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.