Wednesday, October 15, 2003

2003 President Cup tip-offs on Nov.2

CTBA announced the 2003 President Cup schedule Monday. Eight men’s teams and five women’s teams will participate in the tournament from Nov. 2 to Dec. 4.

With the formation of the Super Basketball League, the remaining teams will still compete in both annual CTBA-sanctioned events – the President Cup and the A-League Regular Season.

Men’s Competition
Teams (8): National Taiwan College of Physical Education (NTCPE), Yitong Trust, Kuo-kwang Power, Jui-tsai Technology, Shingwu-Chiaotai, Jin-jin Design, Tung-nan Institute of Technology (TIT), Tsai-shin Alumni
Time: Nov. 24 – Dec. 4
Venue: Taipei Municipal Stadium
Format: Single round-robin preliminary games. Top four teams advance to the playoffs, with top two teams go for championship in a best-of-three series. No.3 and No.4 teams play for third-place also in a best-of-three series.

Women’s Competition
Teams (5): Kuo-tai Life, Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Power, Taiyuan, Yadong
Time: Nov. 2 – Nov. 23
Venue: Taipei Municipal Stadium
Format: Double round-robin preliminary games. Top four teams advance to the playoffs, with top two teams go for championship in a best-of-three series. No.3 and No.4 teams play for third-place also in a best-of-three series.

SBL starts warm-ups on Nov. 13

Super basketball League, which aims to bring back top-level competition like old days, released its warm-up games schedule Monday. A total of seven warm-ups will be played.

The inaugural SBL season will tip-off on November 21 with Yulon vs. BCC Mars in the opening game. The 20-week season, which will not allow the hiring of import players, will see each team playing 24 games, facing every other teams four times. All games are scheduled on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The regular season will run from Nov. 21 to April 11, 2004 and followed by the playoffs. The top four teams will advance to the playoffs with No.1 vs. No.4 and No.2 vs. No.3 in the best-of-three first round games. Winners meet in the best-of-five finals.

CTBA also confirmed the transfer of Wu Dai-hao from Dacin Construction to Jutai Technology.

*Warm-ups schedule
Nov. 13 – BCC Mars vs. SINA
Nov. 14 – Taiwan Beer vs. Dacin, Bank of Taiwan vs. BCC Mars
Nov. 15 – Jutai Tech vs. Bank of Taiwan, SINA vs. Yulon
Nov. 16 – Dacin vs. Jutai Tech, Yulon vs. Taiwan Beer

Sunday, October 12, 2003

Chen Hsin-an doing fine in Sacramento

Chen Hsin-an (aka Sean Chen) had the first DNP-CD in his career when he sat thru the whole game, which the Sacramento Kings beat Utah Jazz 102-92 in a pre-season game in Reno, Nevada.

Chen, wearing No.9, made his debut in Kings' first pre-season game vs. the Mavs in Dallas on Oct. 8. He checked into the game in the 4th quarter, replacing Bobby Jackson, and had 2 points, 2 rebounds and 1 assist in only four minutes.

Sean Chen made the first cut last weekend, when the Kings released three forwards. The number of players of Kings' training camp was down from 20 to 17, not counting injured Mateen Cleaves and Brent Price.

Before the cut, Chen made 6-of-9 shots and had 14 points, 2 rebounds in Kings' annual "Fandemonium", which Kings players are devided into two teams and scrimmage. Chen, who's on the Black team in the first half, switched to the White team, which is conprised of mostly starters, in the third and final quarter. His play in the scrimmage drew rave review from Kings staff and observers.

Chen becomes the first Taiwanese player invited to NBA pre-season training camp, when he accepted Kings' invitation in September. Taiwanese fans are very supportive of Chen, posting tons of messages on dicussion boards and university BBS systems.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Focus shifts to SBL

Amid all the criticism and turmoil following the 11-th place finish in the Asian Championships, Taiwanese basketball is looking toward the next stage – Super Basketball League, which will start on November 21st and try to bring back the love of the game from disappointed local fans.

The current annual competitions hosted by CTBA – the President Cup and the A-League Regular Season – are not popular among local fans, evidenced by all those empty seats in the stands. Obviously, Taiwanese basketball needs some changes.

With the sponsorship from ESPN Taiwan and NIKE Taiwan, the idea of innovating Taiwanese basketball scene becomes possible. Eight teams in the Division I are cut down to seven teams, with the Military Team shutting down. All players who are serving military obligations are allowed to re-unite with their original teams.

The main purpose of the change is to make the competition level stronger and create fans’ interests and following. ESPN and NIKE will take care of the marketing part of the project.

On paper, the future of SBL looks promising to me. With more than 20 player transfers, virtually no team will be guaranteed a win on any given night.

But you have to worry about the league after Taiwan NT’s poor showing in the Asian Championships. Fans blasted the association, asked the president step down, and screamed out loud for the total reform.

They simply couldn’t accept the fact that Taiwan, which used to be one of Asia’s basketball powerhouses, are only good enough for the 11th-place right now after finishing for 7th-place two years ago.

And this group of young players are the best ones Taiwanese basketball has to offer in the history of Taiwanese basketball, the fans are told by the association in 2001, when CTBA decided to get rid of the veterans and fill the NT with all younger kids.

Will fans’ anger translate to sorry attendance of SBL? It remains to be seen. It will be up to the fans to decide whether they want to give Taiwanese basketball one more chance.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Asian Championship – Taiwan beat Kuwait for 11th place

At least, Taiwan NT left everyone with a good impression in their last game. NT rookie Yang Che-yi had 26 points and 7 rebounds to lead a balanced attack as Taiwan pounded Kuwait 102-81 last night to finish the 11th-place before saying goodbye to the disappointing Asian Championship.

Taiwan’s frontline exploded on the shorter Kuwait team. Wu Dai-hao and Tien Lei saved their best performance for the last game. Wu tallied 22 points and 11 rebounds, Tien added 21 points and 14 rebounds. Tsun Wen-din scored 17. PG Yen Shin-shu had 8 assists.

Alsarraf led Kuwait, which trailed 31-49 in halftime, with 25 points.

In the other actions, Korea edged Lebanon 85-83 in overtime to advance to the championship game. Korea will meet China, which breezed past Qatar 86-61, today in the most anticipated finale in the tournament.

Classification games results
15/16: Philippines 78-63 Malaysia
13/14: Hong Kong 106-85 Uzbekistan
11/12: Taiwan 102-81 Kuwait
9/10: Syria 92-75 Jordan

Korea 85-83(OT) Lebanon
China 86-61 Qatar