Saturday, October 11, 2008

2008-09 HBL season set to begin

HBL 2008-09 high school basketball season is set to begin next Monday with 22 men's teams and 13 women's teams battling for the bragging rights of Taiwan high school ball. All eyes will be on Nanshan High School and Haishan High School, the defending men's and women's champions.

"Shan" means "mountain" in Chinese. In the past years, Nanshan and Haishan have become two mountains that are difficult for their opponents to conquer, with Haishan winning three straight women's finals and Nanshan taking home two men's titles.

The new season will start with the Northern Division preliminaries, which will be played in Nanhu High School in Taipei from Oct. 13-19. Eleven of 15 teams in the division advance to the second round. Five of the seven teams in the Southern Division advance to the second round after a preliminiary round in Fengshan Vocational High School from Oct. 15-18 in southern Taiwan.

The 16-team men's second round will start Dec. 25 in Banciao, Taipei. Women's preliminary round will start on the same day and conclude on the final day of the year. Organizers decided to push back the women's schedule because Taiwan will be sending its national team to the Asian U-18 Women's Championship in Indonesia in Novermeber.