Sunday, April 15, 2001

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.