Monday, November 30, 2009

Taiwan NT looks to defend EAG title

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Taiwan NT left for Hong Kong today with one goal in their minds -- defending its title in the East Asian Games (EAG) next month in Hong Kong.

That's a lofty goal for a team which only finished for 5th place in Asia, you think. Even if Taiwan won't meet powerful West Asian teams such as Iran, Lebanon and Jordan in the EAG nor its longtime rival in the south -- the Philippines, there are still plenty of good teams in East Asia.

Which is true. To win gold, Taiwan still needs to beat South Korea, Japan and perennial Asian powerhouse China.

However, these countries are not sending their national teams to Hong Kong. China, Japan and South Korea all decided to send second NT or select teams to the EAG, the quadrennial meet which has gradually lost its luster throughout the years, giving Taiwan a legitimate chance for a repeat.

Taiwan NT head coach Chung Kwang-hee did not hesitate to speak his mind, saying that the team looks for bring home its third EAG men's basketball gold after winning it all in 1993 and 2005.

Taiwan, which is in the same bracket with Macau, Mongolia and China, will meet Macau in the opening game on Dec. 2 and is expected to meet either Japan or South Korea in the semifinal.


Taiwan men's NT roster for 2009 East Asian Games

Po., Name, Ht., Age
G Lee Hsueh-lin, Yulon, 175cm, 25
G Chen Shih-nian, TB, 180cm, 25
G Yang Ching-min, TB, 188cm, 25
G Chang Chih-feng, Dacin, 183cm, 28
F Chen Shun-hsiang, BOT, 188cm
F Lin Chih-chieh, TB, 192cm, 27
F Chen Tse-wei, Dacin, 200cm, 24
F Tien Lei, Dacin, 202cm, 26
F Yang Che-yi, Yulon, 193cm, 31
F Wu Chien-lung, Pure Youth, 193cm, 20
C Tseng Wen-ting, Yulon, 202cm, 25
C Wu Tai-hao, TB, 202cm, 24

Head coach: Chung Kwang-suk
Assistants: Chou Jun-san, Hsu Ching-tse


Taiwan women's NT roster for 2009 East Asian Games

Cheng Hui-yun C 186cm 32
Liu Chun-yi F 180cm 28
Chang Ning C 186cm 22
Chang Shih-chieh G 172cm 23
Hsu Chien-hui G 171cm 20
Wu Hsin-ying F 177cm 22
Huang Ying-li G 170cm 20
Yang Ya-hui G 170cm 20
Wu Min-fang G 174cm 22
Lee Wan-ting F 180cm 23
Chen Yu-chun F 176cm 22
Huang Fan-shan G 174cm 22

Head coach: Hung Ling-yao
Assistants: Chien Wei-chuan, Teng Pi-yun


2009 EAG Primer

Taiwan Men's NT
-- 8 teams
-- Preliminary: Two groups of four
Group A: Macau, Taiwan, Mongolia, China
Group B: Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Guam
-- Top two in each group advance to the semifinal round
-- Schedule:
Dec. 3 15:30 vs. Macau
Dec. 5 13:15 vs. Mongolia
Dec. 7 20:00 vs. China

Taiwan Women's NT
-- 6 teams
-- Preliminary: Single round robin. Top four advance to the semifinal round
-- Schedule:
Dec. 2 11:00 vs. China
Dec. 3 17:45 vs. Hong Kong
Dec. 4 13:15 vs. Japan
Dec. 6 11:00 vs. Guam
Dec. 7 11:00 vs. Korea

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Taiwan claims 5th in Asia Men's U-16

FIBA_asia (by Eurobasket News)

Taiwan U16 - Japan U16 71:66

Taiwan earned the fifth overall position in the U16 Asia Championship that just finished in Malaysia. Taiwan outscored Japan on the final day of the tournament. Yang Hsing-Chih knocked down 20 points and grabbed 8 rebounds to lead Taiwan.

Taiwan led right from the start as they ensured a 17:10 advantage at the first break. Japan managed just 8 points in the second period and trailed by 19 points at halftime. But the second half belonged to Japan. They went on a comeback rally and almost denied the deficit. Taiwan needed some luck to escape with a narrow win at the end.

Kao Po-Yu had 19 points and 11 boards in the win. Ryo Tawatari responded with 18 points for Japan. Tsukasa Tano notched 13 points, 6 boards and 4 assists in the victory.

Taiwan: Yang Hsing-Chih 20, Kao Po-Yu 19+11 boards
Japan: Ryo Tawatari 18, Tsukasa Tano 13


1. China
2. Korea
3. Iran
4. Philippines
5. Taiwan
6. Japan
7. Syria
8. Jordan
9. Kazakhstan
10. India
11. Malaysia
12. Bahrain
13. Kuwait
14. Singapore
15. Saudi Arabia
16. Thailand

PS: China defeated South Korea 104-69 in a blowout win to claim the crown.

UBA: Mingdao rally for upset victory over Chinese Culture

By Paul Huang
Saturday, Nov 28, 2009, Page 19

Mingdao University upset Chinese Culture University 70-68 as ­preliminary-round action in the annual University Basketball Association (UBA) tournament continued at the Fu Jen Catholic University in Sinjhuang on Thursday evening.

The newest team in Division I basketball proved that their promotion from Division II this season was no fluke by downing the runners-up from last season’s title game.

Mingdao received an outstanding performance from point guard Wu Min-shien, whose fade-away jumper with under a minute remaining in the game gave his side a four-point lead.

Also starring for Mingdao was forward Huang Jia-ming, who got himself in a great position under the basket for an easy put-back bucket following a miss by Wu to seal the victory in a game in which they trailed for most of the first half.

“It was a big win for us, there’s no doubt about that,” said Mingdao skipper Chia Fan, who has singlehandedly brought Mingdao to prominence with an elite recruiting class from last year.

Chinese Culture were well on their way to picking up their second victory of the competition after taking the lead early on, but fell victim to foul trouble as their top guns Lu Cheng-ru and Wu Jien-long were held to limited action with three first-half fouls apiece.

NTUA 124, TPEC 83

Fourteen three-pointers boosted National Taiwan University of the Arts (NTUA) to 73 points in the first half as they breezed past Taipei Physical Education College (TPEC) for their first win of the competition.

NTUA vented their frustration over a loss to National Dong Hwa University the night before by converting more than half of their shots from the floor (43-for-76) en route to the lopsided win.

Lai Guo-wei’s game-high 33 points led the way for NTUA.

Thursday’s other results:
‧ National Taiwan Normal University 104, Diwan University 77
‧ Hsing Wu University 87, National Taiwan College of Physical Education 79
‧ Fu Jen Catholic University 98, National Donghwa University 74
‧ National Taiwan Sports University 68, National Kaohsiung Normal University 65

UBA: Fu Jen defeat reigning champs in UBA opener

By Paul Huang
Friday, Nov 27, 2009, Page 20

Preliminary-round action of the annual University Basketball Association tournament commenced at the Fu Jen Catholic University in Sinjhuang on Wednesday when the hosts topped the defending champions from National Taiwan Normal University 84-78.

Point guard Chou Tzu-hua led the scorers with 17 points for Fu Jen, who enjoyed a tremendous home-court advantage in front of a packed house as they led from the early minutes all the way to the final buzzer.

National Taiwan Normal trailed by as many as 13 points in the second half. They rallied to within four points of Fu Jen, before falling a little short in the fourth quarter to lose the game by six points.

Chou was at his best when it counted most for Fu Jen, as 13 of his game-high 17 points came in the final quarter to help prevent National Taiwan Normal from turning the tide.

“I will try to keep my emotions under control,” Chou said.

He has a history of losing his cool, which last season led to a season-ending suspension.

Wednesday’s other results: National Dong Hwa University 69, National Kaohsiung Normal University 60; Mingdao University 93, National Taiwan Sports University 78; National Taiwan University of Arts 89, Diwan University 68; National Taiwan College of Physical Education 84, Taipei Physical Education College 79; Chinese Culture University 73, Hsing Wu College 61.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Ex-Taiwan NT assistant banned by NBA for gambling

20080410150400c71fe Former Taiwan NT assistant coach and Sacramento Kings assistant director of scouting Jack Mai has been banned by the NBA for betting money on league games, including those involving the Kings, Yahoo! Sports reported.

Jack Mai coached Luckipar Panthers in 1995-96 and registered 12 wins and 18 losses in 30 games in the Chinese Basketball Alliance, a Taiwanese pro league folded in 2000 after five seasons.

He worked as Panthers' general manager after that until the CBA went out of business.

Mai assisted late Yulon head coach Chien Yi-fei and led Taiwan NT to a silver medal finish in the 2001 East Asian Games in Osaka, Japan.

He was instrumental in landing Chen Hsin-an an opportunity to try out for the Kings in 2002. Chen was cut after appearing in two preseason games and did not make the opening day roster, however.

He also brought Tien Lei to play for the Kings in the Southern California Summer Pro League a few years later.

Ex-assistant scouting director gambled with Kings

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- The Sacramento Kings say they've been informed by the NBA that a former employee gambled while on their staff.

Jack Mai, the team's former assistant director of scouting, was found to have gambled while with the Kings, who fired him in January. Last season was his eighth with the franchise and third as assistant director of scouting.

The Kings' release says the "investigation revealed that Mr. Mai participated in improper wagering activities while a member of this organization." The Kings say Mai has been disqualified from further association with the NBA and its teams.

The league has taken gambling especially seriously since former referee Tim Donaghy admitted taking thousands of dollars from a professional gambler in exchange for inside tips, including games he worked.


NBA bans Kings scout for gambling on team
Adrian Wojnarowski

The NBA has banned former Sacramento Kings assistant director of scouting Jack Mai for betting money on league games, including those involving the Kings, Yahoo! Sports has learned.

The league informed teams in a memo on Wednesday afternoon that an investigation revealed Mai bet on NBA games “limited to small amounts of money among acquaintances and there is no evidence that he ever attempted to use his position with the Kings to influence the outcome of any NBA game.”

Mai bet on the Kings’ games for years, “some for, and some against,” a league source told Yahoo! Sports.

When reached by phone on Wednesday afternoon, Mai said only, “I resigned,” and declined further comment.

The NBA told teams they can never employ, nor use Mai in a consultant’s capacity. League rules forbid employees from betting on any NBA games, especially those involving their own teams.

“We take this matter very seriously, and we fully cooperated with the NBA’s investigation,” the Kings said in a statement.

Business partners of Mai tipped the NBA to his betting, a league source told Yahoo! Sports. After eight years with the organization, the Kings fired Mai early in 2009. Besides the gambling investigation, one league source said Mai had “questionable business dealings with Korean and Chinese basketball teams and leagues.”

“He was using his position with the Kings to make business deals for players, equipment, etc., and appearances by NBA players in Asia for money,” the source said.

Donaghy tried to peddle a tell-all book that would’ve alleged further impropriety among officials and the league, but the publisher said the threat of potential liability ultimately killed the book’s release.


Scouting assistant Mai gambled
Associted Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The Sacramento Kings said Wednesday they were informed by the NBA that a former employee gambled while on their staff.

Jack Mai, the team's former assistant director of scouting, was found to have gambled while with the Kings, who fired him in January. Last season was his eighth with the franchise and third as assistant director of scouting.

Kings owner Joe Maloof said the team fired Mai as soon as it found out through general manager Geoff Petrie that Mai had been wagering.

"I wasn't aware that he was betting. But the minute we found out he was doing something wrong we had to let him go," Maloof said. "People should know that you are not allowed to bet on NBA games. It's against the bylaws, it's against the rules."

The Kings' release said the "investigation revealed that Mr. Mai participated in improper wagering activities while a member of this organization." The Kings said Mai had been disqualified from further association with the NBA and its teams.

NBA spokesman Tim Frank confirmed Mai's disqualification and said reinstatement was not possible, but said the league would have no other comment.

The league has taken gambling especially seriously since former referee Tim Donaghy admitted taking thousands of dollars from a professional gambler in exchange for inside tips, including games he worked.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Yen signs with Shanghai

Central News Agency reported that Taiwan Beer backup point guard Yen Hsin-shu has signed with China's Shanghai Sharks in what will be his second stint in the Chinese pro league CBA.

Yen, 33, played for Yunnan Honghe in 2007 and averaged 8.1 points, 5.2 assists and 1.6 steals for the season.

The former national team starter shocked everyone by retiring in 2004 at the age of 28 and went into the show business, saying that he was disappointed with Taiwanese basketball environment.

Yen's venture to the glittering showbiz world was not successful however, which was probably why he came out of retirement and picked up a basketball again by testing his skill in China in 2007 before joining Taiwan Beer.

It was reported that Shanghai, which is now owned by Houston Rockets center Yao Ming, signed Yen for one year with the salary of RMB$250,000 (US$36,620).

Yen became the fifth Taiwanese player to sign with a Chinese club this year, following Lin Chih-chieh, Chen Hsin-an, Hsu Hao-cheng and Lin Kwan-lun.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Formation of new organization looks like dead

Local media reported over the weekend that formation of a new basketball organization looked like a thing in the past as Taiwan Beer and Yulon management both pulled an about-face, reaffirming their support for the CTBA and the SBL.

Representatives from five of seven SBL teams said last week that they were planning to establish a new committee, Super Basketball Developmental Committee, to tackle on SBL marketing.

Dacin Tigers, which is owned by CTBA President Wang Jen-da, and Bank of Taiwan, a state-owned bank, were not invited to join the new committee, which was scheduled to launch on Nov. 17.

It was reported that Taiwan Beer Chairman Wei Po-tao reiterated TB’s support for the SBL and the SBL Committee, a committee under the CTBA in charge of league-wide affairs in a public statement.

The astonishing statement was basically a slap in the face for TB head coach Yen Chia-hwa, who has been an integral part of the new committee with the ultimate goal of forming a new professional league free of CTBA’s control.

Since Yen’s boss has spoken, Yen would have no choice but to play the game under CTBA’s playbook.

Yulon management was also said to phone in its support for the CTBA.

Sports Affairs Council, Taiwan’s highest sports affairs governing body, chairwoman Tai Hsia-ling told the media last week that the SAC will do whatever it takes to make sure the 2009-10 SBL season tip off on January 9 next year.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Chen going to Guangdong

Apple Daily reported that Yulon Luxgen forward Chen Hsin-an is scheduled to go to China next Sunday and is expected to sign with Dongguan New Century.

Chen, who had surgeries on both knees in June, is working on his conditioning to prepare for the upcoming season in China, which will tip off on Dec. 19.

Once the biggest star in Taiwanese basketball, Chen has been plagued by injuries during the past three years and his skill deteriorated.

With or without Chen, Yulon has been and will always be competitive with the core of center Tseng Wen-ting and a group of aggressive and experienced guards. Which was why Yulon let go of Chen.

Sources told me that Yulon planned to send Chen to Shanxi but Chen opposed the move. Luxgen head coach Zhang Xue-lei, sources said, made up his mind that Yulon would stay competitive without Chen. At the same time he can be a valuable asset for his good friend Wu Qing-long, Shanxi's head coach.

Feeling unwanted, Chen then made his move to contact Chinese teams although he's still under contract. He figured that Yulon would let him do whatever he wanted again, just like what happened in 2002 when he tried out for Sacramento Kings and 2005, when he signed a lucrative contract with ETSN Antelopes before changing mind and re-joining Yulon.

Guess what? Chen was right. Not only Yulon approved his transfer to China but Yulon decided not to challenge Chen's breach of contract.

SN01_002 SN01_006

On other news, Lin Chih-chieh, who's currently in Zhejiang's pre-season training camp, said that his goal for the new season is averaging 10-15 points and 5 assists.

But Lin will have to make a major adjustment in his game, which contains a lot of penetration. Zhejiang head coach Wang Fei, a former Chinese NT member, stresses a lot on set-up plays which require less penetration, more ball movement, cutting and screening.

(Photo: Apple Daily)

Saturday, November 07, 2009

New basketball organization in the making

Did I say Taiwanese basketball never ceases to amaze me? Well, here's the latest example. Liberty Times reported Saturday that five of seven SBL teams plan to set up a new committee to tackle on the marketing issue.

Dacin Tigers, which is owned by CTBA President Wang Jen-da, and Bank of Taiwan, a state-owned bank, were not invited to join the Super Basketball Developmental Committee, which will officially established on Nov. 17.

Taiwan Mobile general manager Wang Hong-shen said the committee looks to improve the marketing aspect of the SBL and will not be competing with the SBL Committee, comprised of team representatives and CTBA officials, for the leadership and organizational power.

"It is a division of labor, " Wang said.

CTBA deputy secretary-general Wang Jen-shen expressed his disappointment toward the move. "The move will destroy what the league has accomplished during the past six years if they want to take the matters in their own hands." Wang was referring to game operations, including venue and officiating.

"I doubt they will be able to set up all those things before the season opener in January, " he said.

The strange thing is:

1. The new committee excludes Dacin and BOT although it stresses that marketing will be its only goal. If that is true, why do they decide to left two teams out in the cold?

2. Although the new committee stresses that marketing will be its main goal, Wang Jen-shen still presumed that it's trying to take charge of everything eventually.

Do you smell something?

Wang jen-shen is not stupid. And I bet he's thinking what I'm thinking: these teams are trying to break away fro m the CTBA to set up their own league -- again.

However I don't think Wang and the CTBA are panicking any time soon. SBL teams have threatened to leave the league and set up a new one like...a million times, but they never actually did anything.

It will be interesting to see how this thing develops though.

Friday, November 06, 2009

2009 SBL local draft no. 1 pick...Doug Creighton?


Doug Creighton was selected by Bank of Taiwan Wednesday as the No. 1 pick in the 2009 SBL Local Draft.

Wait. You ask, "Hasn't Creighton played in the SBL for two years?"

Yes, you're right. He played for Pure Youth and Bank of Taiwan in the past two years.

But you're also wrong, because he played as a foreigner during those years and this will be the first year he plays as a local after obtaining a Taiwanese I.D.

As crazy as it may seem, Doug Creighton was handed a BOT jersey from BOT head coach Lai Liang-chung, the man he played for last season, in the draft ceremony. Check the photo here.


In a relatively meaningless local draft, five of 12 applicants were selected by SBL teams. Pure Youth, Yulon and Dacin did not pick up anyone. Taiwan Mobile picked Taiwan Junior NT member Chen Po-wei at No. 2. At No.3 KKL selected 200cm center Lan Ching-chieh from NKNU. Taiwan Beer selected point guard Yang Nung.

KKL added point guard Hsu Bing-yen in the second round.

The draft is pretty much meaningless because most of the players picked up would not be able to play right away. According to the agreement between the SBL and the UBA (University Basketball Association), college players are not allowed to play in the SBL before their junior year.

Which means, if you select a high school graduate in the draft, he would not be playing for you in two years.

The SBL tried to pattern the draft after the NBA draft or most drafts you see elsewhere, but some teams never take the draft seriously. Yulon Luxgen, which has the largest budget among seven SBL teams, added promising prospect Lin Chieh-min to its roster prior to last season without going through the local draft.

Funny thing is that nobody said a word about it! And the SBL Committee never do anything about it. No fines and penalty. No condemnation. No statement. Everyone acted like it has never happened.

It's not surprising to see that the draft which had a good intention at the first place has become a joke.

(Photo source: Apple Daily)

Thursday, November 05, 2009

New wave of Taiwanese players exodus?

8357362_c4148ba252 Chen Hsin-an.

Several local media reported that at least three players, including Yulon Luxgen star forward Chen Hsin-an, will sign with Chinese teams and play in China next season and a news wave of Taiwanese players exodus to China looked inevitable.

According to the reports, Taiwan Beer point guard Hsu Hao-cheng and former Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor (KKL) guard Lin Kwan-lun, who was released in the summer, will sign with Shanxi, one of 18 teams in Chinese pro league CBA (Chinese Basketball Association).

Hsu signed a one-year contract and will be paid US$15,000 and Lin signed a two-year contract of a monthly salary of US$8,000.

It was also reported that Chen Hsin-an, one of the best players in Taiwan, will sign with Guangdong for an annual salary of NT$11M (US$340,000) which is 7.6 times of his current salary with Yulon.

Taiwan Beer forward Lin Chih-chieh was the first Taiwanese player to sign with Chinese club this year, inking a one-year contract with Zhejiang in September which will earn him around US$15,000 per month plus incentives.

However, Central News Agency reported that Chen has not signed with any team although he expressed his wish to play in China for better salary.

Chen was quoted as saying that it was true that he has been in contact with three CBA teams, but stories about the NT$11M salary were incorrect.

The 29-years-old forward still has two years left in his contract with Yulon. The interesting thing was that Yulon' general manager Chiang Yu-cheng told a press conference that the team will grant Chen his letter of clearance which allows him to transfer his registration to Chinese basketball authority.

These are not all. Taiwan Beer head coach Yen Chia-hwa was quoted by the media saying that TB center Wu Tai-hao has been courted by as many as six CBA teams with lucrative offers. Yen would not let of Wu, however, stressing that Wu is an irreplaceable piece in TB's quest for the SBL title.

Rumor said Yulon lead guard Lee Hsueh-lin is entertaining the idea of playing in China for better pay, too.

All these rumors make you wonder what will the 2009-2010 SBL season look like when it tips off next January. Will half of Taiwan NT players play in the opposite side of the Taiwan Strait?

On the other hand, I guess we can't blame the players for dumping the SBL for greener pasture when the league they try to leave behind is one which is still without a TV contract and not knowing whether it should allow foreign players or not with one month before its season opener.