Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Chen Hsin-an scoreless in ABA debut

Chen Hsin-an finally set his foot on the ABA court and got the taste of the real game. Chen went scoreless in 3:41 of playing time in Orange County Rush's January 10th 127-114 comeback victory over Long Beach Jam. Chen became the first Taiwanese player to play in a North American professional game.

Chen didn't take any shot and committed two fouls in the game, his first since going to Southern California more than two months ago. Chen admitted after the game he was a little bit nervous because he hasn't played in real games for a period of time.

Yuta Tabuse of Japan, another standout from Asia, had 17 points and 5 assists for the Jam.

Chen was in Sacramento Kings' pre-season training camp in 2002, Denver Nuggets' summer league tryout in 2003. In between he practiced with Mobile Revelers of NBDL. During the same time span, Yao Ming and Yuta Tabuse -- two players named with Chen as the most promising young Asian players by Asian Basketball Confederation in 1998 -- made it to the NBA.

However it's been a long and tough road for Chen, who wants to play in the NBA someday. Although he had a couple tryout chances, his team Yulon has been reluctant to let him go abroad. Finally Chen did sign with ABA's Orange County Crush in November last year, but Chen had to sit out the games before he received his working Visa.

He did received his Visa and cleared to play around Christamas. But the Crush was having financial problem, also having trouble to secure a home court. Players and coaches didn't get their pay for three weeks. Last week the Crush changed owners and finally looked stable for the time being. It changed its team name from Crush to Rush temporarily prior to the game versus Long Beach.

The Rush is now 9-1, good enough for the second place in ABA Red Division behind Utah Snowbears. Let's hope Chen find back his groove quickly and have a successful season in the ABA.