Monday, September 08, 2003

Taiwan NT Pre-Asian Championships Primer

15-man NT roster (Po. Name Ht./Wt. DOB Age Team)
C Tsun Wen-din 204/90 1984/7/6 19 Yulon
C Wu Chih-wei 202/94 1976/7/31 26 Yulon
G Chen Chih-chung 182/80 1977/3/2 26 Yulon
G Hong Chi-chao 187/78 1982/2/13 21 Yulon#
G Yen Hsin-shu 183/75 1976/9/8 26 BCC Mars
F Lee Chi-yi 198/88 1978/10/27 24 BCC Mars
G Chen Huei 185/85 1978/4/17 25 BCC Mars#
F/G Yang Che-yi 193/85 1976/10/2 26 BCC Mars#
G Yang Yu-ming 180/73 1979/10/22 23 Jutai Tech
C/F Wu Chih-yuan 200/77 1983/10/24 19 Taiwan Beer#
F Lin Chi-jay 192/88 1982/6/11 20 Taiwan Beer
F Tien Lei 202/86 1983/6/1 20 Dacin Construction
C Wu Dai-hao 202/100 1985/2/7 18 Dacin Construction
G Chiu Chi-yi 180/78 1975/10/6 27 Military
F Ho Sho-jen 195/88 1983/2/15 20 Bank of Taiwan

Head coach: Lee Chin-chi(Military)
Assistant coach: Chou Hai-jun(Mars)

Average Height: 192.3 Age: 22.6
# - First appearance in senior men's NT

Taiwan NT Training Program
June 1 Training camp opened at Songshan HS Gymnasium.

June 1-22 Training camp first stage.

June 23-July 7 Warmup tour at United States Basketball Academy(USBA), Oregon, USA. They were tutored by a couple U.S. coaches like Jim Harrick and Bob Hill and playeda couple of friendlies with USBA All-Stars.

July 7-16 Seven selected players were trained by Sacramento Kings counselor Pete Carril and Kings assistant(current Milwaukee Bucks coach) Terry Porter.

July 17-August 5 Training camp second stage. Played three warmup games with WUG squad and won them all.

August 6-16 Warmup tour in Philippines, where they met teams from PBA, NBL and the Philippines senior and junior NT. Record: 3 wins, two ties and 1 loss.

August 17-September 10 Training camp third stage(in Kaohsiung and Taipei).

September 11-17 Warmup tour in Philippines. Will play in the National Open. The tournament features six teams, including NBL champion M. Lhuillier Kwarta Padala-Cebu, NBL all-star team Burlington All-Stars, and four national teams -- Jordan, Qatar, Philippines and Taiwan.

September 23-October 2 22nd Asian Championships at Harbin, China.

Star players
Tien Lei: A 6-7 versatile small forward who can play inside and outside. Tremendous second leap, perimeter skills and wingspan. Needs to develop more inside skills though.

Wu Dai-hao: The incoming college freshman features a 7-1 wingspan although he’s only 6-8. Most promising big man Taiwan has ever had. Sky is the limit for him.

Yen Hsin-shu: The No.1 PG in the nation who excels in open-court style of play. Great court vision and passing ability. His outside shooting is highly underrated. Coming off a severe knee injury and operation.

Asian Championships Preview
For local fans, Taiwan NT has been disappointing in the past two years. The basketball association opted to build the national team with all younger kids instead of bring them along with veterans. The decision pays its price.

Taiwan NT finished seventh both in the previous Asian Championships and Asian Games. Obviously that was not acceptable, considering these kids are much more talented than their predecessors. Experience and coaching are two most important ingredients for them right now.

Head coach Lee Chin-chi notes that the team will set making the semifinals as the ultimate goal. But his brave statement is not likely to happen in Harbin.

Taiwan NT will have to beat either Iran or Syria to have a chance making the second round. All three opponents in the same group, China, Iran and Syria, have the inside advantage over Taiwan NT. In short, these kids will have to learn to bang inside and take the pounding from their opponents in order to balance their perimeter-oriented style. And it will be a difficult job.

If everything goes well, that means beating both Iran and Syria, I think Taiwan NT will have a chance to squeeze into the second round. The first preliminary round game vs. Iran will probably the deciding game for Taiwan NT in the championships.