Sunday, May 30, 2010 2010 SBL awards

Player of the Year: Tseng Wen-ting (Yulon)
Guard of the Year: Chen Shun-hsiang (BOT)
Forward of the Year: Jon Sanders (PY)
Center of the Year: Tseng Wen-ting (Yulon)
Newcomer of the Year: Sun Hwan-po (BOT)
Most Improved Player: Cheng Jen-wei (KKL)
Import of the Year: Jon Sanders (PY)
Domestic Player of the Year: Tseng Wen-ting (Yulon)
Defensive Player of the Year: Tseng Wen-ting (Yulon)
Coach of the Year: Hsu Chin-tse (PY)
First Team:
F Jon Sanders (PY)
F Alexus Foyle (TM)
C Tseng Wen-ting (Yulon)
SG Chen Shun-hsiang (BOT)
PG Chen Chih-chung (Yulon)

Second Team:
F Shawn Hawkins (KKL)
F Cheng Jen-wei (KKL)
C Byron Allen (Dacin)
SG Yang Ching-min (TB)
PG Wu Yong-jen (TM)

Honorable Mention: Tien Lei (Dacin), James Mao (PY), Chen Ching-hwan (KKL), Liu Cheng-yao (TM), Hong Chih-shan (PY)

All-Domestic Team: Tseng Wen-ting (Yulon), Cheng Jen-wei (KKL), Chen Shun-hsiang (BOT), Chang Chih-feng (Dacin), Yang Ching-min (TB)

All-Import Team: Shawn Hawkins (KKL), Jon Sanders (PY), Byron Allen (Dacin), Alexus Foyle (TM), Derek Stribling (TB)

All-Defensive Team: Tseng Wen-ting (Yulon), Chang Chih-feng (Dacin), Chen Chih-chung (Yulon), Chen Ching-hwan(KKL), Jon Sanders(PY)

All-Newcomer Team: N/A (Not enough newcomers)

SBL official awards for 2010 season

Champion: Yulon Luxgen
Finals MVP: Chen Chih-chung (Yulon)
Scoring Leader: Shawn Hawkins (KKL)
Rebounding Leader: Jon Sanders (PY)
Assists Leader: Jon Sanders (PY)
Steals Leader: Chang Chih-feng (Dacin)
Blocks Leader: Tseng Wen-ting (Yulon)
Most Improved Player: Cheng Jen-wei (KKL)
Defensive Player of the Year: Tseng Wen-ting (Yulon)
Coach of the Year: Hsu Chin-tse (PY)
Sixth Man of the Year: Chen Chih-chung (Yulon)
Rookie of the Year: Sun Hwan-po (BOT)
SBL First Team: Chen Chih-chung (Yulon), Chang Chih-feng (Dacin), Tseng Wen-ting (Yulon), Cheng Jen-wei (KKL), Jon Sanders (PY)
Regular Season MVP: Tseng Wen-ting (Yulon)

Monday, May 24, 2010

New wave of player exodus imminent

IMG_1695 Lin Chih-chieh

With Chen Hsin-an and Lin Chih-chieh off to China already, more players are expected to leave Taiwan and play in China's Chinese Basketball Association and hurt the popularity of the domestic league even more.

According to media reports, Lee Hsueh-lin of Yulon, Chen Shih-nian of Taiwan Beer and Su Yi-chieh of Dacin are all considering to relocate to China next year, which means the SBL is in danger of losing three starting point guards.

It appears to me that all of them are going because they've been in talks with Chinese teams already with the assistance and consultation of Taiwan Beer marketing director Chen Jian-chou, aka Blackie.

There's no stopping them from going since thier contracts with former teams were up and are free agents.

Given the increasing gaps, in terms of size and financial capability, between the SBL and the CBA, most Taiwanese players would love to play in China to make more money if somebody showed interests. However, I think neither the CTBA nor the seven SBL teams want to see their better players leaving Taiwan.

After seven years, there are still many problems haunting the SBL, including management and marketing for the seven teams and the league, inconsistent officiating, the venue issue, the lack of sponsorship and decreasing interests of local fans.

The SBL and these teams have only themselves to blame because they always spent time to argue the little things rather than sitting down to discuss the vision, plans and future of this league. I love to describe them as street vendors who try to make as much as possible here and there and don't think about tomorrow, instead of serious owners who want to build a brand and a business that lasts 100 years.

Saving money has always been their No.1 priority as well. Hiring extra guys? Salary promotion? Building practice facilities? You can just forget them all.

However, these guys figure that since the SBL is the top domestic league and basketball has always been one of the top two sports (baseball is the other), they can ask for a high price with the TV stations on broadcast rights. But the only reason for ESPN Taiwan to sign the right is to fill up its airtime. That's all.

To solve all these problems, Mao Kao-wen, the newly-elected CTBA president, has to make things happen. After all, CTBA is the driving force behind not only the SBL, but also the development of Taiwanese basketball. But it has been incompetent and dysfunctional for most of the last 20 years.

This will be the first time in the last 20 years that the CTBA president does not own a domestic team, so I guess we can at least have some neutrality here.

Monday, May 17, 2010

SBL Finals Game 6 photos

Yulon Luxgen won its 4th SBL title and the first in four years, beating the defending champion Dacin Tigers 4-2 as the only team that does not hire an import in the 7-team SBL. And they won despite losing Chen Hsin-an, who left the team to play in China. Well, I wonder what this means.


Finals MVP Chen Chih-chung


Tseng Wen-ting


(Photos: ESPN Taiwan)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Yulon wins 2010 Taiwan professional basketball title

The Yulon Luxgen beat defending champion Dacin Tigers 71-70 in Game 6 of the 2010 Super Basketball League (SBL) Finals to win their first SBL title in four years.

Yulon, which last hoisted the championship trophy in 2006, won the title despite being the only team in the seven-team SBL not to hire a foreign player.

Yulon point guard Chen Chih-chung, 33, was named the championship series MVP for his consistent performance throughout the best-of-seven series.

Dacin had chances to extend the series to a Game 7 and tied the score at 70-70 after a dunk by American import Byron Allen with 28.3 seconds remaining.

But on the next possession, Yulon forward Yang Che-yi was sent to the line on a foul by Dacin forward Chen Tse-wei with only 1.5 seconds remaining. Yang made the first of two free throws to put his team ahead and intentionally missed the second, leaving Dacin without time to get off a potential game-winning shot.

Yulon, which had led most of the game, seemed headed for a breakdown after starting center Tseng Wen-ting fouled out with 6: 05 to go in the third quarter. But veteran sub Wu Chih-wei picked up the slack, scoring 11 of his 13 points in the final two quarters.

After clinching the title, Tseng said the team was dedicating the championship to its late head coach Chien Yi-fei, who passed away in 2007.

Yulon won three straight titles from 2004-2006 during the league's first three years but had only made it to the SBL finals once in the last three years, losing to Taiwan Beer 4-2 in 2008.

The Yulon Group, which operates the Yulon Luxgen men's basketball team and Taiyuan Textile women's basketball team, also became the first team owner to win men's and women's basketball titles in the same year. Taiyuan won its first Women's Super League Basketball League (WSBL) title earlier this week.

Taiyuan wins first title in 12 years

Liu Chun-yi had 24 points and 9 rebounds and Tsai Pei-chen added 19 and 8 as Taiyuan Textile beat Chunghwa Telecom 66-59 in Game 3 of the 2010 WSBL (Women's Super Basketball League) Finals to win the series 2-1 and its first title in 12 years.

With Taiyuan winning and Yulon Luxgen leading Dacin 3-2 in the SBL Finals, Yulon Group could become the first company in history to win the men's and women's title in the same year.

Chunghwa telecom was led by Chiang Feng-chun's 20 points and 7 rebounds and Wen Chi's 14 points.

Taipower and Fo Guang finished third and fourth respectively in the four-team league.

Cathay Life, the 4-time WSBL champions from 2006-2009, withdrew from the season to protest Chunghwa Telecom's recruit of its former player Chiang Feng-chun.

Chiang, one of the best players in Taiwan and widely seen as one of the best forwards in Asia, came out of retirement and joined Chunghwa Telecom. Her former employ Cathay Life, which has won 17 straight women's titles, announced Feb. 9 that it will pull out of the 2010 season over Chiang's controversy.

SBL Finals: Dacin escapes elimination, now trailing 3-2

達欣田壘(持球者) (2)
Tien Lei had 11 of his 20 points in the third quarter and Dacin received huge support from its backcourt as the Tigers won Game 5 89-76 Saturday in the 2010 SBL Finals and kept their title hopes alive, now trailing Yulon 3-2.

With its back against the wall, Dacin opened the game 11-3 and never looked back, leading 38-32 at the half. Byron Allen had to spend the entire third quarter on the bench due to foul troubles but that was not a problem for Dacin.

Tien had two three-pointers in the decisive third period as Dacin led by as many as 14. Yulon's comeback bid was put off by Huang Bao-tse's three and Allen's three-point play in the final quarter. he Luxgen was never able to pull within seven points.

Game 6 will be played Sunday night at Hsinjhuang Stadium, Taipei County.

Game 5: Dacin 89-76 Yulon

Dacin: Tien Lei 20p+10rb, Byron Allen 13p, Su Hsiang-yi 13p, Huang Bao-tse 13p, Lo Yu-chun 13p
Yulon: Tseng Wen-ting 21p+9rb+4a, Lu Cheng-ju 15p, Lee Hsueh-lin 12, Yang Che-yi 10p, Chen Chih-chung 10p

裕隆曾文鼎(左)達欣羅鈺群(右) 達欣黃寶賜(左)

Lo Yu-chun (left) and Huang Bao-tse were the key in the Game 5 victory

Game 4: Yulon 87-81 Dacin


Chen Chih-chung scored 17 of his game-high 27 points in the first half and led Yulon Luxgen to a commanding 3-1 series lead after a 87-81 win over the defending champ Dacin Tigers. Dacin had a 12-4 spurt to close the gap to 79-76 but was unable to make the final push.

Dacin was obviously hurt by the demise of Chang Chih-feng, who won the SBL MVPs in the regular season and in the Finals last year. Chang averaged only 7.3 points peer game in the first four games of the Finals, almost 50% off from his regular season average of 15.2 points. He averaged for 15.9 points per game in the 2009 SBL Finals.

Yulon: Chen Chih-chung 27p+8rb+5a, Lee Hsueh-lin 17p+4a, Wu Feng-cheng 16p, Tseng Wen-ting 16p+10rb
Dacin: B. Allen 20p+6rb, Tien Lei 18p, Su Yi-chieh 14p+5rb+4a, Chang Chih-feng 10p

裕隆李學林(左) 達欣艾倫(左)裕隆曾文鼎(右)

(Photos: ESPN Taiwan)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

SBL April MVP: Alexus Foyle


Taiwan Mobile forward Alexus Foyle was named SBL MVP for the month of April despite he has finished his contract with the team, which did not make the playoffs.

Foyle averaged 23.6 points and 10.3 rebounds in April. He led the team to a 15-15 record in the regular season.

SBL Monthly MVP:
April Alexus Foyle, TM
Feb/March Tseng Wen-ting, Yulon
January Shawn Hawkins, KKL

SBL Finals: Yulon takes 2-1 lead after three games


Some observation:

-- Yulon, the only team that does not hire an import player and the team that said is to "make the playoffs" at the start of the season, is now looking at its 4th SBL titles in team history.

-- These teams had played 8 games in 10 days. What kind of stupid postseason schedule was that? You can only find this in Taiwan.

-- It appeared that very few people are paying attention to the SBL Finals, which is supposed to be the best basketball competition in Taiwan, with less than 1,000 fans at each game.

-- It appeared that the players and the management thought that the only thing they should do is playing ball when only one of four head coaches attended the pre-postseason press conference two weeks ago. They didn't even bother to talk to the media.

Game 3: Yulon 72-71 Dacin


Tien Lei missed one of two free-throws with 2.8 seconds left as Dacin missed an opportunity to tie the game and lost to Yulon 72-71 in Game 3 of the 2010 SBL Finals.

Lu Cheng-ju's left-handed layup with 14.9 seconds to go helped Yulon to take a two-point lead, 72-70. He had 17 points and 7 rebounds in the game.

Chen Chih-chung had 24 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists for Yulon while Yang Che-yi had 11.

Dacin was led by Byron Allen's 19 and 9. Tien Lei had 16 points and 8 boards while Lin Yi-hui added 11.

Game 2: Dacin 79-65 Yulon


Tien Lei exploded for 31 points and 9 rebounds and Byron Allen added 19 points and 11 boards as Dacin tied the 2010 SBL Finals at 1-1 after a 79-65 victory over Yulon.

Dacin point guard Su Yi-chieh also chipped in 14 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists and 3 steals.

Lu Cheng-ju led Yulon with 12 points and center Tseng Wen-ting had 11 points and 11 rebounds. Chou Shih-yuan and Wu Feng-cheng scored 10 each.

(Photos: ESPN Taiwan)

Saturday, May 08, 2010

SBL Finals: Yulon takes 1-0 lead


Four players scored in double-digits as Yulon held off Dacin in the final quarter for a 70-66 victory in Game 1 of the 2010 SBL Finals on Friday and took a 1-0 series lead.

Leading by as many as 27 points, Yulon watched its lead evaporated in the final period, when Dacin cut the deficit to one point, before veteran point guard Chen Chih-chung made a pair of free-throws with 10.9 seconds to go to increase the lead to three points.

Yulon opened the game 15-6 and had a 12-0 run late in the second quarter, leading by 22 points (42-20) at the half.

Yulon: Lee Chi-yi 13p, Lu Cheng-ju 13p+6rb, Chou Shih-yuan 13p, Lee Hsueh-lin 11p, Tseng Wen-ting 4p(1-7 FG)+5rb+5a
Dacin: Tien Lei 15p+8rb, Byron Allen 15p+8rb, Chen Tse-wei 14p+6rb, Chang Chih-feng 11p+6rb




(Photos: ESPN Taiwan)

First-round playoffs results

Dacin 3-2 TB
Game 1: TB 91-86 Dacin
Game 2: Dacin 84-70 TB
Game 3: TB 67-65 Dacin
Game 4: Dacin 76-70 TB
Game 5: Dacin 57-55 TB

Yulon 3-2 PY
Game 1: Yulon 77-60 PY
Game 2: PY 75-62 Yulon
Game 3: Yulon 78-68 PY
Game 4: PY 87-78 Yulon
Game 5: Yulon 76-69 PY

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Dacin, Yulon to clash in Taiwan pro basketball finals

Defending champions the Dacin Tigers will meet Yulon Luxgen Friday in game one of a best-of-seven Super Basketball League (SBL) finals to determine Taiwan's best professional basketball team.

Both teams fought off fierce opposition to clinch their berths in the finals after a grueling five-game first-round playoff series in which Dacin edged out Taiwan Beer 57-55 and Yulon held off Pure Youth 76-69 in decisive games Wednesday.

Led by local star Tien Lei and American import Byron Allen, Dacin came back from a 2-1 deficit to beat Taiwan Beer and will try to become the third repeat champion of the SBL, Taiwan's top basketball league. Yulon won the title 2003-2006, while Taiwan Beer hoisted the championship trophies 2007-2008.

Yulon, the only team that does not hire imported players, will ride on the shoulders of star center Tseng Wen-ting and hopes to win its first title in four years.

Dacin and Yulon were tied at 19 wins and 11 losses in the 30-game regular season. Yulon, which is making its fifth appearance in the finals, routed Dacin 3-0 in the 2005 finals, the last post-season meeting of the two teams.

Dacin beat Taiwan Beer 4-3 in the best-of-seven finals last year to win its first SBL champion.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

SBL playoffs: TB leads 2-1 on Yang's buzzer-beater

楊敬敏(右)最後一秒投進關鍵三分球幫助台啤反敗為勝 裕隆曾文鼎(中)

Yang Ching-min made a game-winning three at the buzzer as Taiwan Beer held on a furious rally and beat Dacin 67-65, grabbing a 2-1 lead at the best-of-five SBL first round playoff series.

In the other game, Yulon beat Pure Youth 78-68 for a 2-1 series lead.

TB, which led 44-27 at the half, watched its 17-point lead evaporated in the second half as Dacin, led by import Byron Allen and Tien Lei, staged a strong comeback bid. Allen scored on a putback off Tien's miss with 10.9 seconds to go to help Dacin lead by 65-64, its first lead after the first quarter.

TB relied on Yang, who scored 18, and Lin Chih-chieh, who had 19 points.

Byron Allen tallied 18 points and 18 boards for Dacin, which also received 11 points and 9 rebounds from Tien Lei. Su Yi-chieh added 13 points and reigning SBL Finals MVP Chang Chih-feng turned in 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Yulon center Tseng Wen-ting walked out from the slump and had 20 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists in the most important game of the series. Lu Cheng-ju had 19 points. Chen Chih-chung had 14 and Lee Chi-yi added 10.

PY was once again led by James Mao, who had a game-high 24 points and 6 rebounds, and Jon Sanders while other players were completely shut down by Yulon's defense. Sanders had 23 and 10.

(Photo: ESPN Taiwan)

Sunday, May 02, 2010

SBL playoffs: Both semifinal series tied at 1-1

April 30

TB 91-86 (OT) Dacin (TB leads 1-0)


Taiwan Beer came out and shocked defending champ Dacin in the opening game as Derek Stribling scored 8 of his game-high 26 points in overtime. TB also forced Dacin to committ an eye-popping 25 turnovers.

Yang Ching-min had 17 points for TB and Lin Chih-chieh came off the bench to score 14 points in his first game in Taiwan this season.

Dacin was led by Tien Lei's 24 points and 7 rebounds and Byron Allen, who had 18 points and 17 boards. Lin Yi-hui added 16 points.

Yulon 77-60 PY (Yulon leads 1-0)


Yulon used its balanced-scoring and always brilliant defense to contain Pure Youth's perimeter shooting in Game 1 of the semifinal series.

Yang Che-yi scored a team-high 16 points and Lu Cheng-ju had 13 points. Lin Kuan-lun scored 15 while Chen Chih-chung had 11 points and 8 rebounds. Center Tseng Wen-ting turned in 13 boards and 5 assists but only had 8 points on 4-of-14 shooting.

Pure Youth was led by James Mao's 19 points. Jon Sanders had 17 points and 20 rebounds. Chien Chia-hung also had a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds.

May 1

Dacin 84-70 TB (Series tied 1-1)


Dacin broke the game open with a 18-5 run in the third quarter to tie the series at 1-1. Tien Lei and import Byron Allen scored 17 each and combined for 20 rebounds.

Chang Chih-fung and Su Yi-chieh had 15 points respectively for the winner.

TB lost its steam in Game 2 as Derek Stribling scored 16 points and Lin Chih-chieh, who dominated the ball too much in the game, had only 11. No other players scored in double-figures.

PY 75-62 Yulon (Series tied 1-1)


Pure Youth made 9 three-pointers in the game and limited Yuon to 6 points in the second quarter to tie the series at one game apiece.

Jon Sanders paced PY with 25 points and 18 rebounds while James Mao had 19 points and 8 boards.

Lu Cheng-ju led Yulon with 15 points. Tseng Wen-ting struggled again. Tseng, widely seen as the league's best center, had only 8 points and 9 rebounds on 4-of-15 shooting.

(Photos: ESPN Taiwan)

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Week 14 MVP: Chen Ching-huan


Note: An apology for not updating game info for the past week, during which I went to Hong Kong for a business trip. The teams were obviously tanking the final week anyway, resting starters and avoiding injuries before the postseason.

KKL forward/guard Chen Ching-huan was named Week 14 MVP, the final weekly award of the 2010 season. Chen averaged 28 points and 11 rebounds for the week, including a 34-point career-high performance.

For the season, the under-appreciated star averaged 14.7 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.3 steals.

2010 SBL Weekly MVPs
Week 14: Chen Ching-huan, KKL
Week 13: Shawn Hawkins, KKL
Week 12: Jonathan Sanders, PY
Week 12: Tien Lei, Dacin
Week 10: Jonathan Sanders, PY
Week 9: Chen Shun-hsiang, BOT
Week 8: Chen Chih-chung, Yulon
Week 7: Derek Stribling, TB
Week 6: Jonathan Sanders, PY
Week 5: Alexus Foyle, TM
Week 4: Shawn Hawkins, KKL
Week 3: Chang Chih-feng, Dacin
Week 2: Tseng Wen-ting, Yulon
Week 1: Jonathan Sanders, PY

(Photo: ESPN Taiwan)

2010 final SBL standings

1. Dacin 19-11
2. Yulon 19-11
3. PY 17-13
4. TB 17-13
5. TM 15-15
6. KKL 14-16
7. BOT 4-26

2010 final SBL stats leaders

1. Shawn Hawkins, KKL 24.9
2. Alexus Foyle, TM 23.4
3. Cheng Jen-wei, KKL 19.1
4. Jon Sanders, PY 18.0
5. Chen Shun-shiang, BOT 17.5

1. Jon Sanders, PY 12.8
2. Shawn Hawkins, KKL 11.2
3. Alexus Foyle, TM 9.8
4. Tseng Wen-ting, Yulon 9.1
5. Byron Allen, Dacin 8.6

1. Jon Sanders, PY 4.7
2. Chen Shih-nian, TB 4.3
3. Wu Yung-jen, TM 4.1
4. Tseng Wen-ting, Yulon 3.9
5. Chen Chih-chung, Yulon 3.5

1. Chang Chih-feng, Dacin 2.3
2. Tseng Wen-ting, Yulon 1.8
3. Shawn Hawkins, KKL 1.5
4. Jon Sanders, PY 1.4
5. Chen Shih-nian, TB 1.4

Blocked Shots
1. Tseng Wen-ting, Yulon 2.5

2. Cheng Jen-wei, KKL 1.7
3. Wu Tai-hao, TB 1.3
4. Jon Sanders, PY 1.3
5. Byron Allen, Dacin 1.2