Monday, March 24, 2008

Veterans Lo, Chou retired

Chou Chun-san (left) and Lo Hsing-liang (Source: ESPN Taiwan)

Lo Hsing-liang, 37, and Chou Chun-san, 39, officially announced their retirement Sunday after playing in the same backcourt in their final game. Taiwan Beer retired Lo's number, No. 13, and Chou's No. 4 after the game.

The duo, arguably Taiwan's best backcourt in the last 20 years, first received nationwide popularity in the old CBA (Chinese Basketball Alliance) days from 1994-1999, when they played for Hung-kuo Elephants and led the team to an unprecedented three-peat along with Cheng Chih-lung. Cheng was regarded as one of the best small forwards in Asia.

The CBA folded in the middle of its fifth season in 1999. Hung-kuo was later taken over by a different owner and renamed to Sina, the first Taiwanese basketball team to play in China's CBA. It didn't take long for Lo, a sharpshooting guard, and floor general Chou to be recognized by Chinese fans.

Sina returned to Taiwan after two years and joined the SBL. It changed its name to YMY, Azio Eagles folowing a number of ownership changes and is now known as Pure Youth.

The backcourt tandem also made great contribution for Taiwan internationally. They led Taiwan to an East Asian game gold in 1997 in Busan, South Korea, and played together in numerous international competitions, including the Jones Cups, Asian Games and Asian Championships.

As a collegiate player, Lo helped Taiwan beat South Korea with a 38-point outburst in 1993 to secure a ticket to Under-22 Men's World Championship in the same year. Lo earned his nickname "Wonder Boy" by scoring one point per minute throughout his junior high career.

Chou played for ETSN Antelopes before joining Tawan Beer and Lo also signed with TB after being released by his former team Azio, which decided to go with a youth movement.