Monday, July 24, 2006

Taiwan NT embarks upon extensive training schedule for Asian Games

Taiwanese national team will embark upon an extensive training schedule that takes them to Korea and the U.S. for the preparation of the Asian Games in Doha, Qatar following the William Jones Cup tournament, which they finished for the runner-up.

Taiwan NT will play in the Asian Professional Basketball tournament and friendly games that will be held in Taipei, and train in Korea and Southern California before the Asian Games in December.

The first stop will be Korea, where the team will stay from July 28 - August 6 and play six warmup games with local teams. There will be two games versus the Korean NT, two games versus LG Sakers and one game each versus ETland and Yonsei University.

However a couple players will be unavailable for the trip, including injured Yang Yu-min, Chen Chih-chun and Wu Chih-yuan. Also missing will be starting center Tsun Wen-din, who will attend Pete Newell's Big Men Camp in Las Vegas.

The first edition of APB, which is similiar to the Asian Clubs Championship staged by FIBA Asia, will be held from August 11-19 with five teams participating in the inaugural event.

The participants include Niigata Albirex from Japan's BJ League, LG Sakers from Korea's KBL, Sydney Kings from Australia's NBL, San Miguel Beermen from Philippines' PBA and the home team Taiwan NT.

It will visit the U.S. from August 24 - September 22 for training and a couple friendly games that remain to be arranged.

Right after the U.S. tour the schedule will take the team to Korea again, where it will play another six warmup games in early October before hosting a five or six-game series versus a U.S. team in Taipei in early November. The visiting team is to be decided.

The ultimate goal for all the preparation, of course, is the Asian Games in Doha. Four years ago, Taiwan NT finished an all-time worse 7th-place in the 2002 Busan Asian Games but top players Chen Hsin-an and Lin Chi-jay did not play in Busan.