Friday, August 31, 2007

Yao Ming to visit Taiwan


According to a Central News Agency report, Yao Ming was finally granted for a permission to visit Taiwan from Sept. 7-9 by Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), which had previously rejected Yao's visit.

Noted Chinese NBA player to visit Taiwan Sept. 7-9
Taipei, Aug. 30 (CNA) Yao Ming, the best-known Chinese basketball player, is scheduled to visit Taiwan Sept. 7-9 for sports exchanges and public-interest activities, government sources said Thursday.
Mainland Affairs Council Chairman Chen Ming-tong said Yao, who is considered one of the best centers in the U.S. National Basketball Association (NBA) , is welcome to visit Taiwan as a basketball professional to help boost athletic exchanges across the Taiwan Strait.
It will be Yao's first visit to Taiwan since he became an NBA player in 2002. He previously visited Taiwan in 1997 and 2000 for amateur basketball contests with local players.
Chen said Yao should focus on sports-related or public-interest activities during his stay and refrain from any fund-raising activities.
The Cabinet-level MAC, which charts Taiwan's policies toward China , called a special meeting Thursday to screen Yao's application to visit Taiwan. The application was approved during the meeting.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Report: Yen Hsin-shu comes out of retirement, signs with China's Yunnan

9510United Daily News reported that former Taiwan NT point guard Yen Hsin-shu came out of retirement and signed with China's Yunnan Honghe Running Bulls.

Yen, 30, retired three years ago at the peak of his career to try his luck in the entertainment business due to knee injury. He will play for Taiwan Beer in the 2007 Straits Cup, which will tip off tomorrow at Miaoli, before playing in China in the 2007-08 CBA season.

Yen played for BBC Mars, which was known as Videoland Hunters now, during the 2003-04 season -- the inaugural SBL season, before announcing early retirement. Before his early departure, Yen was considered one of Taiwan's top young point guards.

He is scheduled to report to Yunnan's training camp in mid-September and get ready for the season that starts in November. Yen said that he is now only 50 percent of where he was but he is confident to be ready for the CBA action before the season opens.

"Hopefully, I can play another three to five years, " he said.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

2007 Straits Cup roster, schedule

TB, Dacin will meet two Chinese teams in Straits Cup. (source: ESPN Taiwan)

straits cup* Team Roster

Taiwan Beer
Chou Jun-san 177
Pan Jen-der 175
Chen Shih-nian 179
Wang Jian-wei 190
Wu Chih-yuan 200
Lin Chih-jqy 191
Lo Shin-liang 182
Hsu Cheng-wen 196
Ho Sho-jen 196
Shan Wei-fan 195
Hsu Hao-cheng 178
Ha Hsiao-yuan 200
Lin Che-wei 195
Yang Chin-min 1188
Wu Dai-hao 202
Wang Shin-kai 176

Head coach: Yen Jia-hwa
Assistant: Chou Jun-san

Dacin Tigers
Lee Fong-yong 197
Wang Chih-chun 180
Chang Chi-feng 183
Tien Lei 202
Chen Tse-wei 200
Su Yi-chieh 181
Lin Yi-huei 191
Kang Chao-hsiang 208
Yen Jia-wei 188
Yao Jun-jay 192
Lo Yu-chun 185
Tsai Jun-min 198
Chen Ching-wen 185
Yua Ying-li 196
Yang Yu-min 180
Chen Yu-an 194

Head coach: Chiu Da-tsun
Assistant: Hsu Chi-chao

Chen Xiaodong 207
Wang Gang 185
Sun Jie 190
Zhao Yonggang 200
Hou Bing 200
Guo Lei 200
Li Lin 203
Zhang Xiaowei 193
Cao Zhenhua 208
Cui Zhenjie 198
Zho Yilin 202
Wu Ke 209

Head coach: Ju Weisong

Jiangsu Dragons
Tang Zhengdong 214
Meng Da 195
Fang Hui 200
Chen Fei 198
Zhang Cheng 198
Yang Li 196
Hu Xuefeng 185
Chuo Hua -
Wu Nan -
Zhang Caibao 189
Zhang Chuyang 200
Liu Yahui 200

Head coach: Hu Weidong

* Schedule

Sept. 1 @ Miaoli
1800 Shandong vs. TB
2000 Dacin vs. Jiangsu

Sept. 2 @ Miaoli
1800 Jiangsu vs. Shandong
2000 Dacin vs. TB

Sept. 3 @ Miaoli
1800 Dacin vs. Shandong
2000 Jiangsu vs. TB

Sept. 5 @ Hualien
1800 Dacin vs. Shandong
2000 TB vs. Jiangsu

Sept. 6 @ Hualien
1800 Jiangsu vs. Shandong
2000 TB vs. Dacin

Sept. 7 @ Hualien
1800 Shandong vs. TB
2000 Jiangsu vs. Dacin

All games will be broadcast by ESPN Taiwan live.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Four teams from China, Taiwan to compete in Straits Cup

straits cup

Four teams from China's CBA (Chinese Basketball Association) and Taiwan's SBL (Super Basketball League) will participate in the 2007 Straits Cup basketball tournament starting September 1, organizer ESPN Taiwan said is a press release.

The details of the tournament has not been released yet but ESPN Taiwan said the participating teams will be SBL champion Taiwan Beer, Dacin Tigers, and China's Shandong and Jiangsu Dragons. The games will be played in Yilan County and Miaoli County.

This mini tournament wil be special for Chiu Da-tsun, who replaced Liu Jia-fa as the new Dacin head coach and will be facing his former team Jiangsu. Chiu had an above average coaching career in the CBA, where he coached Sina, Xinjiang and Jiangsu.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Taiwan women's NT finishes 5th in WUG; men's 20th

Taiwan WUG women
(Source: Apple Daily)

Taiwan women's WUG national team upset USA 71-62 with a 10-0 rally late in the final five minutes and finished for 5th place in the World University Game in Bangkok, Thailand.

Taiwan almost lost the 13-point advantage it built in the first half but regrouped in the decisive quarter to hold off the American's furious inside attack. Guard Wu Min-fang had five threes in the game. Center Tsai Pei-chen had 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Taiwan men's WUG national team lost to Brazil 80-66 in its last game and finished for a disappointing 20th place, the worst finish for Taiwan in its WUG history.

Taiwan men's team did not play in Izmir, Turkey in 2005. In 2003, it finished for 16th place in Daegu, Korea.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

To keep him or not to keep him

(Photo source: Apple Daily)

To keep him or not to keep him. That's the problem. The "him" here refers to the Korean head coach Chung Kwang-suk, who was hired by the CTBA two months before the Asian Championship to salvage this national team that was once dubbed as the strongest ever in Taiwanese basketball history but always ended up with disappointing results.

Chung said in the first press conference that his goal would be take Taiwan back to the top four in Asia. And he almost did that. Taiwan finished for six place in Tokushima, Japan.

It's not something to be proud of, you might say. True. But imagine that Chung did it without Tien Lei, who could've produced 15 points and 10 rebounds every game; Chen Chih-chung, who was generally considered the best floor leader; and small forward Ho Sho-jen and point guard Su Yi-chieh. And don't forget that Chung also lost starting center Tsun Wen-din, who missed the preliminary round entirely and was a non-factor in the tournament.

On top of that, Chung did not have much time to make this team HIS team. And he had to go through a translator to communicate with his players all the time, since he speaks Korean and the players speak Chinese and no one on the team speaks English.

Now that the tournament was over. The question will be whether to keep Chung as the NT head coach and whether the CTBA likes the direction he's taking this team. Many fans have called for keeping him because they liked what they saw in the tournament. The short-handed Taiwan NT never gave up any game and played their hearts out.

However, Chung also drew some criticism for his substitution strategy as six players have played the majority of minutes in the entire tournament. In a couple of crucial games, Chung decided to go with only five players for the entire game, citing reasons that the subs have not been doing a good job and the games were too important for him to take risks.

According to an Apple Daily report, Chung was signed through September this year on a US$5,000 monthly salary. That sounded pretty cheap to me for a veteran coach with Chung's experience and expertise.

Traditional thinking would be that the CTBA will keep Chung. But the CTBA is never "traditional" and often might just do the opposite. Taiwan NT does not train and play all year. Coupled with the fact that the CTBA has no national team program to speak of (Well, it has, but the program pretty much did not operate), keeping Chung without giving him a team would be weird.

Will Chung be able to coach Dacin, CTBA president Wang Jen-da's team, which was something he had done in the old CBA days? Because rumor said current Dacin head coach Liu Jia-fa is contacting Segway Technology (former ETSN). Will Chung be kept as a NT head coach that acts as a scout when there's no tournaments going on?

I don't have the answer, but I give Chung a high score on his first test and do think the CTBA should keep him.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Rumor: Yang Yu-min going to Dacin

The strong gets stronger in the SBL. At least it looks like this at this moment. Local media reported that former Taiwan NT member Yang Yu-min, who played for ETSN (now Segway Technology) last season, will sign with Dacin Construction.

This was one of the recent player movement that made the top three teams -- Yulon, Taiwan Beer and Dacin -- even stronger. Before Yang Yu-min, Videoland's Yang Che-yi and Lee Chi-yi had joined Yulon Dinos and Bank of Taiwan lost two of its top players as well -- Yua Ying-li to Dacin and Yang Chin-min to Taiwan Beer.

And even before that, NT starting center Wu Dai-hao, who had a brilliant outing in the Asian Championship, had dumped ETSN and signed with Taiwan Beer.

According to the media reports, Yulon will send Liu Shen-yao and Hsu Wei-shen to Videoland to "exchange" for Yang and Li. And Taiwan Beer will send Wu Rui-jin and Lin Kwan-lun to Segway Technology.

(Photo cortesy of ESPN Taiwan)

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Sixth place finish for Taiwan in Asian Championship


Taiwan lost to Jordan 97-74 in its final game in the 2007 Asian Championship and finished sixth place in the tournament. It's not a good result, but it's Taiwan's best Asian Chamiponship finish since 2001.

In the championship game, Hamed Ehadadi had 31 points and 10 rebounds and led Iran to a 74-69 victory over West Asia foe Lebanon. Iran won its first ever Asian Championship title and a ticket to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Jordan, which broke open the game after 15 minutes, was led by Zaid Abbas' 24 points and 13 rebounds. Zaid Alkhas had 15 points. Enver Soobzokov added 14 and Sam Daghlas had 12.

Chen Hsin-an had 13 points for Taiwan, which ranked 11th in 2003 and 9th in 2005. Lin Yi-huei had 12 points. Chen Shih-nian and Lee Chi-yi each scored 11 points while Wu Dai-hao had 10 points and 5 boards.

Taiwan was 3-5 in the tournament, head coach Chung Kwang-suk's first major tournament with the team since taking over in May. It remained to be seen whether the CTBA will keep Chung, an experienced Korea veteran, after the tournament.

For the whole tournament, Taiwan has been short-handed due to injuries and untimely suspensions. Tien Lei, Chen Chih-chun, Su Yi-chieh and Ho Sho-jen all sat out because of various injuries. Starting center Tsun Wen-din was added to the injured list after the Jones Cup.

Wu Dai-hao became the lone big man on the roster. Chung was forced to move Chen Hsin-an to the power forward position and Lin Chih-jay as the small forward. Feeling the pressure of the short tournament, Chung played his starters for almost the entire game in most games and drew criticism back home from some observers and press.

Still, Taiwan NT had its best finish since 2001, when it ranked 7th. Relatively speaking, Chung successfully installed an inside-outside system and make Taiwan more than a three-point shooting team. Wu and Lin, both of whom have been ignored by former NT head coach Lee Yung-kwang, blossomed because of the change. Taiwan's zone defense also saw improvement.

Which is why I think CTBA should keep Chung as the NT head coach. He got the O.K. sixth place finish and improved the overall toughness and performance of the team.




**Taiwan NT game-by-game (3W-5L):
Beat Syria, 90-66
Lost to Korea, 70-85
Beat Hong Kong, 98-81
Lost to Iran, 64-76
Lost to Lebanon, 64-95
Lost to Qatar, 74-87
Beat Japan, 85-80
Lost to Jordan, 74-97

5/6 place: Jordan 97-74 Taiwan
7/8 place: Qatar 86-82 Japan
3/4 place: Korea 80-76 Kazakhstan
Championship: Iran 74-69 Lebanon

**Final placing:
1. Iran
2. Lebanon
3. Korea
4. Kazakhstan
5. Jordan
6. Taiwan
7. Qatar
8. Japan
9. Philippines
10. China
11. Syria
12. Indonesia
13. Hong Kong
14. Kuwait
15. India
16. UAE


Donyell Marshall to visit Taiwan

Adidas Taiwan said in a press release that NBA player Donyell Marshall, who plays for Cleveland Cavaliers and holds the current NBA single-game three-pointers record with 12, will visit Taiwan for a promotional event on August 11.

Also making the trip to Tawian will be New York Knicks cheer leading team and Golden State mascot "Thunder", adidas Taiwan said.

Marshall will be the first NBA player visiting Taiwan this summer.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Taiwan to play for fifth after beating Japan


Chen Hsin-an had 26 points and 9 rebounds and Wu Dai-hao had 22 points and 8 rebounds as Taiwan edged host Japan 85-80 Saturday and will meet Jordan Sunday for the fifth place in the 2007 Asian Championship. Win or lose, Taiwan is guaranteed to have its best finish in the tournament in the past six years.

In fact, the game was for Taiwan to lose as the second leading scorer on the team, Lin Chih-jay, was suspended for throwing a punch at Qatar's Daoud Daoud in the previous game. Both were suspended for one game.

Starting center Tsun Wen-din was called for his 4th foul early in the second period. He was replaced by Lee Chi-yi and never played since.

Taiwan, which trailed by two at halftime, changed the momentum of the game in the third quarter and took the lead. A 27-of-33 performance on the free-throw line helped Taiwan to put down Japan's furious rally in the last three minutes.

Head coach Chung Kwang-suk once again decided to let his starters finish off the game. Chen Hsin-an, Wu Dai-hao, Lee Hsueh-lin and Yang Che-yi all played 40 minutes. Yang had 14 points in the game and Lee had 12.

Japan suffered another setback following a disappointing loss to Jordan. J.R. Sakuragi and Tomoo Amino each scored 15 points. Veteran SG Takehimo Orimo added 14 while Joji Takeuchi had 11. Japan was outrebounded 33-24 and outscored 27-10 on the free-throw line.

Taiwan will meet Jordan, which beat Qatar 77-67 Saturday, tomorrow in the 5/6 place game. Japan has to play Qatar for the 7th place.

In the semifinals, Lebanon beat Korea 76-74 and Iran jumped on Kazakhstan early for a 75-62 win. Lebanon will meet Iran in the championship game while Kazakhstan will meet Korea for bronze on the final day of the tournament.

Wu tried to stop Sakuragi.

Daoud Daoud choked Lin Chih-jay.

Both Lin and Daoud were ejected and suspended for one game.

Game results:
9/10 place game: Philippines 78-76 China
11/12 place game: Syria 108-79 Indonesia
13/14 place game: Hong Kong 72-66 Kuwait
15/16 place game: India 82-77 UAE
Taiwan 85-80 Japan
Jordan 77-67 Qatar
Lebanon 76-74 Korea
Iran 75-62 Kazakhstan

(photo source: apple daily and

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Third straight loss for Taiwan in quarterfinals


Taiwan NT ran out of gas and dropped another game Thursday to Qatar 87-74, its third straight loss in the quarterfinal round. Taiwan finished 0-3 in Group E, losing all three games to its West Asia opponents Lebanon, Iran and Qatar, and will meet Japan in the next game.

If Taiwan beat Japan in the next game, it will earn an opportunity to play for the 5th place. If it loses, it will have to play for the seventh. Either way, it's going to be Taiwan's best finish in the Asian Championship since 2001.

Qatar is a familiar foe for Taiwan, which has met the Qatari in the Jones Cup during the last two years and in last year's Asian Games. Taiwan even routed Qatar a couple of times at home. Word was that Taiwan has found the winning formula against Qatar.

Which was not the case at all Thursday. Qatar led from start to finish and outscored the Taiwanese in every period en route to a convincing victory. Yasseen Ismail Musa led Qatar with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Ali Saad Abdulrahman had 20 points and Salem Oman added 15.

Taiwan was led by Chen Hsin-an's 18 points and 7 boards. Tsun Wen-din had his best game in the tournament with 15 points and 9 rebounds. Lee Chi-yi had 13 while Chen Shih-nian had 10. Wu Dai-hao, one of Taiwan's best performers in the tournament, went scoreless and fouled out in 14 minutes.

Lebanon, Iran, Kazakhstan and Korea became Asia's latest top four as Lebanon will meet Korea and Kazakhstan takes on Iran in the crossover semifinals.

Jordan, Japan, Taiwan and Qatar will play in the 5-8 classification games.




Quarterfinal round results:
Qatar 87-74 Taiwan
Kazakhstan 75-73 Korea
Lebanon 82-60 Iran
Japan 71-68 Jordan

Consolation round results:
Philippines 89-58 Kuwait
China 100-55 UAE
Syria 105-54 India
Indonesia 81-78 Hong Kong

Group Standings:
Group E
Lebanon 3-0
Iran 2-1
Qatar 1-2
Taiwan 0-3

Group F
Kazakhstan 2-1
Korea 2-1
Japan 1-2
Jordan 1-2

Group G
Philippines 3-0
Syria 2-1
Kuwait 1-2
India 0-3

Group H
China 3-0
Indonesia 2-1
Hong Kong 1-2
UAE 0-3

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Lebanon eliminates Taiwan's semi hope


Chung Kwang-suk's hope of leading Taiwan NT back to the Asian Championship semifinals was crushed after a 95-64 blowout loss to Lebanon Wednesday, the second straight loss for Taiwan NT in the quarterfinal round.

The Lebanese dominated the game throughout. It enjoyed a comfortable 39-26 halftime lead and kept pushing the lead in the second half. Fadi El Khatib scored a game-high 28 points on 10 of 17 shooting and made all seven of his free-throws. Joseph Vogel and Brian Feghali each had 14 points while Jean Abdel-Nour had 13.

Taiwan, which played its worst game at the worst time, was led by Chen Hsin-an's 21 points. Lin Chih-jay followed with 15 points. Wu Dai-hao had 9.

By dropping two games in a row, Taiwan was out of the semifinals. But it's hard to blame head coach Chung, a Korean. Chung did not have much time to train the team, and he lost at least four injured players that all could have made the national team roster -- Chen Chih-chun, Ho Sho-jen, Su Yi-chieh and Tien Lei.

Keep in mind, that did not include Tsun Wen-din, who didn't play until the quarterfinal round but was a non-factor in the tournament.




Quarterfinal round results:
Jordan 82-73 Kazakhstan
Lebanon 95-64 Taiwan
Iran 95-87 Qatar
Korea 93-83 Japan

Consolation round results:

Philippines 104-69 India
China 102-47 Indonesia
Syria 109-69 Kuwait
Hong Kong 87-64 UAE


Iranian giant too tough to handle for Taiwan


Taiwan NT could not overcome Iran's height advantage and dropped its first game in the quarterfinal round to Iran, 76-64, Tuesday.

Iran's 7-2 center Hamed Hadadi had 17 points and 16 rebounds and Mohammed Nikkha had 22 points on 10-of-16 shooting as Iran broke open the game with a 16-2 run in the third quarter.

Taiwan, which was outrebounded 42-21, could do little with its zone defense to stop Hadadi and contain Iran's outside shooting at the same time. It is scheduled to meet Lebanon on Wednesday and Qatar on Thursday.

Head coach Chung Kwang-suk almost played his starting ineup for the entire first half and Taiwan was able to keep just one step behind Iran, trailing 37-34 at the half. However, the third-quarter lapse changed the whole game. Taiwan trailed by as many as 21 points.

Wu Dai-hao once again paced the team with 16 points (5-11 FG, 6-8 FT), 6 rebounds and two blocks. Chen Hsin-an also added 16 points and 5 boards. Yang Che-yi had 12 and Lin Chih-jay had 11.

204cm center Tsun Wen-din, who has been listed as day-to-day since the tournament started and did not play in the preliminary round, made his debut in the third quarter but looked rusty, going scoreless in 9 minutes.

Point guard Javad Davari also had 13 points for Iran, which advanced to the quarterfinal with a perfect 3-0 record in the Group A.



Quarterfinal results:
Iran 76-64 Taiwan
Lebanon 90-68 Qatar
Korea 70-65 Jordan
Kazakhstan 93-85 Japan

Consolation round results:
Philippines 107-100 Syria
China 93-69 Hong Kong
Kuwait 72-68 India
Indonesia 83-81 UAE