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.