Saturday, September 19, 2009

CTBA OKs Taiwan players' signings with Chinese teams

Chinese Taipei Basketball Association decided that Taiwanese players are free to sign with Chinese teams after an executive committee meeting yesterday.

The decision means that the 24-man list CTBA announced last June, which prohibited current NT members to play in China, is no longer valid. It also means Taiwan Beer forward Lin Chih-chieh could play in China next season.

Local media reported that Lin could sign with either Zhejiang or Shanghai with a maximum monthly salary of US$20,000.

Lin will not be the first Taiwanese player to play in China, obviously, since several players have seen action in the Chinese league including Yen Hsin-shu, Yang Yu-min and others. However, no Taiwanese stars have entered the CBA since Cheng Chih-lung, who played for Shanghai in 2000, and SINA Lions, which played in the CBA from 2002-03.

The decision came one year after CTBA's rejected Chen Hsin-an's application to play in China and came up with the notorious 24-man protection list.

Players who intend to play in China will have to get the letter of clearance from his original team before submitting applications to the CTBA, which will contact Chinese basketball authority to complete the transfer process.

Accepting Chinese players was also mentioned in the executive committee meeting. Participants of the meeting generally welcomed the idea but said that political issue could be involved.

In terms of other SBL issue, several team representatives talked about banning import players and canceling the draft next season. However, it was not a done deal yet.