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

Tuesday, January 11, 2000

Luckipar Brought Back Martin

Luckipar Panthers brought back ex-import 6-5 ERIK MARTIN(Cincinnati) to replace 6-8 GENTRY SPARKS(Florida State), who averaged 10points and 8 rebounds in two games but committed 11 fouls in 65 minutes, nearly fouling out of both games. Within the span of two weeks, the Luckipar has used three imports, first Mario Lucas, then Sparks, then Martin. However, sources say that Martin was the first option in the back of Panthers GM/Coach Jack Mai's mind prior to the season opener.

Monday, January 03, 2000

Yulon Wins Millennium Series Opener

Led by 19-year-old phenom CHEN HSIN-AN, Yulon Dinos grabbed a 100-94 convincing win over three-time CBA champion Hong-kuo Elephants in the opening game of the Millennium Series, which tipped off on January 1 and will last thru March.

Dubbed by local media as the next Taiwanese superstar, 6-4 wing guard CHEN tallied 28 points, including 5 three pointers on 11 attempts in the lopsided win. The final score does not truly reflect the game, in which Yulon led by as many as 25 points early in the 4th quarter and forced as many as 20 Hong-kuo turnovers.

6-5 forward CHOU HONG-YU, another promising young star, scored 24 on 12-19 field goals for Yulon. 6-5 import EMMETT HALL(U. of South Carolina) also contributed 18 points and 6 rebounds. 6-8 REX MANU(Pepperdine) led Hong-kuo with 22 points and 9 rebounds. Hong-kuo's brilliant tandem also played brilliantly, with 5-9 CHOU JUN-SAN's 16 points, 6 assists and 5-10 LO SHIN-LIANG's 16 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists.

Former UNC standout BRIAN REESE's coast-to-coast drive with 1.1 seconds left lifted the Mars past Luckipar Panthers 79-78 on January 2. With Luckipar's last play ending with losing ball in the traffic, Reese took the ball and dashed fullcourt for a buzzer-beating, game-winning layup, giving the Mars its first win in the Millennium Series.

Hot-shooting MATT BRYANT(Christopher Newport) tallied d 21 points and 7 rebounds in 27 minutes, while 6-6 young center LEE CHI-YI contributed 17p+7rb+4s for the Mars. Surprisingly, Luckipar was led by unheralded 5-9 PG YANG CHI-HOW's 20 points and 6-6 center LIN HSIN-HWA's 19 points and 6 rebounds.

Brian Reese played with Yulon Dinos during 97-98 season but chose to sign with Mars this time around.

STANDING(thru Jan.2)
MARS 1-0