Saturday, April 28, 2001

NT Swept By All-Star

SG Yang Che-yi made three consecutive three-pointers in a decisive 12-5 run in the fourth quarter as Taiwan All-Star defeated Taiwan NT 59-53 on April 27, completing a 3-0 swept in the warmup series before East Asia Games.

Despite a huge rebounding disadvantage (24-51), Taiwan NT was still in the game in the end of the third quarter. But Taiwan All-Star, which was without the service of starting frontlines Chu Chih-chin and Lai Kuo-hong, took over the game in the final quarter with the 12-5 run.

All-Star features a balanced scoring as PG Chou Jun-san and Yang Che-yi each scored 11. They also received major contribution from a pair of SINA players. Lo Shin-liang had 10 points and 8 rebounds while Huang Chun-hsiung pulled down 12 rebounds.

Chen Hsin-an led NT with 14 points, 7 rebounds and 5 steals, but shot just 1-8 from the charity-stripe. SG Chiu Chi-yi had 10 points.

Taiwan NT was totally outplayed by their "older brothers" in the three-game series, especially in the paint. With an all-time youngest NT roster averaging a bit more than 22 years-old, obvious they are inexperienced. Most of all, their frontline players need to and have to take the physical pounding inside.

This year's brand new NT has been labeled "soft" by many local observers. If they failed to improve in the physical game, they will be in big trouble in the upcoming East Asia Games, which starts on May 19 in Osaka, Japan.

East Asia Games Notes

7 Men, 6 Women in Field
A total of seven nations, including defending champ Taiwan, China, South Korea, Japan, Khazakstan, Mongolia and Australia, will play in the men's basketball competition in East Asia Games.

Women's competition features six countries of Taiwan, China, South Korea, Japan, Khazakstan and Australia. Australia participated as "observers" and will not be ranked in both men's and women's final ranking.

Wang Zhi-zhi May Not Play
According the news I read from Chinese website, China's 7-1 center Wang Zhi-zhi may not play in the East Asia Games and will stay in Dallas to hone his skills over the summer. China NT already lost 6-10 young star Mok Kerr due to broken finger.

Tuesday, April 24, 2001

Warmups: Taiwan All-Star 77-71 Taiwan NT

SG Lo Shin-liang made five straight free-throws in the last 12.5 seconds to help Taiwan All-Star, which led by as many as 18 in the second half, to a 77-71 escape over Taiwan NT on April 23. Taiwan All-Star defeated NT for the second straight time in the three-game warmup series.

Trailed by 18 points in the third quarter, Taiwan NT evened the score at 60 all with 5:20 remaining in the game. Then Taiwan All-Star's experience took over, PG Chou Jun-san knocked down a three-pointer with 1:35 remaining to boost All-Star's lead to 69-64. PF Huang Chun-hsiung's three-point play increased the lead to 72-64.

Taiwan NT refused to quit. After scoring the game's next four points, Taiwan NT again made the last push on Chen Hsin-an's three-pointer to pull within, 71-72. But Yang Yu-min, who scored 13, missed the ensuing three-point attempt and NT was whistled for an intentional foul on Lo Shin-liang. Lo, who scored game-high 19 points, made his three free-throws and sealed the victory.

Taiwan All-Star again used its powerful frontline to punish the younger NT. Chu Chih-chin collected 15 points and 7 rebounds, Huang Chun-hsiung had 10 points and 9 rebounds, while Lai Kuo-hong turned in a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

202cm C Wu Chih-wei led Taiwan NT with 15 points and 6 rebounds. Promising 201cm high schooler Tien Lei had 6 points and 7 rebounds. NT will have its last chance to upend the All-Star in the third and last game on April 27.

Sunday, April 22, 2001

NT Warmup Tour in China

Taiwanese NT, which will participate in East Asia Games in mid-May, will go to China for a seven-game warmup tour starting May 4. Taiwanese NT will leave for China on May 3 and, after the 7-game series, head directly to Osaka, Japan on May 15.

Warmups schedule:
May 4 - Beijing
May 5 - Shanshi
May 6 - Tienjin
May 7 - Herpei
May 10 - Shandong
May 11 - Shandong
May 12 - Jinan

Sunday, April 15, 2001

Warmups: Taiwan All-Star 82-67 Taiwan NT

Taiwan All-Star, comprised of veteran players, taught their younger brother a lesson. Within 12 minutes, All-Star turned a four-point halftime lead into a 15-point blowout, defeating Taiwan NT 82-67 in the first of three warmup games on April 14.

All-Star used its powerful frontline to gain a lopsided 48-21 rebounding advantage and almost limited Taiwan NT to one shot in every possession. Lo Shin-liang led All-Star with 17 points. Huang Chun-hsiung turned in a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Chu Chih-chin and Hsiung Jen-jen scored 12 apiece.

Taiwan NT, featuring the youngest roster in Taiwan NT history, suffered its lack of experience. No one scored in double-digit. Tien Lei, the most promising young talent, finished with only 9 points and was plagued all game by foul trouble. His alley-oop dunk in the third quarter was the only highlight of the night.

Game 2 will be played on April 23. After the 3-game warmup games, Taiwan NT will compete in May's East Asia Games in Osaka, Japan.

Luckipar Became 4th Team to Go Down

After month-long discussion, Luckipar Cement decided to cease all operation of its basketball team Luckipar Panthers. With the team's 20-year long history coming to an end, Luckipar also followed the footsteps of Hong-kuo, Hong-fu and Mars and became the fourth former-CBA pro team to close business.

Currently, only Dacin and Yulon feature the same operating staff and ownership among the 6 original CBA teams. Hong-kuo was bought by internet tycoon Daniel Jiang and changes its name to SINA, while Mars was taken over by BCC (Broadcasting Corporation of China).

Once dubbed as the most promising CBA team by various local reporters, Luckipar would not have a chance to show its promising future. With lead guard Chen Chih-chun coming back from his two-year military service and the addition of high school player of the year Tien Lei, Luckipar could've been the team to beat after this year. It's sad no one can see that happen.

With the team folding, Luckipar players became the target of other A-League teams. Tien Lei is expected to sign with Dacin Construction. SINA has signed 197cm forward Lai Kuo-hong and 190cm guard Hsu Yung-Yi. 199cm center Lin Shin-hwa will sign with BCC Mars. 184cm SG Chao Jia-chun will join Yulon. 180cm SG Yang Yu-min, who's on this year's NT roster, will probably join his former team Da-hwa Construction.

Luckipar GM/Head coach Jack Mai, who's been in charge of all basketball operation since 1998, said he will head back to the United States. But rumors said Dacin is interested in signing Jack Mai to its coaching staff.

Sunday, April 08, 2001

Warmup Games Schedule Changed

Warmup games between Taiwanese NT and All-Star Team were reduced from five games to three.

Revised Schedule
Game 1 - 1900, April 14, Taipei City Gymnasium
Game 2 - 1900, April 23, Taipei City Gymnasium
Game 3 - 1900, April 27, Taipei City Gymnasium