Saturday, April 07, 2007

New NT coach: our goal will be top four in Asia

(Chung Kwang Suk, photo credit: Apple Daily Taiwan)

Taiwan NT's goal in the Asian Championship this year will be returning to the top four in Asia, said new Taiwan NT head coach Chung Kwang Suk Friday in Taipei.

"Players will not be motivated unless you set a high goal," said Chung on the sideline of the SBL games. And he also envisioned a Taiwan NT with "strong defense and quick transition" under his tutelage, although he only has less than two months to achieve the transformation.

As the Asian Championship coming in late July and the SBL season won't conclude until May or early June, Chung realized that he wouldn't have enough time to make the team "his team." That's why he wants to start with defense.

The veteran Korean coach who arrived in Taiwan on April 3 will be the first foreign NT head coach for Taiwanese basketball programs on any level since 2000. He will submit his NT roster after the SBL season.

Chung, who led Korea to the 1997 Asian Championship title and a 1998 World Championship berth, also coached a Taiwan Junior NT that included top players like Tsun Wen-din, Tien Lei, Lin Chih-jay, Wu Dai-hao and Ho Sho-jen to a third-place finish in the 2000 Asian Junior Championship.

Chung also briefly coached Dacin Tigers in the final season of the defunct CBA(Chinese Basketball Alliance) in 1998-99 and finished with a 8-14 record. Later he went back to Korea and coached the University of Korea.

Those players he has coached in 2000 have all seen much improvement offensively, but their defense really needs a lot of work, Chung observed courtside.

Taiwan NT's best finish in major Asian tournaments since 2001 is 7th-place, which is a very disappointing result considering the popularity of the game in Taiwan and the the talents of Taiwan national team program.

Taiwan NT in major Asian tournaments since 2001:
2006 Asian Games: 8th
2005 Asian Championship: 9th
2003 Asian Championship: 11th
2002 Asian Games: 7th
2001 Asian Championship: 7th