Sunday, August 03, 2003

Taiwan basketball notes

Super League
With the help from the NSC(National Sports Council), CTBA will launch the new-formatted A-League which is called the “Super League” in November. The new league is still semi-pro, but in some way is trying to push Taiwanese basketball to the professional level.

A total of 7 teams are expected to play, including Yulon Dinos, Jutai Technology, Dacin Constructions, BCC Mars, Bank of Taiwan, Taiwan Beer and SINA Lions.

A couple of principles are set after the meetings last week. First of all, from now on teams will not pay high school players, which is seen by observers as the biggest reform in Taiwanese basketball in the last ten years. High school players will have to go thru the annual DRAFT to sign with any team. Currently, most A-League players are still college students.

Also, in the first year the league will not set the team salary cap and will not allow imports, in order to cut down budgets.

The inaugural season will open in November and schedule games only on weekends. Details of the new season remained to be discussed.

ESPN Taiwan and NIKE joined forces and won the bidding war(over Videoland TV/ERA TV) of the league’s marketing/broadcasting rights for the first three years.

NT-WUG Squad warmups
Taiwan Senior NT beat the WUG squad, 83-75, last week in the second warmup game. Taiwan NT also won the first game with a 20-point margin.

Taiwan NT will open its last stage of preparation on August 6th with a tour to Philippines, where they will meet a couple of NBL teams in a series of exhibition games.

“Anklebreaker” visits Taiwan
Occidental College(NCAA Div-III) guard Song Cun, a second generation Chinese-American, is now touring Taiwan for a NIKE streetball campaign “Battleground Asia” along with a French group “SlamNation”.

Standing only 5-6, Cun is known for his ill crossover dribble and is nicknamed “Anklebreaker”. Cun is a all-conference guard and led Occidental to NCAA Div-III elite eight this year. He will try to pursuit a professional career in Asia.