Monday, February 26, 2001

Yulon Wins 2001 A-League Title

Chen Hsin-an tallied 19 points and 5 rebounds to lead a balanced attack as Yulon Dinos defeated BCC Mars 69-58 in the decisive Game 4 of the 2001 A-League Finals on February 24 and won their first A-League title since re-joining the amateur ranks with a 3-1 victory over Mars. 21 year-old SF/G Chen Hsin-an, who averaged 15.3 points in the 4-game series, was voted for the MVP.

Yulon ignited a 14-2 run in the third quarter of the decisive game and secured the victory. Mars, who was left with only seven players because of numerous injuries, never threatened Yulon thereafter. Yulon almost used its starters for the entire game, and they did not disappoint their coach. Chou Hong-yu, who many think should be the real MVP, finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds. SG Chiu Chi-yi scored 15, whlile center Wu Chi-wei collected 13 points and 12 rebounds.

Mars received 14 and 7 from 209cm center Song Tao, 11 points and 7 assists from PG Chen Huei, and 15 points from SG Lin Jia-huang.

2001 A-League Men's First Team
G Yen Shin-shu, Military (182cm)
G Lo Shin-liang, SINA (180cm)
F Chen Hsin-an, Yulon (193cm)
F Lee Chi-yi, Mars (197cm)
F Huang Chun-hsiung, SINA (200cm)

2001 A-League Women's First Team
G/F Chien Wei-juan, Kuo-tai
C Cheng Huei-yun, Kuo-tai
C Peng Ping, Tai-yuan
G Jian Song-jen, Tai-yuan
G Huang Hsiao-jay, Taiwan Telecom

Finals Game 3: Mars 79-66 Yulon (43-35 Half)
Mars took advantaged of its towering frontline, comprised of 209cm Song Tao, 200cm Chen Tse-min and 197cm Lee Chi-yi - to a 40-22 rebounding advantage and shocked Yulon.
Mars - Chen Huei 21p, 5a ; Lee Chi-yi 22p, 7rb ; Song Tao 18p, 14rb ; Chen Tse-min 10p, 14rb
Yulon - Chou Hong-yu 22p ; Chen Hsin-an 14p, 8rb

Finals Game 4: Yulon 69-58 Mars (39-37 Half)

Wednesday, February 21, 2001

Yulon 2-0 in Finals ; SINA Third Place

Yulon took advantage of its depth and speed, grabbed a quick 2-0 lead over injury-plagued Mars in the 2001 A-League Finals. They are only one win away from the championship. SINA also defeated Dacin in consecutive days and finished third place in their first year in the A-League.

SINA 79-71 Dacin (39-40 Half)
Trailing by one at halftime, SINA pulled away in the second half with its balanced offense in the come-from-behind win.
SINA - Lo Shin-liang 16p, 6a ; Huang Chun-hsiung 16p, 11rb ; Chou Jun-san 15p, 7a ; Liu Yi-shiang 12p, 5rb, 4a
Dacin - Cheng Chih-lung 21p, 6rb, 7a ; Ha Hsiao-yuan 21p

Finals Game 1 : Yulon 82-75 Mars (43-44 Half)
After an up-and-down first half, Yulon increased its lead to 73-63 with 5 minutes remaining and overcame underdog Mars, which only dressed nine players.
Yulon - Chou Hong-yu 19p, 9rb ; Chiu Chi-yi 14p ; Huang Bao-tse 12p, 7a
Mars - Lin Jia-huang 26p ; Sun Mao-sun 14p ; Song Tao 14p ; Chen Tse-min 12p, 7rb

SINA 76-49 Dacin (37-23 Half)
SINA - Lo Shin-liang 25p, 5rb, 5a, 4s ; Huang Chun-hsiung 19p, 16rb, 3s ; Liu Yi-shiang 16p, 7rb
Dacin - O-Yang Jin-hen 11p ; Cheng Chih-lung 7p, 4rb, 4a

Finals Game 2 : Yulon 70-62 Mars (33-26 Half)
Mars forward Sun Mao-sun tored his left shoulder ligament and guard Chou Hai-jung suffered knee injury in the first game, making Mars' bench even shorter as they only have seven players to dress up for the game. Mars refused to be intimidated, they kept fighting thru the fourth quarter, when their energy finally burned out. Yulon led as many as 15 points in the fourth.
Yulon - Chen Hsin-an 18p, 5rb, 8a ; Chou Hong-yu 13p, 9rb
Mars - Lin Jia-huang 13p, 7rb ; Lee Chi-yi 12p ; Chen Tse-min 12p ; Song Tao 10p, 9rb

Tuesday, February 20, 2001

HBL Finals : San-min vs. Tsai-shin

HBL boy's basketball is going to the final stage of the season as the third round action concluded on February 18. Led by talented big man Tien Lei, defending champion San-min HS again advance to the finals, where they will face Tsai-shin HS's "Twin Tower" - Tsun Wen-din and Wu Dai-hao.

San-min routed powerful Ping-tung HS on the final day to secure their place in the finals, while Tsai-shin received its only loss in the third round when they were upset by Song-shan HS. San-min will play Tsai-shin in a two-game series Finals on March 10 and 11. Ping-tung will face Nan-shan HS in the third-place game.

With the Finals still two weeks away, the series has already been dubbed as "Battle of the Big Men". San-min and Tsai-shin feature three most talented and sought-after big man in Taiwan. It is expected to be the most exciting high school basketball finals ever.

San-min's 201cm lanky center/forward Tien Lei averaged 14.9p, 11.7rb, 2.9a, 1.4s, 4.1blk and was shooting 52.0% from the field in seven games of the third round. Tien Lei is the most versatile big man on the island and the focal point of the high-power offense of San-min, the most balanced-scoring team this season. He will seize the last chance to bring home the second consecutive championship, since he will graduate from high school this year.

Tsai-shin's twin tower Tsun Wen-din and Wu Dai-hao are Taiwan's version of "Tim Duncan and David Robinson". Tsun, a 203cm-and-growing sophomore, averaged 17.5p, 8.4rb, 2.9a, 1.5s, 4.1blk and 51.3% FG in the third round. Wu, only a freshman but has a 200cm/98kg body, averaged 12.1p, 10.8rb, 2.0a, 1.3s, 1.8blk and 46.2% FG.

Tsun is the most improved big man during the past year and dramatically upgraded his game in almost every area. He usually handle from high-post, where he can easily drop-pass to the low post to Wu, who's already strong enough and hard to stop under the basket.

Other notable players on both team:
PG Wu Yong-jen(177cm, San-min, Senior)
14.1p, 5.0rb, 6.7a, 2.6s, 49.3% FG
SF Chou Shi-yuan(190cm, San-min, Sophomore)
17.8p, 6.7rb, 2.6a, 3.0s, 45.4% FG
SG Chang Yi-wen(183cm, Tsai-shin, Sophomore)
10.7p, 8.4rb, 2.9a, 2.7s, 45.8% FG

Note :
1. Taiwan high school is a three-year system - Freshman, Sophomore, Senior.
2. HBL Boy's basketball plays a 4-quarter 48-minute game, with 12 minutes in every quarter.

■HBL Third Round Final Standings
Team W-L
Tsai-shin 6-1
San-min 6-1
Ping-tung 4-3
Nan-shan 4-3
Kao-yuan 3-4
Song-shan 3-4
Yi-lan 2-5
Chian-shu 0-7

■5th - 8th Place
5. Kao-yuan HS
6. Song-shan HS
7. Yi-lan HS
8. Chian-shu HS

HBL Girls' Tournament 5th - 8th Place
5. Taipei First HS ; 6. Jen-wu HS ; 7. Chih-ping HS ; 8. Miao-li Business HS

Monday, February 19, 2001

Surprise! Yulon vs. Mars in Finals

SINA beat Yulon 62-53 on February 19, but that's not enough for them to gain a place in the 2001 A-League Finals. With Yulon, Mars and SINA all tied at 2-1 in the third round, Yulon and Mars advance to the Finals because of the better won-loss points margin.

The best-of-five A-League Finals and the best-of-three third place games start immediately tomorrow (February 20). A-League Finals features a surprising matchup with Yulon vs. short-handed Mars. SINA will battle for third place with Dacin, who also finished the third round with a disappointing 0-3 record.

Going into the last game, SINA would have to defeat Yulon at least by 18 points to gain the advantage on win-loss margin. They failed and was eliminated with a minus-5 won loss margin. Yulon and Mars advance by the won-loss margin of +12 and +30, respectively.

The Yulon-Mars matchup in the Finals is somewhat a surprise for most people. Yulon was expected to get there, short-handed Mars was not. They are a mix of veterans and mediocre youngsters. However, Chun Chi-mun, who became team councellor after handing head coaching job to player/coach Wang Li-bin, pulled his magic trick once again. Step by step, Mars improved their level of play gradually. 38 year-old shooter Chou Hai-jung made more than half of his three-point attempts in the third round and motivated the whole team.

At the same time, SINA was hurt by the 22-points loss to the Mars in their first third-round game. Instead of cruising to the Finals, which is expected by most people, they were pushed to the final game and never came through.

Yulon 60-51 Dacin
Yulon - Chen Hsin-an 22p
Dacin - Chu Chih-chin 12p, 15rb ; Cheng Chih-lung 7p

Mars 59-36 SINA (Half 34-16)
Mars - San Mao-sun 12p ; Lee Chi-yi 11p ; Chen Huei 11p
SINA - Chou Jun-san 9p ; Lo Shin-liang 7p

SINA 71-63 Dacin
SINA - Huang Chun-hsiung 20p, 10rb ; Hsun "Bear" Jen-jen 14p (4 3-PT)
Dacin - Cheng Chih-lung12p, 7rb, 4a ; Ha Hsiao-yung 18p, 11rb

Yulon 80-68 Mars
Yulon - Chen Hsin-an 22p, 8s ; Chou Hong-yu 17p ; Wu Chih-wei 13p, 12rb
Mars - Chen Huei 23p ; Lin Jia-huang 18p

Mars 85-65 Dacin
Dacin virtually gave up on the game with star guard Cheng Chih-lung not dressing up because of fatigue and ankle injury and mildly-injured veteran center Chu Chih-chin only played 10 minutes. Dacin coach Liu Jia-fa (nicknamed Bobo) said he would not risk the health of his players for a meaningless victory.

SINA 62-53 Yulon
SINA jumped on Yulon right after tip-off and led as many as 21 points, but their lead diminished gradually in the second half. Yulon knew as long as they keep the losing margin within 18 points, they would be in the finals.
SINA - Chou Jun-san 18p, 6a ; Lo Shin-liang 15p, 7a

Third Round Final Standings
1. Mars 2-1 (won-loss margin: +30)
2. Yulon 2-1 (+12)
3. SINA 2-1 (-5)
4. Dacin 0-3

Saturday, February 17, 2001

SINA, Yulon Jump to 2-0 Lead

SINA defeated Dacin 56-48, Yulon beat Jutai Tech 43-31 on February 13 and both teams jumped to a quick 2-0 lead in A-League's second round games. Dacin and BCC Mars dropped to 0-2. Each team has three games left in the second round.

SINA changed the game's momentum with a 17-6 run in the third quarter and never looked back. Sharp shooter Lo Shin-liang led with 17 points and 4 steals while Hsun Jeng-jen scored 12 points. Veteran PG Chou Jun-san contributed 10 points and 6 assists. Dacin was led by Cheng Chan-jun's 18 points (4-7 3-PT) and Cheng Chih-lung's 10 points and 7 rebounds.

In a low-scoring game, Yulon knocked out Jutai Tech with its brilliant defense, making Jutai scoreless over 8 minutes in the second half. SF Chou Hong-yu led Yulon with 11 points and 1o rebounds. Jutai's SG Yang Yu-min scored 11 points. Yulon, who has been criticized for its lack of effort in rebounding, held a 31-29 rebounding advantage.

PG Yen Shin-shu, who had 14 points and 8 assists, made 3 of 4 free-throws in the last 9.6 seconds and led Military to a 60-58 victory over his former team BCC Mars. Yen deliberately missed the second free-throw with 3.8 seconds remaining. Mars grabbed the rebound but missed the tying basket. F Hong Chan-chin scored 18 to lead the Military while F/G Yang Che-yi also scoring 15 points.

Dacin Edged Jutai ; Advance to Final Four

Benifited by a controversial call with 1.2 seconds remaining, Dacin edged Jutai Tech 69-66 and clinched the last seed in the A-League final four on February 16, final day of the second round games.

Dacin, along with SINA, Yulon and Mars, became the last four teams standing in the 16-team A-League this year. The third round games, which is yet another single-round robin, will begin today.

With the score tied at 66 all, referee charged a foul call on Jutai's guard Yang Yu-min when Yang was trying to stop Dacin's Cheng Chih-lung, who received an inbound pass and attempted to make a drive toward the basket around free-throw line.

The call was like a death sentence for Jutai because there's only 1.2 seconds remaining on the game clock. In most cases, refs don't make this kind of call in late game situations. Team delegate Yen Jia-hwa immediately ran onto the court to protest after the whistle and was charged a technical. Dacin made three of the ensuing four free-throws to make the final score. Jutai players refused to play defense and all stood beside the sideline when Dacin inbounded in the last possession.

Everyone knows Dacin was fortunate to get into the final four. They won two straight after opening the second round with a three-game losing streak.

Yulon and SINA both clinched third round seeds after winning three straight. On the other hand, Dacin lost its third straight, which is a surprise for everyone considering their strong rosters.
Yulon 87-78 Military (Military - Yen Shin-shu 29p ; Yulon - Chiu Tsun-chih 21p)
SINA 56-47 Jutai Tech
Mars 65-54 Dacin

Mars advance to the third round with a 2-2 record.
Mars 63-57 Jutai Tech (Mars - Chen Huei 16p ; Song Tao 11p, 7rb)
SINA 45-43 Yulon (PG Chou Jun-san's two free-throws with 5 seconds remaining as SINA edged Yulon)
Dacin 67-42 Military

Dacin grabbed the fourth and final seed of the third round with its victory over Jutai Tech.
Dacin 69-66 Jutai Tech
Yulon 68-66 Mars
SINA 67-65 Military

Team W-L GB
x-SINA 5-0 -
x-Yulon 4-1 1
x-Dacin 2-3 3
x-Mars 2-3 3
Juati Tech 1-4 4
Military 1-4 4
(thru Feb 16)
Format:Single-round robin
x- Advance to 3rd Round

Friday, February 16, 2001


# b. Taiwan high school class (three years): Freshman, Sophomore, Senior
# c. Evaluation based on future potential, not current performance

(17, 202/86, C, Tsai-shin HS, Sophomore)
Comment: At this moment, the best center prospect in Taiwan high school hoops...made great strides during the past year, improved in almost every facet of his game...very long wingspan...a very smart and versatile bigman...good at moving without the ball, great defense anticipation, great passing vision...effective mid-rang jumper...has moved up to our No.1 ranking from No.3 in last year's U-18...needs to bulk up to take the physical pounding...the best is yet to come for this kid...

(16, 200/98, C, Tsai-shin HS, Freshman)
Comment: Possesses unbelievable coordination for a bigman...alwayse intimidates opponents with his highly-aggressive attitude...great one-on-one defense and block-out...right now the best pure center in high school...but don't give this kid too much praise, his improvement has been slowing down a bit...

(18, 201/86, C/F, San-min HS, Senior)
Comment: The most talked-about high school player since his freshman year...skinny but versatile...great passing player on offense...showed great improvement on defense this year...with better outside shooting, has the potential to be the tallest SF in Taiwan basketball history...most envision his best position and future is at small forward...

(18, 195/89, F, Song-shan HS, Senior)
Comment: Song-shan HS's disappointing showing this season dropped his stock a bit...has great instinct on both ends...drew high praise from former New Jersey Nets head coach Don Casey...good perimeter skills and defense...a team-first player...will be a good small forward in the future...

(19, 192/90, F/G, Culture University Freshman/A-League Taiwan Beer)
Comment: Burst onto the national scene during last year's ABC Junior Championship...made immediate impact in his first season with Taiwan Beer in the A-League...a bully forward who's fearless on the court...aggressive on both ends...can score in traffic with his power and make baskets from outside...he's a total package...look for every chance he has to dominate the game...likely will make the national team roster this year...the most promising wing player since Chen Hsin-an...

(18, 188/74, PG, Ping-tung HS, Senior)
Comment: Great court vision and fundamentals...good size for a poing guard...more of an old-school pass-first PG, but he has good scoring ability...can score by himself when he needs to...transfer to Ping-tung HS from Ping-tung Agriculture HS after his sophomore year...will be the hottest PG prospect every A-League team wants to sign this summer after graduation...

(17, 190/73, SF, San-min HS, Sophomore)
Comment: The most explosive scorer in high school...his confidence soared after last year's ABC Junior Championship, where Taiwanese NT finished 4th...showed better shot selection and shooting stroke this year...great speed and shooting touch makes him a dangerous scorer in transition...can shoot anywhere on the floor...needs to put on some weight to take opponents' banging and grabbing...

(18, 192/89, F, Nanshan HS, Senior)
Comment: This kid has the best low-post move in Taiwanese high school...tough and relentless on the floor...probably has to convert to small forward in the future because of his height disadvantage...

(19, 180/75, PG, Fujeng University Freshman/A-League Dacin)
Comment: Following a brilliant high school career, Huang did not make major impact in his first year in the's OK since Dacin is loaded with experienced veterans like Cheng Chih-lung...with more experience and playing time, he will find his own niche in the upper competition...was a good combo guard in high school, scoring both from outside and penetration...

(17, 177/72, PG, Kao-yuan HS, Sophomore)
Comment: This formerly unknown exploded and shocked everyone this season...a smart lead guard who directs teammates, controls the tempo of the game and is a natural floor leader...good outside shooting...

(18, 196/105, C, Pin-tung HS, Senior)
Comment: Can post up and shoot from outside...occasionally made three-pointers and put the ball on the floor...attitude has been his problem...needs to work on defense...

(17, 176/70, PG, Yi-lan HS, Sophomore)
Comment: Another great point guard in this year's outstanding PG class, which includes San-min's Wu Yong-jen, Ping-tung's Hong-chi-chao, Kao-yuan's Kuo Li-wei and Chan-shu's Chen Shi-nien...Among these PGs, Kao is the best in breaking down opponent's defense...excels in drive-and-dish...perimeter shooting stands improvement...

(18, 192/73, F, San-min HS, Sophomore)
Comment: Blue-collar player on talented San-min HS team...his rebounding, defense and hustle are often overlooked in San-min's success...will be a big-time player when C Tien Lei, PG Wu Yong-jen and SG Lee Chi-shun graduate next year...

(17, 195/93, F, Tsai-shin HS, Sophomore)
Comment: Foot injury kept him out for almost the entire year...still have the final year to prove himself...

(19, 195/85, F, A-League Taiwan Beer)
Comment: Showed great poise and guts in his first year in the A-League after graduation from high school...fearless and relentless on both ends of the court in the veteran-laden A-League...this skinny kid will have a bright future if he can make smooth transition from PF to SF...

WU YONG-JEN (18, 176/73, PG, San-min HS, Senior)
CHEN SHI-JAY (16, 173/65, PG, Tsai-shin HS, Freshman)
HSU CHIN-YONG (17, 192/81, F, Yi-lan HS, Sophomore)
WU CHIH-YUAN (17, 201/73, C, Chan-shu HS, Sophomore)
CHEN SHI-NIAN (17, 181/73, G, Chan-shu HS, Sophomore)
HSU HAO-CHEN (19, 177/72, PG, A-League Taiwan Beer)
KUO YAO-WEN (17, 186/71, G, Ping-tung HS, Sophomore)

Thursday, February 15, 2001

Out of Nowhere: Scouting Report on Lin Chih-jay

NAME: Lin Chih-jay
BIRTHDATE: 1982/6/11
AGE: 19
HEIGHT: 192cm
WEIGHT: 90kg
POSITION: Guard/Forward
EDUCATION: Kee-lung Sea High School, Culture University
STATUS: Culture University Freshman, A-League Taiwan Beer
NT EXPERIENCE: 2000 ABC Junior Championship NT

Lin Chih-jay, a Taiwanese native (Ah-mei Tribe) comes from eastern part of Taiwan, is a kid who came out of nowhere and made the Junior NT last year. Most observers believe he has the potential to be the best wing player in Taiwan, even better than hottest local star Chen Hsin-an.

In 1998, Lin teamed with 197cm center Lee Chi-yi (now with BCC Mars) to lead unheralded Kee-lung Sea High School into HBL's Final Four. However, all the attentions were on Lee and nobody noticed the bully forward. Following Lee's graduation, Lin tried to bring Kee-lung Sea HS back to HBL glory but failed. The school did not even advance to the 12-team playoffs.

Kee-lung Sea High School, which was not known as a basketball powerhouse, surprisingly closed its basketball program in the following year. During 1999 to mid-2000, Lin Chih-jay was left without a team to play on.

God takes care of those who take good care of themselves, they say. And it happened for Lin. He kept working hard on his game during his senior year in high school. In the summer of 2000, Lin was selected to the ABC Junior National Team that would compete in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Lin scored 12 points in Taiwan's 77-76 victory over Japan the bronze medal game and became the team's most reliable offensive weapon in crunch time. Although he wasn't the scoring leader in every game, his defense, hustle and the ability to score in traffic drew many attentions.

After enrolling in Culture University last September, Lin also joined A-League's Taiwan Beer and immediately made his way into the starting five.

Lin is a POWERFUL small forward...very good at scoring in traffic and putbacks...good one-on-one move...always gives 100% on defense and hustle...excellent rebounding ability for a 190cm player, especially on offensive boards...excel in crunch time, a rare asset for a player at this young age...very coachable...can pull down a rebound, starting fastbreak and finish all by himself...good mid-range jumper, fair passing ability...a very difficult matchup for opponents within 15 feet, since he can both power his way into the paint and knock down mid-range jumpers...

Needs to work on his perimeter shooting...inconsistent on outside shooting, but that can be improved with hard work...have ability to pull down rebounds but needs to take care of the ball on outlet passes, getting stripped of the ball by opposing guards too many times...fundamental also has room of improvement...

* * * * *

Compared to hottest youngster Chen Hsin-an, who captures everyone's attention by his high-flying act, Lin has improved his game gradually and caught up with Chen. He is already ahead of Chen in terms of defense. With more experience in upper level competition and constant improvement, Lin definitely has the potential to be the most promising and versatile swingman in Taiwanese basketball.

Wednesday, February 14, 2001

Taiwan Notes: Don Casey Visits Taiwan

Former New Jersey Nets coach Don Casey visited Taiwan this past week and conducted a clinic for over 60 local coaches and high school players.

Casey also attended two high school basketball games before leaving. He was impressed with the intensity in the games, saying it reminds him of NCAA games in the States.

Local HS players including Ho Sho-jeng (195cm, Songshan HS), Wu Dai-hao (200cm, Tsai-shin HS) drew high praise from Casey. He said by going to the NCAA these kids will learn and mature a lot more and find more competitions.

Don Casey's Profile
Born in Collingswood, New Jersey...
Started his coaching career at 20 year-old in Pennsauken Bishop Eustace HS, NJ...won two state championships with a 116W-38L record...
1973-81 Head coach of Temple University...151W-94L(.616) record...three 20-win season in eight years...led Temple to a NCAA tourney and three NIT appearances...
NBA experience includes assistant coach in Chicago, LA Clippers, Boston and New Jersey...head coach in LA Clippers(1988-90, 41W-85L) and New Jersey(1998-2000, 44W-68L)...
Specialize in attacking zone a book entitled Temple of Zone in 1978...
Vice President of President's Council of Fitness and Sport...

A 17-year-old student from Sinchu made his only shot from mid-court and won a million dollars in ESPN ALL-STAR WEEKEND MILLION DOLLAR SHOT earlier this week. One million dollars, folks! Too bad that's for NT dollars(slightly more than 30,000 USD), not USD...

Tuesday, February 13, 2001

SINA Routs Mars to Open Second Round

Led by Huang Chun-hsiung's 18 points and Lo Shin-liang's 16, SINA opened their second round games with a convincing 76-62 win over long-time rival Mars on February 12.

SINA pulled the game away early with a 16-0 run in the first quarter and led from start to finish. Mars responded with a 10-0 run in the second half but never recovered from their early lapses.

In other games, Yulon beat Dacin 64-52 with their featherly touch from the three-point line, making two-third of their long distance shots. Chen Hsin-an led Yulon, whose lead was as many as 16 points, with 24 points. G Chiu Chi-yi scored 13.

Military lost a close one, 65-66, to Jutai Tech when G Chun Wei-kuo made only 1 of 2 free-throws with 43.7 seconds remaining.

Monday, February 12, 2001

BCC Mars Squeeze into Second Round

197cm F Lee Chi-yi scored 13 of his 18 points in the second half, helping BCC Mars to a 61-54 victory and the sixth and final seed in the second round games on February 10. Bank of Taiwan also managed a 59-58 win over Yulon Dinos, but finishing one win short behind Mars and was eliminated.

Lee Chi-yi score two baskets in the last two minutes and F San Mao-sun made two free-throws to ice the victory for Mars. Mars finished with a 5-4 record in the preliminaries and grabbed the last ticket to the second round. SINA was 7-2 in the preliminaries.

Bank of Taiwan, who trailed Yulon by two points in the last minute, walked away with an unbelievable win thanks to 19 year-old PG Hsu Hao-chen's buzzer-beating three-pointer. But BT's 4-5 record was still one win behind Mars.

Military beat Dacin 74-55 in the third game. Military's PG Yen Shin-shu was brilliant as always, finishing with 14 points, 9 assists and 4 steals. F Hong Chan-chin scored 23. Dacin didn't take this game serious, since they're already in the second round. Star guard Cheng Chih-lung did not play.

Top six teams in the preliminaries advance to second round and will play yet another single-round robin, starting from February 11. Playoffs will feature the top 4 teams in the second round games.

■Preliminaries Final Standings
(Top six advance to second round)
Team W-L GB
x-SINA 7-2 -
x-Dacin 6-3 1
x-Jutai Tech 6-3 1
x-Military 6-3 1
x-Yulon 5-4 2
x-Mars 5-4 2
Bank of Taiwan 4-5 3
Luckipar 3-6 4
Taiwan Beer 2-7 5
Yitong 1-8 6
(thru Feb 10)
Format:Single-round robin
x-Advance to 2nd RD

■Preliminaries Stats Leaders

Scoring - Lo Shin-liang (SINA) 18.9ppg
3-PT percentage - Lo Shin-liang (SINA) .442(19 for 43)
Assists - Yen Shin-shu (Military) 6.7apg
Steals - Yen Shin-shu (Military) 3.8 spg
Rebounding - Huang Chun-hsiung (SINA) 7.8rpg
Blocks - Lin Che-wei (Jutai Tech) 2.2bp

Saturday, February 10, 2001

Five Teams Clinch Second Round Seeds

With three games on the last day to play, five teams including SINA, Dacin, Jutai Tech, Yulon and Military have clinched their second rounds seeds. The lone undecided second round seed will go to Taiwan Bank or Mars, depending on the last-minute result.

Mars(4-4) will face SINA in their last preliminary game and it's hard for them to pull out a win. If Mars grab their fifth win, they will lock up the final seed.For Bank of Taiwan(3-5) to make it to the second round, first they have to beat Yulon today and hope for a Mars loss. If both teams tie at 4-5, BT will advance because they beat Mars by eight points in previous head-to-head matchup.

During the preliminaries, SINA, Dacin and Jutai Tech stand out among others. It will be a surprise if one of the finalists does not come from the three teams. SINA cruised thru the preliminaries, although they were shocked by last-place Yitong, but it's virtually a game which they play second-string players for almost the entire game.

Dacin and Jutai also had several surprising defeats. However, both teams are loaded with talented players and they will definitely upgrade their "competitive desire" in the upcoming second round.

Rumors said Luckipar team will be dismissed after the preliminaries. Taiwan is currently hit with financial difficulties and many corporates decided to drop out of the sports sponsorship, which cost them some money. This is another sad news for Taiwanese basketball.

■Game Summary
Military 60-48 Luckipar
Military - Chun Wei-kuo 17p, 5a ; Yen Shin-shu 15p
Dacin 64-58 Taiwan Bank
Bank of Taiwan went scoreless for 3 1/2 minutes in the last five minutes, allowed Dacin rallied from behind. Dacin's 198cm C Ha Hsiao-yung led with 15p and 9 rebounds. 198cm F Lee Feng-yung collected 13 and 5, while veteran Chu Chih-chin turned in a 12 and 12. Taiwan Bank was led by Lo Da-wei's 20 points.
Yulon 77-54 Mars
SINA 70-54 Jutai Tech
SINA held Jutai scoreless for more than seven minutes in the second half and clinched the win with a 16-0 run. Lo Shin-liang led SINA with 31 points. SINA also got 12 points and 12 rebounds from 190cm F Shun Jen-jen(Bear).

Mars 74-64 Yitong
SINA 60-56 Taiwan Beer(Half 23-27)
Taiwan Beer's Lin Jia-shen missed both of his free-throws with 23.1 seconds to play. SINA used a 11-1 run in the second half to the come-from-behind win for the second consecutive night.
SINA - Lo Shin-liang 18p ; Huang Chun-hsiung 12p, 13rb
TB - Lin Chih-jay 15p
Dacin 55-50 Jutai Tech

Mars 62-41 Taiwan Beer
Mars - Lin Jia-huang 20p
TB - Sun Kuo-chan 12p, 9rb
Yitong 69-66 SINA(Half 35-27)
Last-place Yitong shocked SINA with its first win of the preliminaries. Pang Yun-han secured the win for Yitong when he blocked Chou Jun-san's shot and scored on a fastbreak in the last minute. Lo Shin-liang led SINA with 23p, 5rb, 6a and 5s.
Yulon 48-41 Military
Yulon - Chen Hsin-an 15p
Military - Yen Shin-shu 12p, 6a, 4s
Luckipar 57-40 Taiwan Bank

Luckipar 66-50 Taiwan Beer
Luckipar - Chang Chi-feng 15p ; Lai Kuo-hong 12p, 12rb
TB - Chang Hsien-ming 18p
Mars 53-47 Dacin
Mars - Chen Huei 13p ; Lee Chi-yi 13p
Dacin - Cheng Chih-lung 13p
Jutai Tech 60-58 Yitong(Half 34-20)
Yitong nearly pulled off another stunner, but Jutai escaped with Yang Yu-min's two free-throws with 2.9 seconds remaining.
SINA 51-42 Military

Dacin 81-65 Yitong
Dacin - Cheng Chan-jun 34p(7 3-PT) ; Chu Chih-chin 12p ; Ha Hsiao-yun 12p
Yulon 62-47 Luckipar
Yulon - Chen Hsin-an 31p
Luckipar - Lai Kuo-hong 14p
Taiwan Bank 75-67 Jutai Tech
TB - Lo Da-wei 30p, 12rb
Juati - Yang Yu-min 24p
Military 74-58 Taiwan Beer
Military - Yen Shin-shu 15p, 9a, 4s ; Hong Chan-chin 13p
TB - Chang Hsien-min 25p

■Standings (thru Feb.9)
x-SINA 7-1
x-Dacin 6-2
x-Jutai Tech 6-3
x-Military 5-3
x-Yulon 5-3
Mars 4-4
Taiwan Bank 3-5
y-Luckipar 3-6
y-Taiwan Beer 2-7
y-Yitong 1-8

x-clinched 2nd round seeds

Monday, February 05, 2001

NT Coaching Staff Completed

Luckipar head coach Jack Mai joined NT coaching staff as assistant coach and filled out last of the three assistant spots.

2001 Taiwan NT coaching staff will be Head coach Chien Yi-fei, Top Assistant Tien Shi-ho, Assistant coach Jack Mai and Lee Yun-kwang. Jack Mai will be in charge of team offense and Lee will focus on defense.

One interesting scene is, these four NT coaches are not doing particularly well in the A-League preliminaries. Chien's Yulon and Tien's Bank of Taiwan is both 2-3, Jack Mai's Luckipar is 1-4, all out of the top four in the standings. Lee's Rambo Jack team failed to advance to the preliminaries.

If these four teams led by NT coaches keep playing like this and no one finishes in the top three in the end, I believe there will be a ton of criticism on the makeup of the NT coaching staff in the future. Let's just wait and see.

Jutai Tech Wins Fifth Straight

Jutai Technology edged Yulon Dinos 66-60 in overtime in a hard-fought battle, overcoming a 16-point deficit in the second half and sealed the win in OT with 1 7-0 run. Jutai won its fifth straight and sat alone on top of the A-League preliminary standings.

Led by bruising frontline Shan Wei-fan's 12 points and 8 rebounds and Liao Wei-chen's 8 points and 12 rebounds, Jutai dominated the boards with a 41-21 advantage over Yulon. Shooting guard Yang Yu-min turned in another brilliant performance with 21 points.

Yulon, who was seen as one of the title contenders prior to the preliminaries, drop to a disappointing 2-3 record after the loss. Star forward Chen Hsin-an, who was plagued by knee injury, was a non-factor in the game. F Chou Hong-yu and G Chiu Chi-yi scored 15 apiece.

■Game Report
Military 48-47 Yitong
PG Yen Shin-shu made 1 of 2 free-throws with 4.6 seconds remaining and sealed the game.
Jutai 62-57 Luckipar
Jutai - Shan Wei-fan 23p(5 3-PT), 7rb ; Lin Che-wei 13p, 5rb, 5blk
Luckipar - Lai Kuo-hong 18p, 10rb
Dacin 55-52(OT) Yulon
F/G Hsu Chi-chao scored 6 of his game-high 22 points and helped Dacin to the OT win. Tammates Ha Hsiao-yun collected 8 points and 10 rebounds while Chu Chih-chin contributed 11 and 9. Yulon was led by Chiu Chun-chi's 13 and 9.
Taiwan Bank 59-51 Mars

Jutai 64-62 Taiwan Beer
Jutai - Yang Yu-min 17p ; Wu Chen-dao 22p, 5rb
Taiwan Beer - Lin Chih-jay 22p(4 3-PT)
Yulon 60-28 Yitong
Yitong's 28 points set the lowest single-game total of the season.
Mars 62-34 Luckipar
SINA 51-46 Dacin
Lo Shin-liang scored 22 points and sparked SINA to a 10-0 run in the 4th quarter. Dacin was led by Cheng Chih-lung's 13 points and 8 rebounds.

Luckipar 54-32 Yitong
Chang Chih-feng's 13 points and 6 assists gave Luckipar its first win in the preliminaries.
Dacin 49-47 Taiwan Beer
Cheng Chih-lung made two free-throws with 9.3 seconds remaining and iced the victory for Dacin, who also got 15 points from O-Yang Jin-hen and 6p+11rb+5a from 198cm C Chu Chih-chin.
Military 66-54 Mars
Yen Shin-shu scored 18p and dished out 8a, leading Military to the win against his former team Mars. Military also got 17p+8rb+5a from former Luckipar F Hong Chan-chin.
SINA 68-59 Taiwan Bank
SINA - Chou Jun-san 11p, 6rb, 6a ; Shun "Bear "Jeng-jen 14p
Taiwan Bank - Lin Min-shen 16p ; Hsu Hao-chen 14p

Taiwan Beer 72-64 Yitong
Taiwan Beer's 20 year-old 190cm F/G Lin Chi-jay tallied 25 points (5 3-PT), 4rb and 5s in the victory.
Military 76-63 Taiwan Bank
Military - Yen Shin-shu 21p, 8a ; Yang Che-yi 20p
Taiwan Bank - Jian Ming-fu 20p
Jutai 66-60(OT) Yulon

■Standings(thru Feb.4)
1. Jutai 5-0
2. SINA 4-0
3. Dacin 3-1
4. Military 3-1
5. Yulon 2-3
6. Taiwan Beer 2-3
7. Taiwan Bank 2-3
8. Mars 1-3
9. Luckipar 1-4
10. Yitong 0-5