(Yang Yu-min, courtesy of ESPN Taiwan)
Ex-Taiwan NT guard Yang Yu-min signed with Jilin Northeast Tigers and became the first Taiwanese player to sign with a Chinese basketball club this year, China Times reported.
Yang, who joined SBL’s Dacin Tigers after four years with ETSN Antelopes (now known as dmedia Numen), averaged only 4.9 points and 1.2 assists this past season due to persistent ankle injury. He averaged for more than 15 points per game with the Antelopes during the past four seasons.
Yang was also a key reserve with the national team before his injury. He will report to the team for the CBA pre-season training camp, which is held in Yunnan, China from June 12 – July 17.
United Daily reported that veteran coach Tsai Shou-li, who coached Taiwan NT and Hungfu Rams in Taiwan’s defunct pro league Chinese Basketball Alliance (CBA), has reached a one-year agreement with China’s Yunnan Bulls.
Former Dacin head coach Liu Chia-fa, who was relieved of his duty before the 2007-08 SBL season, has been in talks with Fujian Xunxing but there’s no done deal yet.
A number of Taiwanese players are also looking for opportunities to play in China, the report said. Chou Tzu-hua and Lin Kwan-lun, both from dmedia, are possible to sign with Yunnan, where Taiwan Beer guards Yen Hsin-shu and Wang Hsin-kai played last year.
I’m not sure whether these players will finish their season with Chinese clubs once contracts are signed because they are also under contracts with their Taiwanese teams at the same time. And basketball seasons in Taiwan and China overlap.