Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Chou Hai-jung named Videoland head coach

Videoland announced today assistant coach Chou Hai-jung will be the new head coach, while former head coach Chung Chi-mun is "promoted" to the team's Technical Advisor. Of course, it means Chung actually is fired as a head coach.

Chou Hai-jung, currently work with Taiwan NT as an assistant, becomes the latest SBL head coach from the "younger generation". All six SBL head coaches are under 41 years-old, with the youngest one -- ETSN's Lee Yun-hsiang -- only 34.

A former NT SG/SF, Chou has been an assistant both with Videoland (formerly known as BCC Mars) and Taiwan NT for a couple years. It will be interesting to see what he can do with this veteran team.

SBL Head Coach
Team, Coach, Age
Taiwan Beer, Chou Da-tsun, 41
Videoland, Cho Hai-jung, 41
Yulon, Lee Yun-kwang, 37
Bank of Taiwan, Wei Chen-ming, 37
Dacin, Liu Jia-fa, 36
Lee Yun-hsiang, 34

Monday, August 29, 2005

Injury bug hits Taiwan NT

Taiwan NT comes back to Taiwan after a long and draining training tour that takes them to three countries -- U.S., Korea, China. The trip takes its toll. Taiwan NT lost Chen Hsin-an to knee injury. Also, Chang Chi-feng and Ho Sho-jen are possible missing the Asian Championship due to same injuries. Lin Chi-jay is also out of the lineup because of knee operation and rehab.

All this means Taiwan NT has lost four wing players. Moreover, almost every player on the team has some injuries because of playing year-round without rest. Most of these players are still in college, which means they played in the SBL, the college league, the Jones Cup and all these warmup games, non-stop.

Looking back, CTBA's decision to make Taiwan NT play as many games as possible may backfire a little bit because at this moment there are only 11 players on the roster. Wu Dai-hao will join the team in Qatar after enrolling at BYU-Hawaii and complete the 12-man roster.

Taiwan NT finished 5-1 in a five-team friendly tournament in China, playing 6 games in 7 days. Before that, they played 17 games in 24 days, including nine games in nine days in the Jones Cup, where they finished runner-up with a 7-2 record, and eight games in nine days in Korea (3W-5L).

Before the Korea trip, the team spent one month in U.S., where they played with local college teams and pro teams. Also, they played two games in Southern California Pro League.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

A bad news for Chen and Taiwan NT

It's a bad day for Chen Hsin-an and Taiwan NT. Chen re-injured his left knee late in the first quarter of the Taiwan NT-Jiangsu friendly game last night in Quanzhou, Fujian province, China and will be out of the Asian Championship.

Chen was rushed to the hospital and took the MRI test. The results didn't look good as he probably tore his left knee ligament again. Chen tear his left knee ligament in the final game of the SBL Finals in May and thus sat out the Jones Cup. He joined Taiwan NT in Korea and played well in the first three games in China.

Ironically, this will be the third time Chen, regarded the best player in Taiwan, misses the Asian Championship. And this is the second time he is injured in China prior to the Asian Championship.

In 2001, Chen injured his eye in a warmup game in China and almost lost his eyesight. He missed the Asian Championship in Shanghai that year. In 2003, Chen was suspended by CTBA because he withdrew from the NT training camp and went to the Sacramento Kings training camp the previous year.

Till now, Chen only played for Taiwan NT in 1999 Asian Championship when he was a rookie on the team. Without him, Taiwan NT's hope to make the final eight doesn't look good.

Taiwan NT lost to Jiangsu 103-100 last night. Tsun Wen-din had 24 points and 13 rebounds. Yang Yu-min had 18. Jiangsu was led by Zhang Chen's 22 and Yi Li's 19.

Taiwan NT suddenly looks short-handed. They already lost Lin Chi-jay to knee injury, will be without Chen, and probably loses Chang Chi-feng also to knee injury. That means Taiwan NT will go to Doha without three of its best SF/SG. If Wu Dai-hao goes to BYU-Hawaii, he'll also out of the lineup.

Head coach Lee Yun-kwang tries to look at the bright side and says he's still confident the team has enough good players and will do well in Doha. For Taiwanese fans, all they can do is trust Coach Lee and the team, and pray for Chen.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Lopes, Akana and Benoit will coach in NIKE All-Taiwan Camp

The first edition of NIKE All-Taiwan Camp will take place in Taipei from August 24-27. 60 players from age 14 to 18 will be coached by Merv Lopes, Jarinn Akana and David Benoit in the camp.

Merv Lopes, former Chaminade head coach and the director of Pete Newell’s Big Man Camp for more than 13 years, was best known for leading “the greatest upset in college basketball history”. He led little-known NAIA school Chaminade shocked No.1 Virginia in 1982. Virginia featured All-American center Ralph Sampson and was ranked No.1 nationally at the time.

Jarinn Akana, 34, enters his third season with the Denver Nuggets and the second as an assistant coach. A natve of Molokai, Hawaii, Akana played for coach Riley Wallace in the Unversity of Hawaii from 1991-94. He began hs collegiate career in 1988 at BYU-Hawaii. Akana was an assistant at Hawaii from 1995-97 before joining BYU-Hawai coaching staff from 1997-2000.

6-8 David Benoit is an eight-year NBA veteran and enjoys successful professional career in Asia. He played in China and Japan later in his career after short stints in Spain and Israel. Benoit spent most of his NBA career with Utah Jazz, complementing Karl Malone and John Stockton.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Taiwan NT 3-0 in Fuzhou

Taiwan NT wins all three games in the first part of a five-team tournament in Fuzhou, China. Chen Hsin-an, coming off a knee injury, scored 64 points in three wins.

Taiwan NT uses the tourney as the final tune-up before the upcoming Asian Championship in Doha, Qatar. Coaching staff reiterates the outcome of the games are secondary, the main focus is to stay healthy and keep the team focused and in good condition.

Also, Jiangsu and Liaoning didn’t send their best players to the tournament, as better players are in senior and U-21 national teams right now.

Aug. 21 Taiwan 114-107 Jiangsu
Chen Hsin-an and yang Yu-min had 19 points each. Zhang Chen led Jiangsu with 39 points. Yi Li and Meng Da, both joined the team from U-21 NT, scored 26 and 13 respectively.

Videoland beat Liaoning 67-60 in the second game.

Aug. 20 Taiwan 111-90 Videoland
Chen Hsin-an scored team-high 29 points, making 6 of 10 three-point shots. Taiwan NT came back with better shooting touch in the first game, making 18 three-pointers. Chen Shih-nian had 16 points while tang Che-yi had 13. Tien Lei had 11 points. Lai Kuo-hong led VL with 21 points. Hong Chi-chao, who transferred to VL from Yulon, had 19 points.

Aug. 19 Taiwan 77-74 Liaoning
Taiwan NT rallied from a 28-42 deficit in the upset win. Tien Lei led the team with 18 points. Tsun Wen-din had 17 points. Chen Hsin-an had 8 points. Taiwan NT shot only 4 for 37 from three-point territory.

All teams will be off today. Games resumes tomorrow in Chuanzhou, Fujian province with Fujian SBS replacing Liaoning. Three other teams will be the same – Taiwan NT, Videoland and Jiangsu Dragons.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Sina pulls out of SBL

Sina shockingly announced this afternoon that it will pull out of the SBL (Super Basketball League) and start looking for corporations to take over the team. SBL, which is entering its third season, will have only six teams left after Sina dropping out.

Team delegate Tien Zen-jun announced the news in the press conference. Sina owner Daniel Chiang, who took over Sina five years ago from Hong-kuo, is in China now but made the decision after a long talk with Tien on the phone.

Tien cited several reasons about Sina's decision, including CTBA's inability to improve Taiwanese basketball environment and ETSN damaged market balance by signing Chen Hsin-an to a three-year, 15 million contract.

He said Sina will be glad to see interested corporation take over the team. If no company is interested, Sina will then look for place its players and transfer contratcs to other SBL teams. It will try to send players to weaker teams first in order to create parity in the league. If all fails, Sina will probably keep the team intact and opt to play in the second division.

12 of 18 Sina players are currently under contract, including veterans Lo Shin-liang who has one year left and Liu Yi-hsiang with two years left. Meanwhile, Sina just signed two incoming college freshmen -- Chien Jia-hong and Zuo Tsun-kai (both graduated from Tsai-shin HS) -- this summer to four-year contracts.

Daniel Chiang took over Hong-kuo Elephants, which won three consecutive CBA (Taiwanese pro league, folded in 1999) champions, and changed its name to Sina Lions. Sina played in China's CBA during 2001-2003.

According to Sina management, Chiang spent more than 200 million NTD on the team in five years. Sina tried to cut down team salaries before the start of last season by releasing a couple veterans -- Chou Jun-san, Huang Chun-hsiung and Hsiung Jen-jen -- and entered the so-called "rebuilding phase" by signing rookies.

Suddenly, Sina turned itself from the oldest team in the league to almost the youngest within a couple months. It paid a price by going young, finishing dead last in the league with a 3-27 record. It's hard to imagine just one year ago Sina met Yulon in the SBL Finals.

Obviously Daniel Chiang doesn't want to invest his money on a Taiwanese basketball team anymore. He is interested in Chinese basketball more since his business , (Chiang is ex-president of and still a minority owner), is based in China and is arguably the biggest protal site in China. Observers think his reasoning on pulling out of Taiwanese basketball is just an excuse.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Taiwan NT 3-5 in Korea

Taiwan NT lost the last two warmup games in Korea with a 90-82 loss to LG and a 80-69 loss to SBS. In all, Taiwan NT finished 3-5 in Korea, winning the first three before losing five straight. It will leave for Fujian, China for a five team tournament.

Tsun Wen-din topped the SBS game with 18 points. Chen Hsin-an had 13 points and 12 rebounds. Tien Lei and Chen Chih-chun each had 10 points.

Obviuosly Taiwan NT is fatigued, playing 17 games in the last 24 days. They played nine games in nine days in the Jones Cup, where they finished runner-up, rested for a few days before playing another eight games in nine days in Korea.

But there are more warmup games, six games in seven days, waiting for them. Taiwan NT will enter a five-team tournament in Fujian, China, where they will face Jiangsu Dragons, Liaoning Hunters and Fujian SBS from China's CBA and Videoland from Taiwan. Videoland will be joined by some players from other SBL teams because there are s couple VL players on Taiwan NT.

**Five-team tourney schedule:

Aug. 19 (Fuzhou, Fujian province)
Liaoning-Taiwan NT

Aug. 20 (Fuzhou, Fujian province)
Taiwan NT-VL

Aug. 21 (Fuzhou, Fujian province)
Jiangsu-Taiwan NT

Aug. 23
Taiwan NT-VL (Quanzhou, Fujian province)
Fujian SBS-Jiangsu

Aug. 24 (Quanzhou, Fujian province)
Jiangsu-Taiwan NT
Fujian SBS-VL

Aug. 25 (Quanzhou, Fujian province)
Fujian SBS-Taiwan NT

**Taiwan NT in Korea, 3W-5L
8/6 win 93-71 Sanmu
8/7 win 74-72 Korea World University Games NT
8/9 win 81-70 Chooang University
8/10 loss 74-90 SK
8/11 loss 68-69 ET Land
8/12 loss 83-88 Korea NT
8/13 loss 82-90 LG
8/14 loss 69-80 SBS

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Taiwan NT lost to Korea NT, 88-83

Three costly turnovers in the last minute ruined the warmup game for Taiwan NT, who lost to Korea NT 88-83 yesterday. Taiwan NT had three consecutive losses after winning the first three games in South Korea.

But head coach Lee Yun-kwang felt good about the competitive and tight game. Top players Chen Hsin-an, who had 20 points, and Tien Lei (19 points) were catching up after sitting out the Jones Cup. Center Tsun Wen-din had 18 points while shooting guard Yang Yu-min had 14.

Still, Korea NT was without two of its better players -- center Ha Seung-jin and forward Bang Sung-yoon. Ha and Bang will join the team later and will definitely make Korea NT much stronger.

Taiwan NT will face LG and SBS, both KBL pro teams, in the last two games before leaving for Fujiang, China for a four team tournament.

VC visits Taiwan, T-Mac will follow

New Jersey Nets forward/guard Vince Carter visits Taiwan for an NIKE promotional tour, which is his second trip to Taiwan. adidas Taiwan also announced Tracy McGrady, Vince's cousin, will visit Taiwan on September 1st. It will also be T-Mac's second trip to the island country.

Carter's Taiwan tour in 2001 was a huge success. Fans were crazy about his acrobatic dunks and friendliness. VC will visits underprivileged kids this afternoon and attend a three-on-three tournament in the evening.

McGrady first visited Taiwan in 1999 for adidas Asian Streetball Finals in Taipei.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Taiwan NT lost two straight to KBL pro team

Inchon ET Land Black Slamers beat Taiwan NT 69-68 yesterday. According to a report of Central News Agency(Taiwan), Taiwan NT will play eight games in Korea, which means they may add one more game on the schedule.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

First loss in Korea for Taiwan NT

Taiwan NT lost to SK Knights 90-74 and suffered the first loss in the seven-game Korea trip although it led by nine at halftime. Taiwan NT is now 3-1. Chen Hsin-an led the team with 18 points. Tsun Wen-din had 17.

SK, the first KBL team Taiwan NT encountered in the trip, pulled away with a 29-12 third quarter.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Chou Shih-yuan leads Taiwan past Chooang Univ.

Chou Shih-yuan had a team-high 17 points and led Taiwan NT beat Chooang University 81-70 in the third of seven Korean warmup games. Taiwan NT is now 3-0 in the tour and will face KBL's SK today.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Taiwan NT escapes on Chen's winner

Taiwan NT edged Korea's WUG Team 74-72 in the second warmup game yesterday on Chen Hsin-an's baseline turnaround jumper with 4 seconds left. In the extra fifth period, Taiwan led 22-19. Taiwan is now 2-0 in the seven-game warmup trip.

Tsun Wen-din had 16 points to lead all 12 players played. Chen Hsin-an and Chou Shih-yuan scored 11 points each. Tien Lei had 10 while Yang Che-yi added 9.

Taiwan NT coaching staff did not like the fact Taiwan NT only made five threes in the game, but they were satisfied that the team kept its turnovers under 10.

Julian Kim of Korea WUG Team, which left for Turkey for the World University Games after the game, scored 16 points.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Taiwan NT beat Sanmu in first warmup game in Korea

Min-shen Daily reported that Taiwan NT beat Korea's military team Sanmu 93-71 in the first of seven warmup games in Korea, which is for the preparation for the upcoming Asian Championship. The game was extended for a fifth quarter after regulation time. Taiwan trailed 20-22 in the extra 10 minutes.

Yang Yu-min led Taiwan NT with 16 points. Tien Lei and Chen Hsin-an both played for the first time in Taiwan NT uniform this year and scored 14 points each. Center Tsun Wen-din had 8 points.

** Taiwan NT center/forward Wu Dai-hao will enroll in BYU-Hawaii (NCAA Division II) this fall as a transfer student. Wu should have three years left in his eligibility. Yuta Tabuse, the first Japanese player in the NBA, and Philippines' star player Asi Taulava also attended BYU-Hawaii.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Chen Hsin-an leaves Yulon to sign with ETSN for three years

The news shocked everyone. Chen Hsin-an, Taiwan's No. 1 basketball player, left Yulon and signed with ETSN for three years, 15 million NTD (480,000 USD). The contract doesn't look much but already make Chen the highest-paid athlete in Taiwan.

Chen Hsin-an, who joined Yulon in 2000, became the second player to leave Yulon since combo guard Hong Chi-chao joined Videoland one month ago.

ETSN doesn't plan to stop. It's going to pursuit other big name players like Ho Sho-jen of Taiwan Beer and Yang Chin-min of Bank of Taiwan. All this shows ETSN's determination to be a force in Taiwanese basketball by spending big. Whether it's good or bad for Taiwanese basketball scene, no one is sure.

In Taiwan, any team who has some money to throw around will definitely get those players they want, because most teams don't sign professional contracts with players. Sometimes it's only an oral agreement, and sometimes it's only a simple written agreement.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Taiwan NT to train in Korea and China

-- Taiwan NT will hit the road again after the Jones Cup, going to Korea and China for training tour to complete the final preparation for the Asian Championship.

Korea Tour
August 6-August 16, Seven games
opponents: Sanmu, Chooang University, Korean WUG Team, LG(KBL), SK(KBL), Korean NT(2 games)

China Tour (A four-team tournament)
August 17-August 27
opponents: Videoland(Tawan), Jiangsu, Liaoning
Will play a round robin schedule in Fuzhou and Chuanzhou respectively.

-- Lin Chi-jay confirmed he will be out of Taiwan NT lineup in the Asian Championship in order to nurse his knee injury. Lin will be out of action before the end of the year.

-- Charlie Brock, head coach of the Springfield College(Mass.), will conduct a coaching clinic in Taipei from August 15-19.