Thursday, December 25, 2003

Chen-Lin rivalry highlights SBL action after X’mas

After a BYE week, SBL resumes its schedule tomorrow PM 19:00 when No.1 Yulon (5-0) faces No.3 Taiwan Beer (3-2) for the first time this season. Most of all, the “Chen Hsin-an vs. Lin Chih-jay” rivalry will give fans more than one reason to feel the excitement.

Chen Hsin-an has been praised for the No.1 baller in Taiwan for years. Although his stats hardly show he’s No.1 (14.8 points, 8.4 rebounds, 4.8 assists), Chen is trying to help his team in a more versatile way and never take personal stats seriously. Still, fans expect to see Chen’s breakout performance. With Chen’s game and gifted athleticism, he can practically dominate any game he’s in.

Chen is the first Asian player invited to an NBA pre-season training camp in 2002. Although he was cut eventually by Sacramento Kings, Chen is still regarded as Taiwan’s great hope.

Lin Chih-jay is a prodigy who burst onto the scene this year. He showed flashes of brilliance in limited playing time with Taiwan NT in Harbin, China. But it was until SBL started that he captivated with his awesome skills. Within two weeks, Lin pulled down the backboard with one of his trademark power dunk and had two games in which he scored more than 30. He made 9 three-pointers and single-handedly led Taiwan Beer to an overtime victory over BCC Mars.

At this moment, Lin is leading the league in scoring with 23.2 points per game. He also averaged 5.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.2 steals per game, shooting 37% behind the three-point line.

Lin is two years younger than Chen, but in terms of experience in both international play and upper level, he is a couple more years back compared to Chen.

Lin only played one year of high school ball. Before catching anyone’s notice, his school dropped men’s basketball program. Lin was selected to the national team in his freshmen year in college but didn’t reported to the camp and later was banned for one year in NT play by CTBA.

Without a doubt, everyone will be looking forward to see these two young men tomorrow.