those who are shorter than 6-4 will be classified as SMALL import. There will probably be a MINUTE RULE on imports, which limit the imports' playing time, but the situation is not clear at this moment.

Sunday, July 30, 2000

New Zealand Wins Jones Cup ; Rampton MVP

Powered by towering frontline, New Zealand defeated South Korea 78-67 in the championship game of the 23rd William Jones Cup on July 29. New Zealand's 7-foot center Tony Rampton(Iowa State '00) was voted tournament MVP.

Taiwan NT beat Philippines 83-73 in the bronze medal game. Japan knocked down South Africa 75-58 and finished fifth. South Africa's sixth place finish marked the best performance in their Jones Cup history.

New Zealand finally took home the title in their sixth Jones Cup appearance. "Tall Black" lost to Taiwan NT in last year's semifinal. New Zealand finished 5th, 8th, 7th and 4th during 1980-83 in the Jones Cup, they did not return to the tournament again until last year.

Head Coach Keith Mair was pleased with his team's performance. He said, however, New Zealand still has a long way to go since they are in the same group woth USA, Lithuania, Italy, France and China in the upcoming Sydney Olympics.

With veteran Cheng Chih-Lung's 21 point, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals all-around performance, coupled with Lo Shin-Liang's 14 points, Taiwan NT edged Philippines to finish third, one spot below last year. Philippines was led by Christopher Clay's 23 points and Jeffrey Flowers' 18. They grabbed 20 more rebounds than the home team but 19 turnovers hurt them down the stretch.

Former University of Texas Longhorn Christopher Clay, who scored 109 points in six games, is the leading scorer in the tournament with a 18.2 average.

1- New Zealand; 2- South Korea; 3- Taiwan; 4- Philippines; 5- Japan; 6- South Africa; 7- Costa Rica; 8- Malaysia; 9- Taiwan 2nd; 10- Hong Kong

Taiwan Basketball Notes

Citing health problems, NT head coach Chien Yi-Fei resigned after leading Taiwan NT to third-place in the 23rd William Jones Cup. Chien said he was pleased to see the younger players' development over the period and hope the new coaching staff will lead the national team to a new generation.

CTBA(Chinese Taipei Basketball Association) was surprised at Chien's announcement and will try to talk Chien out of the decision. CTBA hope Chien make his final decision after next year's ABC Championship and EastAsia Games.

Not happy with Taiwan NT 2nd's performance in the Jones Cup, CTBA announced on July 29 that Taiwan will pull out of the ABC U-20 Championship, which will take place in Doha, Katar next month. The announcement marks the first time a Taiwanese basketball team withdraw from an official FIBA-sanctioned tournament not by political reasons(with China).

Taiwan NT 2nd's poor play in the Jones Cup, where they lost to New Zealand by 56 points while scoring only 12 points in the first half, drew numerous criticism from the local media and fans. They finished only 9th in the tournament, compared to a surprising third-place finish in 1999. Observers think the coaching staff failed to prepare the team and carry out the discipline, and the players plainly don't know how to play team basketball.

Saturday, July 29, 2000

Day 6 Report : South Korea, New Zealand to Meet in Final

South Korea upset home team Taiwan NT 87-78 in the July 28 semifinal of the 23rd William Jones Cup and advance to the championship game, where they will face New Zealand NT, which trounced Philippines 67-37 in the other semifinal action.

205cm center Kim Joo Sung and 185cm shooting guard Kim Byong Chul combined for 58 points, 20 rebounds, 8 assists and 4 steals to lead the Koreans' attack. Kim Joo Sung single-handedly ripped Taiwanese interior defense with 36 points and 11 rebounds, while Kim Byong Chul, one of the two professional players on Korean side, connected 5 of 7 three-pointers and scored 22.

South Korea, which sent its collegiate all-star team to Taiwan instead of national team, jumped to a 10-4 lead in the opening minutes on consecutive three-pointers and led most of the game on small margin. Taiwan managed to even the score at 52 all early in the second half, but South Korean again pulled away on a 7-0 spurt.

With 6 minutes remaining, home crowd favorite Chen Hsin-An returned to the court after suffering a minor cut above his right eyebrow before halftime. Chen tried to bring the Taiwanese into the game with a high-power baseline driving dunk, but Kim Joo Sung again silenced the crowd with three consecutive baskets to boost the lead to 11 points.

Taiwan failed to scored on 4 consecutive possesions afterwards and again was stopped by their long-time rival South Korea. Taiwan also lost to South Korea NT in the Jones Cup final last year.

In the other action, Andres Barrantes and 34 year-old veteran Hernan Robertson scored 18 each to lead Costa Rica to a 87-59 victory over Malaysia and took home the seventh place. Malaysia finished eighth.

Taiwan NT 2nd, whose poor play being harshly criticized by local media and fans, finally defeated Hong Kong 77-46 and finished 9th in the tournament, thanks to SG Chang Chi-Fung's all-around performance of 22 points(5-7 3PTs), 5 rebounds and 6 assists. Yung Kam Wah scored 20 to lead last-place Hong Kong.

Taiwan NT 2nd will head for Dohar, Katar next month for the Asian U-20 Basketball Championship. NT player Chen Hsin-An will join the U-20 team after the Jones Cup.

Friday, July 28, 2000

Taiwan Junior NT finished 3rd in ABC Championship

Taiwan Junior NT escaped with a 77-76 victory over Japan and finished third in the 16th ABC Championship for Junior Men on July 27.

It's the best finish for the Taiwanese in the tournament since 1989, when they took home the runner-up trophy. And for the first time in 11 years, Taiwanese squeeze in the top 3 in ABC Junior Men Championship.

Facing Japan for the second time in three days, Taiwanese again held off a furious comeback by Japanese. PG Huang Chih-Chun made three clutch three-pointers in the final ten minutes, when Japan cut the 11 point halftime deficit to two(72-74) with one minute remaining. Huang scored 12 points.

199cm center Tien Lei finished with team-high 16 points, while forward Lin Chih-Chieh contributed 12. 15 year-old 6-8 center Wu Tai-Hao collected 11 points and six rebounds in 11 minutes.

The victory also marked the farewell to Korean head coach Chung Kwang Suk, whose contract with CTBA(Chinese Taipei Basketball Association) will be expired in September. Chung is not expected to be re-signed and probably will go back to South Korea.

Surprisingly, South Korea routed traditional power China 120-94 in the championship game and won for the third time in tournament history. Koreans led 60-54 in halftime.

1. South Korea
2. China
3. Taiwan
4. Japan
5. Saudi Arabia
6. Hong Kong
7. Katar
8. Kuwait
9. Iran
10. Lebanon
11. Malaysia
12. India
13. Yemen
14. Thailand
15. Sri Lanka
16. Singapore

*In 16 tournaments to date, China and Philippines led with six titles. South Korea followed with 3, while Japan won only once. Taiwan had never won the tournament.

Day 4- 5 Report : Taiwan, New Zealand Won Preliminary

Taiwan and New Zealand national team both finished with a perfect 4-0 record in the preliminary round of the 23rd William Jones Cup. Taiwan trounced Hong Kong 82-30 in the final first round game and won the Group A. New Zealand topped Group B with a 75-52 victory over South Korea.

Philippines upset Japan NT 93-82 in the most exciting game in day 4 and squeezed in the final four. In today's crossover semis, Philippines will face Sydney-bound New Zealand, Taiwan will take on Korea. Taiwan and New Zealand are favored to advance to the final.

Day 5, July 27
Taiwan 82-30 Hong Kong
All Taiwanese scored in this "exhibition game". Chiu Chi-Yi led with 17 points on 5 three-pointers. Young phenom Chen Hsin-An collected 9 points and 7 rebounds in limited action.

New Zealand 75-52 South Korea
Trailing 30-43 in halftime to the taller and stronger New Zealand, Koreans twice managed two points lead on hot-shooting of Lee Hyung Joo early in the second half. However Lee left the court after suffering two elbows, Koreans collapsed and scored only 8 points in the final 11 minutes. 205cm center Kim Joo Sung led the Koreans with 13 points. Tony Rampton and Ralph Lattimore paced New Zealand with 18 points each.

Philippines 93-82 Japan
American Christopher Clay again tallied 33 points to lead the Philipinos, which dominated the paint with 19 offensive rebounds. Japan did make 13 three-pointers on nearly 60% accuracy, but it's not enough to overcome their miserable 33% shooting in the two-point territory and poor execution.

South Africa 57-49 Costa Rica
South Africa finally recorded the first win in their 8-year Jones Cup history. Costa Rica lost a game it was supposed to win, surrendering 16 offensive rebounds to the younger and energetic South Africans.

Day 4, July 26
Taiwan 90-80 Japan
New Zealand 89-33 Taiwan 2nd
South Korea 88-69 Costa Rica
Malaysia 74-45 Hong Kong

1. Taiwan 4-0
2. Philippines 3-1
3. Japan 2-2
4. Malaysia 1-3
5. Hong Kong 0-4

1. New Zealand 4-0
2. South Korea 3-1
3. South Africa 1-3
4. Costa Rica 1-3
5. Taiwan 2nd 1-3

Wednesday, July 26, 2000

2000 William Jones Cup Day 1 - 3 Report

Day 1 - July 23
Taiwan 102-85 Philippines
Chen Hsin-An 27p(5-7 3PT), Chen Chih-Chun 10p+11a, Chiu Chi-Yi 15p
Christopher Clay 33p, Jeffrey Flowers 16p

Costa Rica 67-57 Taiwan 2nd
Yan Shi-Hao 15p, Lee Feng-Yung 11p

Japan 90-65 Malaysia
South Korea 86-66 South Africa

Day 2 - July 24
Taiwan 80-44 Malaysia
Chen Chih-Chun 17p+5a, Cheng Chih-Lung 13p

South Korea 83-58 Taiwan 2nd
Kim Byong Chul 13p
Tan Buo-Cheng 12p+9rb, Chang Chi-Feng, Yang Shi-Hao and Lin Cheh-Li with 11p each

Philippines 87-52 Hong Kong
New Zealand 89-57 South Africa

Day 3 - July 25
Taiwan 2nd 74-73 South Africa
Taiwan 2nd pulled out their first win in the tournament with a 22-10 rally in the last 10 minutes, when they overcame the 12 points deficit.
Lin Cheh-Li 16p, Chang Chi-Feng 14p

Philippines 83-58 Malaysia
Christopher Clay 17p, Jeffrey Flowers 10p

Japan 84-61 Hong Kong
New Zealand 76-58 Costa Rica

Taiwan 2-0
Japan 2-0
Phillipines 2-1
Hong Kong 0-2
Malaysia 0-3

South Korea 2-0
New Zealand 2-0
Costa Rica 1-1
Taiwan 2nd 1-2
South Africa 0-3

Tuesday, July 25, 2000

Taiwan Junior National Team Roster - Year 2000

(16th Asian Basketball Championship for Junior Men)

Name     Position Height DOB
Wu Yung-Jen   G    176  1982.9.22
Chou Shih-Yung  F    188  1983.11.16
Tien Lei     C/F   199  1983.6.1
Hsu Hao-Cheng  G    176  1982.9.14
Hsu Tse-Hsin   G    176  1982.6.4
Ho Shou-Cheng   F    195  1983.5.15
Chao Chia-Chun  G    184  1982.1.12
Tseng Wen-Ting  C    202  1984.7.6
Huang Chih-Chun G    180  1982.4.23
Hsu Cheng-Wen  F    195  1983.4.6
Lin Chih-Chieh  F    190  1982.6.11
Wu Tai-Hao   C    202  1985.2.7

Head Coach - Chung Kwang Suk(Former South Korean NT coach)
Coach - Huang Wan-Lung, Hsu Chin-Che

Taiwan Junior NT in Asian Championship Final Four

Led by former Korean NT coach Chung Kwang Suk, Taiwan Junior NT edged Japan 78-73 and advanced to the final four of the 16th Asian Championship for Junior Men in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Bulky forward Hsu Cheng-Wen surprised with his 17 points performance and helped Taiwan NT overcome a late Japanese comeback.

Taiwan led the game throughout and held a 76-64 advantage with 1:34 remaining, but Japan knocked down three three-pointers within one minute and cut the deficit to three points. PG Huang Chih-Chun iced the game with two clutch free-throws in the waning seconds.

Taiwan NT will face South Korea in the cross-over semifinal later tonight, while China takes on Japan in the other semi. Winners advance to the championship game.

Previous Results
(Preliminary Round)
July 18 - defeated Saudi Arabia 74-69(41-36 Halftime)
Hsu Tse-Hsin 19p, Tien Lai 17p+8rb, Ho Shou-Cheng 14p, Huang Chih-Chun 6p+4a

July 19 - defeated Lebanon 99-69(54-40)
Chou Shih-Yung 17p, Tien Lei 16p, Chao Chia-Chun 16p

July 20 - defeated Iran 84-82

July 22 - defeated Hong Kong 115-54(56-37)

(Second Round)
July 23 - defeated Kuwait 96-82(40-25)...clinched semifinal birth
Tien Lei 14p, Chao Chia-Chun 14p, Huang Chih-Chun 11p, Hsu Tse-Shin 11p, Hsu Hao-Cheng 10p

July 25 - defeated Japan 78-73(44-41)
Hsu Cheng-Wen 17p, Huang Chih-Chun 13p, Tien Lei 12p, Lin Chih-Chieh 12p

Monday, July 24, 2000

2000 William Jones Cup International Basketball Tournament Complete Team Roster

PHILIPPINES NATIONAL TEAM(Laguna Lakers of the Metropolitan Basketball League)
4 Christopher Clay 29 F 198
5 Jerome Barbosa 23 F 185
6 Rolando Basilides 28 F 193
7 Jasper Ocampo 26 G 173
8 Genesis Sasuman 32 G 185
9 Christian Nicdao 24 F 198
10 Chrisado Bade 30 F 191
11 Michael Garcia 27 F 191
12 Ryan Bernado 23 C 196
15 Jeffrey Flowers 22 C 208
Head Coach:Edgardo Cordero

3 Chen Hsin-An 20 F 193/89
4 Chou Hong-Yu 24 F 195/88
5 Lin Yu-Shu 24 F 193/91
6 Huang Pao-Tzu 24 G 180/70
8 Chen Chih-Chung 23 G 183/74
9 Chiu Chi-Yi 25 G 182/72
12 Cheng Chih-Lung 31 F 192/85
13 Lo Shin-Liang 29 G 182/80
15 Lee Chi-Yi 22 C 198/90
17 Yang Yu-Ming 21 G 180/72
32 Wu Chih-Wei 24 C 202/92
33 Lin Hsin-Hua 25 C 199/90
Head Coach:Chen Yi-Fei

4 Fan Kan-Hsiang 20 G 165/65
5 Chang Chi-Fung 19 G 182/82
6 Huang He-Cheng 20 G 180/72
7 Yang Shi-Hao 20 F 190/88
8 Tan Buo-Cheng 20 C 203/114
9 Chen Pen-Huang 20 F 195/91
10 Yu Yue-Lun 20 G 176/70
11 Lee Feng-Yung 20 C 196/87
12 Lo Cheng-Kuan 19 C 197/103
13 Ha Hsiao-Yuan 19 C 198/98
14 Lin Cheh-Wei 20 F 194/85
15 Lin Cheh-Li 19 F 186/84
16 Wu Yi-Min 19 F 194/75
Head Coach:Tean Jia-Shiang

4 Kazuhiro Shoji 26 F 191/92
5 Fumihiko Aono 22 C 210/120
6 Kiyofumi Shioya 30 C/F 200/105
7 Kenichi Sako 30 PG 179/82
8 Koji Naya 27 SG 190/95
9 Takehiko Orimo 30 SG 190/77
10 Takahiro Setsumasa 28 PG 180/75
11 Tatsuya Miyahokoshi 26 SG 188/90
12 Motohiro Obuchi 26 F 195/90
13 Satoru Furuta 29 C/F 199/95
14 Satoshi Sakumoto 28 SG 190/83
15 Takuya Kita 28 SG 185/83
Head Coach:Thomas Newell

4 Kim Tae Wan 21 C 202/105
5 Kim Seung Hyun 22 G 178/72
6 Jeon Hyung Soo 22 G 183/78
7 Kim Byong Chul 27 G 185/78
8 Lee Hyung Joo 22 G/F 183/76
9 Hwang Jin Won 22 G/F 189/77
10 Kim Jong Hak 22 C/F 198/87
11 Lee Han Kwon 22 C 197/83
12 Park Jae Il 25 F 190/80
13 Song Young Jin 22 C/F 198/80
14 Kim Joo Sung 21 C 205/93
15 Jung Hoon 21 F 200/85
Head Coach:Lee Jong Ho

4 Stephen McDougal 22 F 192/82
5 Alberto Beckford 19 C 190/88
6 Dario Fraite 19 C 195/82
7 Andres Barrantes 20 G 183/83
8 Juan Arguedas 25 G 187/86
9 Franklin Ferguson 24 C 198/95
10 Hernan Robertson 34 G 195/86
11 Edgar Barrantes 25 F 189/91
12 David Barrantes 21 F 193/79
13 Hernal Gardener 18 C 202/88
14 Warner Bolanos 21 C 194/88
15 Yamil Bukele 23 F 195/92
Head Coach:Ricardo Sanchez

4 Chris Tupu 32 G 170/73
5 Nenad Vucinic 35 G 193/89
6 Kirk Penney 20 G 195/99(Wisconsin)
7 Paul Henare 21 G 182/94
8 Phillip Jones 26 G/F 197/90
9 Brad Riley 26 F 198/95
10 Ralph Lattimore 33 G 194/92
11 Mark Dickel 24 G 187/84(UNLV)
12 Tony Rampton 24 C 212/105(Iowa State)
13 Peter Pokai 35 F/C 200/120
14 Robert Hickey 26 C 212/115
15 Pero Cameron 26 F/C 199/128
Head Coach:Keith Mair

Sam Lap Ping 178/65
Lai Long Hei 184/70
Tse Wai Hung 184/62
Siu Chun Yip 193/79
Poon Chi Ho 180/70
Leung Kwok Shing 183/75
Shek Siu Kei 180/70
Tang Yiu Ho 189/75
Poon Wei Hoi 183/85
Yung Kam Wah 183/70
Chan Kwok Keung 179/70
Head Coach:Leung Hay

4 Tan Gan Soon 20 G 176/73
5 Ng Joo Lay 22 G 178/67
6 Ong Hung Thiam 19 G 179/67
7 Chew In Lai 20 F 173/73
8 Ng Yeo Seng 19 F 188/79
9 K. Satyaseelan 22 F 185/74
10 Lim Yik Kean 20 F 185/85
11 Toh Chin Thaiam 24 F/C 191/95
12 Fadlisyam Ismail 21 F 191/82
13 Oliver Sejas Tingin 19 G 178/72
14 Chong Yu Chung 20 G 180/63
15 Chang Chin Ho 23 C 196/83
Head Coach:Tan Kok Heng

4 Tshepo Ditshego 21 G 177/63
5 Bereng Ntete 21 G 185/70
6 Tshwantsho Melato 21 G 188/68
7 Joseph Mazibuko 20 G 188/80
8 Kenneth Motaung 22 G 190/82
9 Thabang Kgedi 22 F 199/87
10 Lebogang Nxumato 22 G 184/74
11 Sifiso Ngeobo 25 G 187/84
12 Nyakallo Nthuping 20 C 200/85
14 Floyd Mtimkulu 19 F 194/87
15 Nakedi Maputla 23 G/F 194/86
Head Coach:Michel Katalay

2000 William Jones Cup International Basketball Tournament Facts and Schedules

July 23-July 29, 2000

Taipei Physical Education College Gymnasium

Teams will be seperated into two brackets A and B, playing on a single round robin system.
The top two teams from each bracket will advance to the cross-over semifinals.

A - Taiwan NT, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines
B - Taiwan NT 2nd, Costa Rica, Korea, New Zealand, South Africa


Costa RIca-Taiwan 2nd
Korea-South Africa

July 24
Philippines-Hong Kong
South Africa-New Zealand
Taiwan 2nd-Korea

July 25
Hong Kong-Japan
New Zealand-Costa Rica
Taiwan 2nd-South Africa

July 26
Hong Kong-Malaysia
Costa Rica-Korea
New Zealand-Taiwan 2nd

July 27
South Africa-Costa Rica
Korea-New Zealand
Taiwan-Hong Kong

July 28
9th-10th place game
7th-8th place game
Semifinal I
Semifinal II

July 29
5th-6th place game
3rd-4th place game
Awards Ceremony

Tuesday, June 27, 2000

KMT Take Over Mars

Former ruling party KMT(also known as Nationalist Party), which lost the presidential election in March to rival DPP, announced it will take over the Mars. This move, many believe, will make Mars one of the few teams in the world which is owned by a political party.

KMT Management Committee will assign one of its companies to take over the Mars officially. Also, it will pay all players' salary(Mars players haven't received any salary for a year) plus the 9M NT dollars debt which the team owes the league.

KMT is one of the richest political party in the world. In a recently released report by KMT, its asset totaled more than 78 billion NT dollars(2.52 billion US dollars).

With KMT taking over one of its teams, the NEW CBA will be in a much healthier situation. All five teams that will participate in the new season are financially stable. The only problem is whether they can regain the trust between one another and let the league office take care of all business and competition details. In the past, rarely a plan went by without team owners' argument.

Sources say the league office has set up the primary date for the new season. Each team will play 40 regular season games in the 2000 season. The season will tipoff on November 17 and ends its regular season on April 15, 2001. The playoff ends on May 13, 2001.

About 70% of the 100 regular season games will be played in Taipei and Panchiao, both located in the northern part of Taiwan. Other games will be distributed to all other major cities throughout the island.

Sunday, June 18, 2000


Taiwan NT defeated Hong Kong SINA All-Stars 98-94 on June 17 with the help of import Emmett Hall's 23 points and 11 rebounds. Taiwan NT is now 3-4 in the 20-game ABA(Asian Basketball Association) regular season, tied third with KBL All-Stars from South Korea.

Import Michael Cumberland collected 21 points and 5 rebounds to lead the Hong Kong All-Stars. Hong Kong and Japan All-Stars finished last with 1-6.

China NT edged NBA Ambassadors 83-80 in China and became the only undefeated team in the six-team league. China NT is on top with 7-0 record, the Ambassadors is second with 6-1.

In the third game, KBL All-Stars beat Japan All-Stars 112-97 in Seoul.


Chinese Basketball Alliance will re-open its season on November 17, CBA President/General Manager CHEN CHENG-CHUN announced yesterday(June 17). Five of the original six teams, except the Dacin Tigers, will compete in the new season.

Hong-fu Rams, Mars, Yulon Dinos, Hong-kuo Elephants and Luckipar Panthers will have to submit 10 million NT dollars to the league. League office says the official season schedule will be released within two weeks.

The most glaring changes in the new season will be the "Balance Draft", which is held after next month's William Jones Cup Internaional Tournament. Each team is allowed to keep only five local players. Players who are not kept by any team will automatically enter the draft pool. League office figures the balance draft will make five teams more balanced in talent, therefore produce more exciting games.

The first college draft will also be held after the Jones Cup and broadcast live. In September the league will setup the Import Players Draft. The pre-season games will be played in October.

Although Dacin Tigers made it clear they will not be back in the CBA within three years, Chen Cheng-chun did not rule out the possibility to invite the Tigers back in the next few months.

The CBA suspended its season in mid-March 1999, midway thru its fifth season, due to numerous financial difficulties.

Thursday, April 27, 2000

CBA Hopes to Re-start in November

Six CBA teams have all agreed to play in the new season, which may start in November if everything goes well, newly-elected CBA president Chen Cheng-chun announced in an official league press conference on April 24.

Chen said that all six teams, including Dacin Tigers, which claimed it will not consider re-joining the CBA in the next three years, had signed the "Letter-of-intent" to play in the new season.

CBA also released the preliminary schedule of the new season. Training camps will open in September, while the exhibition games are scheduled in October. However no specific date is set. 2000-2001 season schedule will be officially released in July.

Chen, who is also the owner of the Hong-fu Rams, will held the double-posts as the league's president and general manager at early stages. No expansion team will be added in the new season, Chen said.

Chen promised to lay down a number of "systems", including player trades and local/import draft, that never was carried out in the previous five years of the league.

Mars(former BCC Mars) is looking for a new ownership, after the Broadcasting Corporation of China dropped the sponsorship for the team. New owner is believed to be set before July. At this moment, Mars is still the only team without an owner.

CBA suspended all action midway thru its fifth season in March, 1999. After the suspension, the CBA organized several mini-size tournaments and formed a re-structuring committee, hoping to bring back the league. Six teams of the CBA are Hong-kuo Elephants, Yulon Dinos, Luckipar Panthers, Hong-fu Rams, Dacin Tigers and Mars.

Saturday, April 01, 2000

Yulon Wins Millennium Series Title

Twenty year-old high-flying F/G CHEN HSIN-AN collected 20 points on his way to Finals MVP in Game 3 of the Millennium Series Finals, which the Yulon Dinos defeated Hong-kuo Elephants 76-66 on March 28 and swept the best-of-five series in three games.

Ironically, Yulon also played its last CBA game after cutting down the nets. The Dinos announced weeks ago they will move back to semi-pro A-League after the series. The team claimed that the shaky financial status leaves them with no other choice but to move back.

Moving back to the A-League will cost the team less money because most of the player will have their pay cut down. And they will not have to travel as often in the A-League, which plays all its games in Taipei area.

Trailing 0-2, injured Hong-kuo frontcourt Rex Manu and Liu Yi-shan both decided to play in the deciding game. 6-8 center Manu collected team-high 22 points and 13 rebounds, but still not enough to push Hong-kuo over the hump. 5-9 PG Chou Jun-san chipped in 17 points, while 5-11 SG Lo Shin-liang contributed 16 points and 6 rebounds.

6-foot-4 Chen Hsin-an is clearly the brightest star in the series, where he was voted for Rookie of the Year, Finals MVP, and one of three members of PUMA ELITE-THREE TEAM. With his ability to play inside and outside, his explosiveness to the basket and acrobatic dunk, plus his handsome looks, Chen is regarded as the hottest Taiwan young stars in the new millennium.

Now a sophomore at Taipei Physical Education College, Chen was named by Asian Basketball Confederation as one of the two brightest junior players, along with 7-6 China center Yao Ming.

CBA's future still uncertain
With its re-structuring going almost a year, the CBA's future is still uncertain. The re-structure committee originally planned to re-started the league in November, although two of CBA's six teams decided to move back to semi-pro league. However the committee did not make any encouraging progress since mid-February as far as bringing the league back.

Several CBA players had signed with semi-pro teams to continue their basketball career. Two-time CBA Finals MVP Cheng Chih-lung, who played with Hong-kuo during 1994-98, signed with Dacin Tigers after spending one season in China's Hilton League. Dacin is one of the two CBA teams moving back to A-League.

Cheng helped Shanghai Sharks to the best finish in franchise history, but rumors said they will not re-sign Cheng. Shanghai lost to Bayi Rockets 0-3 in the Hilton League Finals.

Hsiung Jen-chen(nicknamed Bear) of Hong-fu Rams also signed with Da-hwa Constructions. A-League will start its 2000 season in mid-April.

Tuesday, March 28, 2000

Yulon grabs 2-0 lead in Millennium Series Finals

Powered by import Emmett Hall's 25 points and 11 rebounds, Yulon Dinos routed injury-plagued Hong-kuo Elephants 107-75 in Game two of the best-of-five Millennium Series Finals on March 26, grabbing a quick 2-0 lead and is one win away from the title. The deciding Game 3 is scheduled on March 28.

Yulon took advantage of the short-handed Elephants, who were forced to play without two of their big men, and led from start to finish in the game. Hong-kuo's 6-8 import Rex Manu was out due to left hand fracture, 6-7 local center Liu Yi-shan also was out because of left ankle sprain in Game 1.

Local young star Chen Hsin-an tallied 31 points, single-handedly helping Yulon with a 80-77 close win in Game 1. Chen, who's dubbed "Prince of Dunk" by local fans, scored 15 of Dino's 19 points in the fourth quarter. With his 6-4 height, unlimited shooting range and awesome explosiveness, most observers think Chen is a potential hoop star in Asia in the 21 century.

*Game 1 Summary
YULON 80-77 HONG-KUO 3/25
Yulon - Chen Hsin-an 31p, 4rb, 4s ; Lee Yun-kwang 13p, 10a ; Emmett Hall 18p, 10rb
Hong-kuo - Chou Jun-san 16p ; Rex Manu 15p, 9rb ; Lo Shin-liang 14p, 7rb

*Game 2 Summary
YULON 107-75 HONG-KUO 3/26
Yulon - Emmett Hall 25p(10-15 FG), 11rb ; Dong-fan Che-ter 16p(7-11 FG) ; Wu Chi-wei 19p
Hong-kuo - Chiu ter-chi 17p ; Yang Shi-how 11p

Friday, March 24, 2000

Long-time rival Yulon, Hong-kuo meet again in Millennium Series Finals

After three months, it's still Yulon vs Hong-kuo. Yulon Dinos trounced BCC Mars 2-0 in CBA's Millennium Series semifinals, while Hong-kuo Elephants surprisingly knocked out regular season second place Luckipar Panthers 2-1. Both teams will meet in the best-of-five Finals, which begins on March 25.

Yulon and Hong-kuo met three straight years from 1995-1997 in the previous CBA Finals, with Hong-kuo winning two championships in '97 and '98. Yulon vs Hong-kuo has become the most intense rivalry in taiwan basketball history.

Hong-kuo was not expected to step into the finals, considering they only finished third place in the regular season with a mediocre 5-5 record. With their top player Cheng Chih-lung opted playing in China, Hong-kuo has been inconsistent under young coach Chiu Da-tsun. However they surprised everybody with their effective 1-3-1 zone defense and upset favorite Luckipar in the best-of-three semi.

On the other hand, clear-cut favorite Yulon dominated the regular season with 8 wins and 2 losses, featuring high-flying 6-4 young star Chen Hsin-an and 6-5 import Emmett Hall. Obviuosly, they are the most explosive offensive team in the league.

Most experts believe the talent and cohesiveness of Yulon is too much for Hong-kuo to overcome this time, not like the old years they clashed in the CBA Finals, when star-loaded Hong-kuo was always the favorite. But you never know.

RESULTS: Yulon wins series 2-0
Game1 - March 14, Yulon 99-89 Mars
Behind Chen Hsin-an's hot shooting, Yulon led from start to finish...
Yulon - Chen Hsin-an 30p, Emmett Hall 18p; Mars - Yen Hsin-shu 15p, Matt Bryant 16p, Chianti Roberts 16p, 9rb, 4a

Game2 - March 16, Yulon 89-74 Mars
Yulon take a quick 14-point lead they never relinguished just 14 minutes into the game, the rest is history...Mars lead guard Yen Hsin-shu did not play due to waist injury...
Yulon - Emmett Hall 31p, Dong-fan Che-ter 16p, Chiu Chun-chi 18p; Mars - Chianti Roberts 20p, Matt Bryant 15p

RESULTS: Hong-kuo wins series 2-1
Game1 - March 15, Hong-kuo 90-89(2OT) Luckipar
Puzzled by Hong-kuo's 1-3-1 zone, Luckipar lost the big lead late in the regulation...Erik Martin made just 1 of 4 free-throws in the deciding moments in the second overtime
Luckipar - Erik Martin 27p, 23rb

Game2 - March 17, Luckipar 81-59 Hong-kuo
Luckipar did not make the same mistake in Game 1, they jumped on Hong-kuo early and led 49-31 in halftime...
Luckipar - Erik Martin 21p, 19rb, 9a, Hsu Yun-yi 16p; Hong-kuo Rex Manu 14p, 18rb, Chou Jun-san 13p

Game3 - March 20, Hong-kuo 77-74 Luckipar
Lo Shin-liang tallied 21 points and iced the victory for Hong-kuo with two clutch free-throws with 3 seconds remaining...
Hong-kuo - Lo Shin-liang 21p, Rex Manu 23p, 11rb; Luckipar - Erik Martin 17(6-18 FG, 5-10 FT)p, 24rb, 7a, Chen Chi-chun 26p, 4a, 3s

GAME1 - March 25
GAME2 - March 26
GAME3 - March 28
GAME4 - March 30(if necessary)
GAME5 - March 31(if necessary)

Monday, March 13, 2000

Brian Reese Released by Mars

Former North Carolina standout Brian Reese was released by BCC Mars prior to the Mars vs. Hong-kuo game, Mars' last regular season game.

Mars coach Chun Chih-mun said Reese has been told to improve his bad attitude and unwillingness to work under team concept but has not shown improvement.

Mars will head into the Millennium Series playoffs without American import but right now is contacting former import Chianti Roberts, team official said.

Saturday, March 11, 2000

Top Under-18 Prospects In Taiwan

(Rank, Name, Position, Height/Weight, Class, School, Birthdate)

1. TIEN LEI, C/F, 201/81, HS Sophomore, San-min HS, 1983/6/1
Most dominant big man in high school basketball...possesses great instinct while is a potential small forward in the future...Averaged 11.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.8 blocks this season...

2. CHOU SHI-YUAN, SF/G, 190/71, HS Freshman, San-min HS, 1983/11/16
Led the team in scoring as a freshman...Can score from perimeter and underneath...very athletic, great speed...Averaged 21.1 points and 5.2 rebounds this season...

3. TSUN WEN-DIN, C, 203/85, HS Freshman, Tsai-shin HS, 1984/7/6
With his height and young age, putting on some extra weight can make him a promising big man...

4. HO SHO-CHENG, PF, 194/81, HS Sophomore, Song-shan HS, 1983/2/15
Averaged just 9.5 points and 5.1 rebounds this season...but insiders say he has great potential to be a special player

5. CHAO CHIA-CHUN, SG, 184/76, HS Senior, Tsai-shin HS, 1982/1/12
Scored HBL(High school basketball League) season-high 43 points in February...can switch to PG

6. WU YONG-YEN, PG, 178/70, HS Sophomore, San-min HS, 1982/9/22
Arguably the best PG in Taiwan HS basketball...always control the tempo with cool demeanor...Averaged 10.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists this season...shooting over 50% from three-point range

7. HUANG CHI-CHUN, PG, 180/69, HS Senior, Nan-shan HS, 1982/4/23
Led school to league final last year...voted the best defensive player in last year's NIKE JAPAN CAMP...a lead guard who can also score...

8. KAO JIAN-WEI, PF, 195/85, HS Senior, Nan-shan HS, 1982/1/27
Great body...sweet touch around the rim...needs to improve outside shooting to expand his game...

9. WU DAI-HOW, C, 200/100, Incoming HS Freshman, Mucha Junior High School, 1985/?/?
A 14 1/2 year-old who was discovered recently...raw but has good coordination and athleticism...

10. LU GONG-YI, F, 184/83, HS Sophomore, Kao-yuan HS, 1982/12/7
Tenacious on both ends of the floor...always give 110% on the court...plays forward, even center, on a relatively weak team...Drew rave reviews from American coaching legend Pete Carril in last year's NIKE TAIWAN CAMP...

NOTE: 3-year high school classification in Taiwan--Freshman, Sophomore, Senior

Friday, March 10, 2000

Millennium Series Report

3/10 YULON 100-84 DACIN
Yulon -- Chen Hsin-an 22p, 6rb ; Emmett Hall 18p, 9rb, 4s ; Chiu Chi-yi 18p, 6a ; Chou Hung-yu 13p, 6rb
Dacin -- Von Bennett 26p, 23rb, 3a ; Hong Yi-chuan 28p, 6a

3/3 LUCKIPAR 110-101 DACIN
Lucki -- Erik Martin 31p, 18rb, 10a ; Chen Chih-chun 20p, 4a, 4s ; Lin Hsin-hwa 17p
Dacin -- Von Bennett 32p, 14rb, 3a ; Hong Yi-chuan 27p, 6a, 5s ; Chen Jun-jay 17p

3/2 HONG-KUO 78-75 HONG-FU
Hong-kuo -- Lo Shin-liang 29p, 5a ; Liu Yi-shian 21p, 7rb ; Rex Manu 15p, 10rb, 4a
Hong-fu -- Shun Yen-cheng 20p, 8rb ; Shan Wei-fan 17p, 6rb ; Chu Chi-chin 13p, 9rb, 3s

3/1 YULON 85-74 MARS
Yulon -- Emmett Hall 23p, 14rb, 4s, 3blk ; Chen Hsin-an 19p, 5rb ; Chiu Chun-chi 15p
Mars -- Yen Hsin-shu 20p ; Lee Chi-yi 14p, 6rb ; Brian Reese 9p, 11rb, 4a

STANDINGS (thru March 10)
Yulon 8-2
Luckipar 6-3
Hong-kuo 5-4
Hong-fu 4-5
Mars 3-6
Dacin 2-8
(*clinched playoff spot ; each team plays 10 games)

Monday, February 28, 2000


It's hard for everyone to imagine Hong-fu almost released Mike Elliott two weeks ago, if you saw THE SAME Mike Elliott who averaged 27.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 7.5 assists this week.

Elliott dominated in both games in the week and helped Hong-fu Rams to a four-game winning streak after a 0-4 start. With two games remaining for each team, Hong-fu now has a legitimate chance to squeeze into the playoffs for the first time in team history.

Hong-fu now ties with Hong-kuo at 4-4, trailing only Yulon(6-2) and Luckipar(5-3), but leads fifth place BCC Mars only one game. Dacin, which lost its both games this week, is out of the 4-team playoffs.

Elliott's hot hand showed in the Feb.25 Mars game. He swished his first eight three-point attempts in the first half, finished with 9-12 from three-point range and a game-high 32 points. His 7.5 assist average this week also erased earlier critics from the coaching staff saying he played too selfish.

Elliott's playing style obviously changed a lot compared to his first stint in the CBA. He played with Yulon Dinos back in 97-98 season and also was labeled "too selfish".

Elliott said he matured a lot and began to learn hwo to play under team concept better over the past two years. Before he joined Yulon in 97-98, he was the leading scorer in 1997 KBL(South Korea) season. He said that kind of made him look for scoring first.

Meanwhile, Luckipar has plenty of reasons to smile, and Erik Martin is still their lucky star. With Martin's 23 points and 18 rebounds, Luckipar trounced league-leading Yulon by 31 points and won its fifth straight game. Luckipar now ranked second behind Yulon in the Millennium Series.

Yulon shot only 29.7% from the field in the game, registered both the lowest FG percentage and scoring record(59) in the series.

HF- Mike Elliott 23p, 6rb, 7a, 7s ; Shan Wei-fan 26p, 6rb ; Ma Chao-min 12p
DACIN- Von Bennett 28p, 13rb, 6a, 5blk ; Lin Chia-shen 18p ; Chen Jun-jay 16p, 7rb

LUCKIPAR- Erik Martin 23p, 18rb ; Yang Yu-min 20p ; Chen Chi-chun 13p
YULON- Chen Hsin-an 12p ; Emmett Hall 10p

HK- Lo Shin-liang 23p ; O-Yang Jin-hen 21p, 4a
DACIN- Von Bennett 27p, 14rb ; Hong Yi-chun 15p

HF- Mike Elliott 32p, 7rb, 8a(9-12 3PT) ; Chu CHi-chin 16p, 11rb
MARS- Brian Reese 24p, 9rb, 4a ; Yen Hsin-shu 18p, 5rb, 6a, 8TO

STANDINGS thru February 28

Friday, February 25, 2000


VON BENNETT, 6-8, Oklahoma State, DACIN TIGERS, Rank:***
Ever since he joined Tigers in their debut 95-96 season, Bennett has been one of the CBA's most dominating inside presences, twice leading the league in rebounding, including the suspended 98-99 season.

Bennett is a traditional wide-body who's ultra-effective in the paint, which explains why he is always among the top FG pct. shooters. The presence of Bennett forces opponents to double down almost every time he touches the ball, therefore creating more open shots for his teammates.

Bennett has a sweet touch around the basket, also features a nice mid-range jumper. Meanwhile, this terrific rebounder is always relentless on the looseball and missed shots.

The knock on him, obviously, is his passing ability. He never averages more than three assists per game, a fact hard to take because he is always doubled. To many times Bennett decides to take the whole game upon himself and forget about his teammates. Ill-time temper is also one of his weaknesses.

ERIK MARTIN, 6-5, Cincinnati, LUCKIPAR PANTHERS, Rank:****
Martin is clearly one of the most versatile imports in CBA history because he can play four positions except center. Registering a 20-20 is no easy task for any player but it's a piece of cake for Martin.

Martin's awesome upper body strength makes him hard to stop around the block. He is also a matchup nightmare for opposing team. When facing a shorter opponent, Martin can eat him down low with ease.When facing a taller defender, Martin can take him off the dribble and knock down jumpers from three-point line and in.

The versatility and experience of Martin makes him the perfect ball handler for Luckipar in end-game or crucial situation. And he rarely lets his teammates down on the isolation play, whether it's a 24-feet three-pointer, mid-range jumper or powering inside for a three-point play. Martin has single-handedly delivered W for the Panthers and saved them from several potential upset losses.

Tough defense used to be Martin's trademark but his defense has slided down a bit in Taiwan, probably because he focuses on scoring most of the time.

EMMETT HALL, 6-5, South Carolina, YULON DINOS, Rank:***
Emmett Hall is maybe a tweener in the States, but under the CBA's 6-8 height limit, he is not that small in the league. It makes Hall a perfect "combo forward" for Yulon, being able to score, slash, rebound and defend.

Hall's shooting range expands to the three-point line, but most of the times he scores from the wing. He's agile and strong enough to defend anybody and quick enough to run the fastbreak. The only problem is, Hall is an above-average defender only when he WANTS to play defense. Sometimes he focuses on scoring too much and forget about the other end.

The biggest upside for him is he plays under team concept and works well with teammates. His monster dunk has become one of fans' favorite within a short period of time.

Thursday, February 24, 2000

Chen Named CBA's New Leader

CHEN CHENG-CHUN, owner of HONG-FU RAMS, was elected President of the "new" CBA on February 22. Chen said he will work toward the goal of re-launching the league in November.

After DACIN TIGERS, YULON DINOS and LUCKIPAR PANTHERS dropping back to the A-League, the CBA is left with three teams, which includes HONG-FU RAMS, HONG-KUO ELEPHANTS and BCC MARS.(Broadcasting Corporation of China, the biggest broadcasting company in Taiwan, is now the official sponsor of the MARS.)

Rumors said president Chen will try to include a fourth team, possibly LUCKIPAR, to start a 4-team new league. Sources said TBA(Taiwan Basketball Association), TBL(Taiwan Basketball League) and others are among the new league names under current discussion.

Chen also said he plan to field a tournament in April or May to keep the local professional basketball going, until the brand new opening in November.

Mars' head coach CHUN CHI-MUN was named the director of the CBA re-structuring committee a couple of months ago. He had worked relentlessly since the first day to bring back the professional basketball for Taiwanese fans.

Chen Cheng-chun is a powerful legislator in Taipei City Council and owns business which includes insurance, real estate, stock and others. Rumors came last year saying Chen is in serious financial trouble, but it looks like his business is in a more stable situation at this moment.

Sunday, February 20, 2000

Erik Martin Keeps Rolling

It was a dreadful week for the CBA. We saw Dacin scored 64 in 48 minutes, with a 31.4% shooting percentage, while Yulon beat long-time rival Hong-kuo despite making only 34.5% of its shots. Obviously most of the players are worrying more about the league's future than the game they're playing.

The only player catching everybody's attention is Erik Martin, 6-5 import of Luckipar Panthers who did not joined the Panthers until their third game of the season. Martin scored below 25 points only one time in five games he's played, helping Luckipar rebound from a 0-3 start with a four-game winning streak.

Martin's 18 points, 22 rebounds and 11 assists performance last week is the CBA's first triple-double of the season. His 27.8ppg average ranks him on the top of the scoring, surpassing Dacin's Von Bennett.

Besides Yulon and Luckipar, there's a longjam between the other four teams. With the regular season approaching to the end and the playoffs coming, the remaining games are important for the teams that want to squeeze into the playoffs.

2/18 Yulon 74-71 Hong-kuo
Yulon - Emmett Hall 16p, 14rb, 3a ; Chen Hsin-an 15p ; Wu Chi-wei 13p ; Chou Hong-yu 12p, 4s, 3blk
Hong-kuo - Lo Shin-liang 17p, 5rb, 4a ; Liu Yi-shian 17p, 7rb ; Rex Manu 16p, 17rb

2/17 Luckipar 91-82 Mars
Luckipar - Erik Martin 30p ; Hong Chan-chin 17p, 4rb ; Lin Shin-hwa 14p, 8rb

2/16 Hong-fu 86-64 Dacin
Hong-fu - Ma Chiao-min 23p(6-12 3PT) ; Liao Wei-chen 19p, 6rb ; Mike Elliott 16p, 7rb, 4a, 5s ; Shan Wei-fan 14p, 5rb
Dacin - Von Bennett 28p, 16rb ; Hong Yi-chuan 13p ; Chen Jun-jay 12p

STANDING thru February 18
Yulon 6-1
Luckipar 4-3
Hong-kuo 3-4
Mars 3-4
Hong-fu 2-4
Dacin 2-4

Sunday, February 13, 2000

Hong-fu Got First Win; Three Teams Tie at 3-3

In the first week after the Chinese New year's break, Hong-fu Rams finally got their first win with a 94-92 victory over Yulon Dinos. Player of the week goes to Erik Martin(Cincinnati) of Luckipar Panthers, who recorded the first triple-double of the series with 18p, 22rb and 11a.

Meanwhile, Mars, Luckipar and Hong-kuo tie at second place with 3-3 record. With 4-5 games remaining for each team, the scramble makes the playoff picture even more interesting, because No.5 Dacin and last -place Hong-fu are only one and two games behind, respectively.

Mike Elliott(Montana State) banked in a deciding three-pointer with under a minute to go. Hong-fu edged Yulon Dinos 94-92 on February 11 and finally receive its first W. Elliott's 31p, 11rb, 5a and 6s performance not only help the team but also helping himself. Hong-fu decided to keep Elliott, who was said to be "playing selfish" by Rams coaching staff.

Luckipar surprisingly trounced Hong-kuo 100-68 the next day, thanks to Martin's brilliant triple-double performance. The 32-point winning margin is the biggest margin so far in the series. Luckipar made 10-21 behind the 3-PT line. Hong-kuo played its worst game in the series with 22 turnovers and 40.8% shooting.

In the last game of the week, Dacin limited Mars to 12 points in the final quarter and escaped with a 97-94 come-from-behind overtime victory. Von Bennett scored 14 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter and pulled down 23 rebounds. Tiger PG Hong Yi-chun, who scored 6 of his 8 points in overtime, knocked down a three-pointer and completed a three-point play in the extra session.

Three Teams Re-join A-League

CTBA(Chinese Taipei Basketball Association) officially accepted Yulon, Dacin and Luckipar as its members on February 12. The three teams will start playing in the semi-pro A-League in April, after they finished the Millennium Series of the CBA.

However, the CTBA requires three teams playing a complete season, at least thru the end of the year, to prevent them from going back to the pro ranks if the CBA shows any "sign of life".

The Re-structure Committee of the CBA was dissppointed at the announcement. Sources say, the committee has set up the plan to re-open the season in November.

Hong-kuo, Mars and Hong-fu, the three remaining teams of the CBA all said they won't DROP BACK to the amateur ranks.

2/13 HONG-FU 94-92 YULON
HONG-FU - Mike Elliot 31p, 11rb, 5a, 6s ; Liao Wei-chen 18p, 6rb ; Shan Wei-fan 16p, 6rb ; Ma Chao-min 11p
YULON - Emmett Hall 30p, 11rb, 4a, 3s, 2blk ; Lee Yun-kuang 13p

LUCKIPAR - Erik Martin 18p, 22rb, 11a, 5s, 4blk ; Hong Chan-chin 14p, 4s ; Yang Yu-min 16p
HONG-KUO - Rex manu 25p, 13rb ; Huang Chun-hsiung 13p, 5rb

2/11 DACIN 97-94(OT) MARS
DACIN - Von Bennett 26p, 23rb, 4a, 5blk ; Chen Jun-jie 18p, 7a ; Lin Chia-shen 18p
MARS - Matt Bryant 18p, 6rb ; Yen Hsin-shu 16p, 4a ; Brian Reese 15p, 9rb ; Lee Chi-yi 14p, 11rb

STANDINGS(thru February 13)
Yulon 5-1
Mars 3-3
Luckipar 3-3
Hong-kuo 3-3
Dacin 2-3
Hong-fu 1-4

Tuesday, February 01, 2000

Yulon wins five stragiht; Hong-fu still winless

Hottest young star Chen Hsin-an knocked down seven shots in 16 attempts behind the three-point line and scored a game-high 29p, helping Yulon to a 5-0 perfect record with a 102-96 triumph over Hong-fu Rams, which lost its fourth straight and finished dead last in the league.

Import Emmett Hall collected 20p and 10rb in the game. Hall's monster slam in the 3rd quarter destroyed the rim, the league staff had to instructed the alternate backboard before the game could resume.

Hong-fu 6-5 rookie forward Shan Wei-fan, the MVP of A-League last season, showed promising future with a 26p+10rb(7 Orb) outing. PG Mike Elliot again turned in a solid performance with 23p and 10rb, although some still questioned his selfishness and high turnover-rate.

In the best game of the week, we saw Luckipar's Erik Martin and Dacin's Von Bennett engaged in a personal dual. Bennett shattered Martin's CBA season high scoring record(33p) with 35p on 14-20 shooting and pulled down 16rb but came up short in the W-L column. It told Dacin once again that Bennett alone was not enough. Although having trouble guarding big-body Bennett, Martin tallied 33p and 17rb to give Luckipar the most important win of the first half of the season. Luckipar is now 2-3 and in a position to grab the last ticket to the playoff.

All teams will have a 10-day break for the upcoming Chinese New Year before the bottom half of the season starts. League games will not resume until February 11.

1/30 Yulon 102-96 Hong-fu
Yulon - Chen Hsin-an 29p(7-16 3PT), 5rb, 5a, 3s; Emmett Hall 20p, 10rb; Chou Hong-yu 16p; Huang Bao-tze 12p; Wu Chih-wei 11p, 7rb
Hong-fu - Shan Wei-fan 26p, 10rb; Mike Elliot 23p, 10rb, 3a, 6TO

1/29 Mars 87-85 Hong-kuo
Mars - Brian Reese 25p, 14rb; Song Tao 17p, 9rb; Yen Hsin-shu 14p, 6rb, 5a
Hong-kuo - Lo Shin-liang 20p; Chiu Ter-chi 17p; Huang Chun-hsiung 13p; Rex Manu 12p, 10rb; Liu Yi-shian 11p, 11rb

1/28 Luckipar 98-91 Dacin
Luckipar - Erik Martin 33p(10-13 FG, 12-16 FT), 17rb, 3a, 3s; Chen Chih-chun 13p, 6a
Dacin - Von Bennett 35p(14-20 FG), 16rb, 3a, 3s; Hong Yi-chuan 18p

STANDING(thru January 31)
Yulon 5-0
Mars 3-2
Hong-kuo 3-2
Luckipar 2-3
Dacin 1-3
Hong-fu 0-4

Saturday, January 29, 2000

CBA in trouble again

Last week was not a good week for Taiwanese basketball. First, the Millennium Series did not draw too many fans as expected. Attendance numbers in several games failed to reach 1000. Second, three of the current six teams are talking about DROPPING BACK to A-League(Amateur League), actually a semi-pro league because most of the players get pay from their teams.

Suddenly, the future of the Chinese Basketball Alliance doesn't look so good. Again. The possibility of re-opening the league in April is very, very slim.

Officials of Yulon Dinos, Luckipar Panthers and Dacin Tigers all expressed they plan to take a step back and re-join the A-League. The reason is clear: CBA had not been successful financially in the past five years, but the veteran players' salaries skyrocketed due to lack of quality local young players. Teams spent too much money on players and promotions but received nothing in return. Even the TV station dumped their programming contract midway in 1999 season and refuse to pay the league.These teams figure, going back to A-League will cost them less money so they don't have to drop the whole team.

Some observers assume the three remaining teams, Hong-fu Rams, Mars and Hong-kuo Elephants, will try to add 1-3 teams to form a new pro league(4-team or 6-team). However, that is remained to be seen. If the aforementioned three teams re-join the A-League, the CTBA(Chinese Taipei Basketball Association) may opt to change the A-League format to split the league into A-1 and A-2.

CBA suspended its season midway thru 1999, its fifth year, because of financial problems.

Monday, January 24, 2000


Led by young stars duo Chou Hong-yu/Chen Hsin-an and import Emmett Hall, Yulon Dinos opened a four -game winning streak when they defeated Mars 99-92 on January 22. Luckipar Panthers, which lost its previous three games all in the fourth quarter, trounced Hong-fu 90-77 on January 23 and got its first win of the season with the help of former Cincinnati standout Erik Martin, who socred CBA season-high 31 points and pulled down 24 rebounds.

Yulon led the league with 4-0 while Hong-fu Rams(0-3) is the only winless team. Defending champion Hong-kuo, whose star player Cheng Chih-lung elected to play in China's Hilton League, showed some growing pain but managed to finish second with a 3-1 record. Mars(2-2) and Dacin(1-2) rank third and fourth, respectively.

Starting in this season, Hong-kuo's coach Chiu Da-tsun ultilizes his "7-seconds attack", asking his players to shoot within 7 seconds in every possession. Although Hong-kuo is 3-1 at the moment, the tactic is still questioned by many insiders because the Elephants is without its top gun Cheng Chih-lung and relies heavily on youngsters or less talented players. It makes no sense to initiate a shooting match with its opponents.....Following the loss to Luckipar, Hong-fu coach Hu Tsai-lin criticized import Mike Elliot's play, claiming he's too selfish without realizing his point guard role. Hu said the Rams will probably try to find a big man, which they need desperately, to replace Elliot....

IMPORT STATS(thru January 23)
Erik Martin 29.0p, 22.0rb
Von Bennett 23.7p, 23.3rb
Mike Elliot 23.7p, 4.3a
Emmett Hall 20.8p, 10rb
Brian Reese 19.0p
Rex Manu 16.3p, 14rb
Matt Bryant 15.0p

Luckipar - Erik Martin 31p(12-23 FG), 24rb, 3s;Chen Chih-chun 15p, 6a; Lin Hsin-hwa 13p, 9rb
Hong-fu - Mike Elliot 23p, 12rb, 5a;Shan Wei-fan 15p, 6rb;Chu Chih-chin 10p, 9rb

1/22 YULON 99-92 MARS
Yulon - Chou Hong-yu 22p, 5rb, 3s;Chen Hsin-an 21p, 5rb;Emmett Hall 19p, 11rb;Dong Fan Che-ter 16p
Mars - Brian Reese 21p, 9rb;Yen Hsin-hsu 16p, 6rb, 5a, 3s;;Matt Bryant 14p; Lee Chi-yi 12p, 8rb;Song Tao 12p
1/21 HONG-KUO 82-67 DACIN
Hong-kuo - Chou Jun-san 17p, 4rb, 6a;Lo Shin-liang 17p, 7rb, 5s;Rex Manu 12p, 13rb
Dacin - Von Bennett 23p, 26rb

STANDING(thru January 23)
Yulon 4-0
Hong-kuo 3-1
Mars 2-2
Dacin 1-2
Luckipar 1-3
Hong-fu 0-3

Sunday, January 16, 2000

Millennium Series Report

1/14 MARS 91-80 HONG-FU
With five players scoring in double figures, Mars routed Hong-fu 91-80 in a sloppy game. PG Yen Hsin-hsu tallied 24 points on 9-14 shooting and collected 5 assists for the Mars. Brian Reese added 21p, 10rb and 7a. 6-10 center Song Tao also contributed 9p, 11rb and three blocks.

Hong-fu was led by import Michael Elliott's 21 points and 4 steals. 198cm center Chu Chih-chin turned in a brilliant performance with 14p, 8rb, 3s and 5 blocks. 195cm forward Shan Wei-fan added 18p+6rb.

Two teams combined for 34 turnovers. Mars was able to maintain a comfortable lead thanks to its 47.9% shooting, compared to Rams' miserable 40.9%.

The game is not over till it's over. Inexperience and bad excution down the stretch hurt the Luckipar Panthers, who still led by 9 in the end of 3rd quarter and led as many as 17 early in the first half. Luckipar received another heartbreaking loss and face an embarrassing three-game losing streak, losing to Hong-kuo 79-83.

Newly-acquired import Erik Martin could not give the Panthers the first win of the season, even though he tallied 27 points, pulled down 20 rebounds and handed out 4 assists in his outstanding debut. Compared to Hong-kuo's 10 , Luckipar committed 22 fouls in the whole game, which led to a 6-24 FT attempt deficit and eventually cost them the game.

The officiating in the game, especially in the fourth quarter, was somewhat controversial however. Erik Martin replaced Gentry Sparks, who was released by Luckipar earlier in the week.

Hong-kuo was led by sharpshooter Lo Shing-lian's 18 points, 6-8 Rex Manu collected another double-double with 17 and 19. 200cm forward Huang Chun-hsiung added 17p+9rb, while reliable PG Chou Jun-san provided with 15p, 8 rb and 7 assists.

1/16 YULON 99-90 DACIN
Absolutely no surprise. Yulon Dinos beat Dacin Tigers 99-90 and became the only undefeated team in the league. Yulon not only open the season with a 3-game winning streak but also handed Dacin its first loss of the season.

Dinos import Emmett Hall dominated the game with 23 points and 14 rebounds, helping Yulon lead from start to finish. 5-11 young guard Huang Bao-tze turned in his best game in the CBA so far, scoring 16 on 7-12 shooting and passed out 8 assists.

Although Dacin's main weapon Von Bennett managed to score 23 points and oulled down 20 rebounds, Yulon's double-teaming forced Dacin rely on its perimeter shooting for the most of the game. Yulon led by as many as 20 in the first half. The bottom half was virtually garbage time only.

STANDINGS(Thru January 16)
1.Yulon 3-0
2.Mars 2-1
2.Hong-kuo 2-1
4.Dacin 1-1
5.Hong-fu 0-2
6.Luckipar 0-3