Monday, May 19, 2008

Rosters of 2008 Jones Cup and women's Olympic qualifers

-- Taiwan 15-man roster for Olympic women's qualifying tournament (June 9-15, Madrid, Spain)

Chien Wei-chuan
Cheng Hui-yun
Chiang Feng-chun
Wu Min-fang
Lee Wan-ting
Ma I-hung
Chu Yung-hsuan
Lin Hui-mei
Lin Chi-wen
Liu Chia-hsiu
Tsai Pei-chen
Wen Chi
Liu I-chun
Chen Yu-chun
Huang Fan-shan

Head coach: Hung Ling-yao

-- Preliminary 24-man roster for the 2008 William Jones Cup tournament (Taipei, Taiwan)

Chen Chih-chung
Chen Shih-nian
Hsu Hao-cheng
Wang Chih-chun
Lee Hsueh-lin
Chang Chih-fung
Yang Ching-min
Chen Hsin-an
Lin Chih-chieh
Ouyang Ching-heng
Yang Che-yi
Hsu Chih-chian
Lin Ching-pang
Ho Shou-cheng
Lin Yi-hui
Wu Chian-lung
Lu Cheng-ju
Wu Tai-hao
Tseng Wen-ting
Chian Chia-hung
Lee Chi-yi
Lee Fung-yong
Yue Ying-li
Chen Tzu-wei

Head coach: Chung Kwon Suk
Assistants: Chou Jun-san, Cheng Chih-lung

However, four players from Taiwan Beer, including Lin Chih-chieh, Wu Tai-hao, Chen Shih-nian and Ho Shou-cheng, have withdran from the team due to injuries, making the roster down to 20 players. It was reported that CTBA is considering to recruit Pure Youth swingman James Mao.

By the way, the tournament is going into its 30th year

Official website of the 2008 Jones Cup: (Chinese)

Neither the participating teams, game schedule nor the time and venue have been announced yet. Which means, other than this prelim roster, I know NOTHING about this tournament...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Random shots

-- The CTBA said it will announce the preliminary roster of Taiwan NT for the 2008 William Jones Cup tournament in mid-May. However, chances are a number of big name players are considering to sit out the annual festivity.

Tien Lei, Chen Hsin-an, Lin Chih-chieh, Tseng Wen-ting, Ho Shou-cheng and Lee Hsueh-lin are all possible to miss the tournament due to injuries. Think about it. Those are about half of the national team.

Anyway, in the Olympic year the Jones Cup will be the only basketball game in town for Taiwanese fans as there have been no international games to be played this year.

Taiwan NT will be once again led by Korean head coach Chung Kwon Suk, who guided Taiwan NT to the sixth place in the Asian Championship last year. The Jones Cup training camp is scheduled to start June 1 in Beitou, Taipei.

According to local media reports, invited guests included the national teams of Qatar, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Egypt and club teams from the Philippines, Japan, South Korea and Australia.

-- Word is that Jon Sanders, the only import in the SBL, will be playing for his third team in three years next season. And I was told that new team for Sanders will be Dacin Tigers.

Due to a special SBL rule, the top four teams are not allowed to hire import players. Which is why Sanders, who helped Videoland and Dmedia to the playoffs in the past two seasons, will not be able to play for Dmedia and need to either find a new SBL team or play elsewhere.

The rule, like I have said many times here, is ridiculous. The import players have to play well to keep their jobs, obviously. But when they do play well and take their teams to the playoffs, they will lose their jobs.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

2007-08 SBL awards

The SBL kept one of its bizarre traditions of handing out regular season awards long after the champion has been determined, announcing the award winners Monday in a gala-like official ceremony. Don't ask me why because I couldn't figure it out as well. Anyway, here we go...

MVP for the regular season: Chen Hsin-an (Yulon)

Chen Hsin-an edged out Jon Sanders by three points, 69-66, in a tight race with each earning nine first-place ballots. Chen won the honor for the first time while Sanders finished with runner-up for the second straight year. In fact, I think both players deserved the honor. Chen has transformed himself and turned in the best all-around performance in his career. Sanders dominated in almost all statistic categories and once again led his team to the playoffs.

Obviously, Chen was able to pull this off because... well, Sanders is an import. I'm not sure what it is. Maybe it's national pride or something but a lot of people tend to think that the MVP award should be handed out to a local. Personally, I would have voted Chen and Sanders for a co-MVP this year and voted for Sanders last year, which I have mentioned a couple of times in this blog earlier.

SBL First Team:
Chen Hsin-an (Yulon)
Jon Sanders (dmedia)
Wu Tai-hao (TB)
Chen Chih-chung (Yulon)
Wu Yung-jen (TM)

This is an interesting one. Guess who was the only repeated winner on this team from last year's SBL first team? The answer is Jon Sanders. And he played for a different team -- Videoland -- last season.

Gone were Tien Lei, the three-time SBL MVP who sat out the entire season due to his knee injury; Yulon starting center Tseng Wen-ting, who missed most of the season also because of a knee injury and played terribly after his return; and Lin Chih-chieh, the reigning Finals MVP who seemed a little bit lost during the regular season.

Chen Chih-chung, Wu Tai-hao and Wu Yung-jen all made the First Team for the first time.

Defensive Player of the Year: Chen Chih-chung (Yulon)

Chen had 48 points in the media voting and beat Jon Sanders for the award, his first Defensive Player of the Year award in five years.

The point guard has been known for his intensity, hustle and never-say-die attitude as well as his cheap shots on the court, somehow making him the Taiwanese version of Bruce Bowen. However, Chen is coaches' dream in that he would do anything the coaches asked of him. And he would take on any offensive player even if the guy is a center.

Most Improved Player: Hsu Chih-chan (BOT)

The quick-jumping forward won the award by an average of 15.6 points and 8.9 rebounds, which almost doubled his stats last year. In a down year for Bank of Taiwan, Hsu has been the most reliable performer on the court. On second thought, every year is a down year for BOT.

Actually, dmedia's Ouyang Ching-heng also deserved the recognition after a breakout season. But he only got 55 points in the voting while Hsu got 72 points.

Sixth Men of the Year: Chen Tzu-wei (Dacin) / Wu Chian-lung (PY)

For the first time in the short history of this award (the league didn't start handing out this award until last season), two players shared the honor as Chen Tzu-wei and Wu Chian-lung both received 40 points.

Chen has been a spark off the bench for Dacin, which played without Tien Lei all season, and averaged 10.1 points and 4.2 boards. Wu Chian-lung was also solid coming off the bench for the younf and inexperienced Pure Youth.

Rookie of the Year: Lin Ching-pang (PY)

Lin averaged 8.7 points and 4.6 rebounds and won the award in a weak class. However, his contribution has been important for Pure Youth, evidenced by his increasing playing time toward the end of the season and in the playoffs.

Coach of the Year: Hsu Ching-tse (PT)

Hsu Ching-tse, 35, led Pure Youth from seven wins last season to 15 wins and a playoff berth this year. He has been long considered the odds-on favorite to win this award although Yulon's Lee Yung-kwang also deserved some consideration by leading the Dinos to the regular season champion with some key injuries on the roster (Tseng Wen-ting, Lee Hsueh-lin and Chen Chih-chung).

For complete SBL award history, please check this page.