Friday, March 14, 2003

SINA pulls out of China, CBA

SINA Lions owner Daniel Jiang announced that the team will pull out of China and the CBA. Citing financial difficulties, disppapointing results and disappointment toward various league situations, SINA -- the first team ouside of China to join the CBA -- will abruptly end its two-year run in China's CBA.

SINA, with majority of players coming from Taiwan, finished a disapppointing 7-19 record this season. It's a nosedive turn-around compared to the playoff appearance last season, its first year on the league. SINA will head back to Taiwan again and re-join the A-League, which will start its regular season on April 1st.

SINA official said that the team lost 1.3 million USD this season. It's too much a burden for Daniel Jiang, who owns SINA 100%, to go another season. And because SINA is a team from Taiwan, it's almost impossible for SINA to get a hand on promising Chinese players, who are often "controlled" by the sports administration of their provinces.

Also, SINA thinks it has been put to disadvantage by Chinese referees. It lost a total of six games with losing margin under 4 points. With the CBA's officiating heavily favors local(home) team, SINA claims, it's hard for them to win any close game.

Chinese basketball administration has agreed to let SINA come back to Taiwan, after it completed a best-of-five series with Shanshi Dongshen. Loser of the series will be dropped down to Div-II along with Hong Kong Flying Dragon, who finished dead last in the league with only one win in 26 games.