Wednesday, September 29, 2010

FIBA Asian U18 Men: Taiwan advanced to semifinals

Taiwan beat the Philippines 81-64 in the quarterfinal of the FIBA Asia U18 Championship for Men Wednesday in Sanaa, Yemen and advanced to the semifinals of the tournament for the first time in four years.

Taiwan, which is awaiting its semifinal opponent -- the winner between Japan and South Korea, as of press time, will be able to at least duplicate its fourth place finish in 2006 and make a strong bid to surpass its best record in the history of the biennial tourney -- silver medal finishes in 1972 and 1989.

Defensive-minded Taiwan limited the Philippines to 38 percent field goal percentage, including 1 for 12 behind the three-point line, and controlled the boards (46-33) for the victory. On the offensive end, Taiwan had five players scoring in double-figures as Hu Lung-mao paced the team with 13 points and 13 rebounds and Chen Ying-chun also added 13 points.

"I think the boys were nervous early on. But once we found our rhythm, there was no stopping us," Taiwan head coach Huang Wan-lung was quoted as saying by the FIBA Asia Web site.

Taiwan closed out the third quarter with a 8-2 run before scoring the first six points in the fourth quarter to put the game away, leading by 17 with five minutes left in the game.

The top three teams in the tournament will represent Asia in the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship, which will be played in Latvia from 30 June-10 July 2011.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

FIBA Asia U18 Men - Taiwan to meet Philippines in quarterfinal

Final second round standings:
(Goal differential is used as the tie-breaker)

Group E
1. Korea 4-1 1.17
2. Iran 4-1 1.16
3. Taiwan 3-2 1.16
4. Lebanon 2-3 1.01
5. Kazakhstan 2-3 0.97
6. Malaysia 0-5 0.61

Group F
1. China 5-0 1.45
2. Philippines 3-2 1.04
3. Yemen 3-2 1.03
4. Japan 3-2 0.93
5. Syria 1-3 0.89
6. Iraq 0-5 0.74

Quarterfinal matchups:
Korea vs. Japan
China vs. Lebanon
Taiwan vs. Philippines
Yemen vs. Iran

FIBA Asia U18 Men: Taiwan advances to quarterfinals

Report from CNA:

Taipei, Sept. 27 (CNA) Taiwan beat Kazakhstan 79-61 in the second round of the FIBA Asia U18 Men's Championship at Sanaa, Yemen Monday to advance to the tournament's quarterfinal.

The team finished second-round play in the six-team Group E with a 3-2 record, good enough to clinch a spot in the final eight.

It will have a day off on Tuesday before taking on either China, the Philippines or Japan Wednesday in a knockout quarterfinal matchup (depending on the result of the final second round game later Monday between China and Japan) to vie for a berth in the semifinals.

"It doesn't matter who we play in the quarterfinals. What is important is that we qualified," Taiwan head coach Huang Wan-lung was quoted as saying by FIBA Asia's website.

Huang Po-wei had 19 points and Chen Ying-chun had 16 points for Taiwan, which shot 52 percent from the field. But it was Taiwan's defense that was the key, as it limited its opponent to 30 percent shooting from the field and forced 12 turnovers.

Regardless of what happens in the quarterfinal, Taiwan will finish better than it did two years ago in the biennial tournament. Taiwan ranked a disappointing ninth place in 2008 after finishing fourth in 2006.

Report from FIBA Asia

TPE/LIB - Taipei carve out a fairy-tale win over Lebanon
SANA’A, Yemen (21st FIBA Asia U18 Championship): Chinese Taipei continued a triumphant day for East Asian teams over their fancied West Asian counterparts to throw open the calculations of the formbook in Group E of the Second Round with an 87-79 win against WABA U18 Champions Lebanon on Friday.

As a result, Lebanon are tied at 2-2 along with Taipei.

When Karem Mechref and Samer Ozeir scored seven and five – making amends for Ahmad Ibrahim’s initial struggle with rhythm – to put Lebanon ahead 28-13 by the end of the first quarter, the dice seemed to roll the West Asian way.

Lebanon continued to hold sway on the scoreboard, but the signs of the team struggling to maintain the momentum was obvious.

“Some of our players began to play rather selfish. This won’t help,” Lebanon coach Ghassan Sarkis was vituperative in his post game comments.

Taipei trailed Lebanon, kept clicking on Lebanon’s heels.

“The way they kept coming us was remarkable. More importantly, they were disciplined and seemed to play to a plan,” Sarkis lamented.

“Our players took some decisions, which didn’t go well with my instructions.”

Early in the fourth quarter, Cheng Tieh drove in to Taipei the lead for the first time in the game, and the signs for Lebanon were now beginning to get ominous.

Ibrahim ploughed a lone furrow in the fourth quarter for Lebanon accounting for 12 of his game-high 31 points in this period.

“It is a tribute to the character of our boys,” beamed Taipei coach Roman Huang.

“They were dedicated to get their act together after last night’s loss,” Huang said about the loss to Korea.

Hu Lung-mao was the highest scorer for Taipei with 16 points. The more crucial contributions came from Cheng Tieh  and Chen Ying-chun who both accounted for six points each in the fourth quarter.

Taipei take on Kazakhstan and Lebanon line up Iran on Monday.

TPE/KAZ - Taipei take charge early over Kazakhstan, enter QF
SANA’A, Yemen (21st FIBA Asia U18 Championship): Chinese Taipei scored a runaway 79-651 victory over Kazakhstan and booked their place in the Quarterfinals on Monday.

Taipei finished their Group E Second Round games with a 3-2 record and will go through to the last eight irrespective of the results to follow in the day. Those results will only determine the position Taipei finish in the Group and their Quarterfinal opponents.

“It doesn’t matter who we play in the Quarterfinals. What is important is we qualified,” said Chinese Taipei coach Roman Huang.

“In fact I didn’t even realize we had made the grade till you told us,” he gushed at the FIBA Asia media team.

“Even the boys were not aware of the situation. I didn’t want them to get distracted. We were focused on winning this game. That was the dominant thought in our mind,” said Huang.

Taipei scored the first six points, surged ahead 10-3 in the first ten minutes and built it to a substantial 25-13 lead 3 at the end of the first quarter.

Huang Po-wei had a 3/3 in field attempts for seven points in the first quarter to lead the Taipei charge.

Huang Po-wei went on to lead the game in scoring with 19 points. The youngster shot an incredible 85% in field attempts, including a 5/5 on the paint.

Taipei, thus scored back-to-back wins against teams taller, and considered more physical. Taipei had rallied to defeat WABA U18 champions Lebanon on Sunday.

“I think it is a tribute to the character and concentration of the boys. We believe in our strengths,” Huang said.

“And we are unwavering in doing what we need to do without bothering about the game situation. That is the key to these two wins,” he added.

Alimbek Orazov came off the bench and scored 17 points to lead the scoring for Kazakhstan.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Chunghwa Telecom lost Ma, Chiang


Chiang (left) and Ma (right)

Chiang Feng-chun finished her one-year contract with Chunghwa Telecom and is talking to two or three Chinese teams, Liberty Times reported. Chiang is expected to sign after the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China.

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. (See: Chiang Feng-chun's elegibility confirmed)

According to United Evening News, Ma Yi-hung is another core player leaving Chunghwa Telecom this summer and will sign with the defending WSBL champion Taiyuan. Chunghwa Telecom also lost 20-year-old Huang Pin-cheng, who has signed with Cathay Life, earlier this summer.

United Daily News reported that Pu Men High School graduate Wei Yu-chun plans to go to the U.S. and play in the NCAA.

(Photos: ESPN Taiwan,

Saturday, September 25, 2010

FIBA Asia U18 Men - Taiwan lost to Korea 99-90

Story from FIBA Asia:

SANA’A, Yemen (21st FIBA Asia U18 Championship): Korea set the ball in motion early to take charge of the proceedings – and despite Chinese Taipei making a determined effort to cut back – went on to open their Second Round Group E campaign with a 90-99 win on Saturday.

Korea, who like their opponents, began the Second Round with a 1-1 win-loss record brought forward from the Preliminary Round, thus improved to 2-1.

Korea were ahead on the scoreboard right from the moment Jun Yl Kim drove in the lane early in the game.

Back to back three pointers interspersed with a free throw by Seonggon Moon put them ahead by a staggering 18 points with more than two minutes left in the first quarter. A position of command, Korea maintained for the remainder of the game.

Seonggon Moon succeeded in all his field attempts – thrice in three pointers and once on the paint – and fired in 11 points in the first quarter.

Moon went on and scored 19 points in the first half, before being rested for almost the entire second.

“He played his role very well. We needed him to give us a good start, which is what exactly he did,” said Korea coach Songgug Lee.

The much younger, and much taller, Seounghyun Lee held steady in inside play and he too had a 100% record in any scoring attempt in the first quarter –four times on the paint and twice from the foul-line – accounting for 10 points in the first quarter.

Seounghyun Lee eventually finished with a game-high 24 points, in a staggering 69% field record (11/16) with no long-range attempts.

“We know their style of play very well, and vice versa. We wanted to take control early, and luckily our shots went in the way we wanted,” said Songgug Lee.

“That made our lives easier for the rest of the game. But it looked much easier on the scoreboard than it did on the court,” he added.

“We hope to maintain the momentum,” Lee said looking ahead of the next game against defending champions Iran. Korea are right now riding high on 3-0 winning run.

“We were caught napping early,” rued Taipei coach Roman Huang.

“The early deficit proved a little too much. If you notice the final difference was almost half as much as we conceded in the first quarter,” Huang said.

“But I am happy we kept the pressure on them throughout and managed to cut back,” he said.

Chen Ying-chun’s 19 with a 67% success rate on the field was the highest for Taipei.

Taipei play WABA U18 Champions Lebanon on Sunday.

FIBA Asia U18 Men: Taiwan beat Sri Lanka, advanced to 2nd round

Taiwan beat Sri Lanka 102-49 Friday to wrap up the preliminary round and advanced to the second round. Hung Kang-chiao scored a team-high 25 points, making 10 of 11 shots.

Preliminary Standings
Group A
Iran 3-0
Taiwan 2-1
Malaysia 1-2
Sri Lanka 0-3

Group B
Lebanon 2-1
Korea 2-1
Kazakhstan 2-1
Qatar 0-3

Group C
China 3-0
Philippines 2-1
Syria 1-2
Saudi Arabia 0-3

Group D
Japan 3-0
Yemen 2-1
Iraq 1-2
India 0-3

Second Round
Group E
Iran 2-0
Taiwan 1-1
Lebanon 1-1
Korea 1-1
Kazakhstan 1-1
Malaysia 0-2

Group F
China 2-0
Japan 2-0
Yemen 1-1
Philippines 1-1
Syria 0-2
Iraq 0-2

Friday, September 24, 2010

FIBA Asia U18: Taiwan routs Malaysia

Taiwan routed Malaysia 96-47 for its first win in the 2010 FIBA Asia U18 Championship for Men Thursday in Sanaa, Yemen.

Rebounding from a loss in overtime against defending champion Iran the previous day, Taiwan locked down Malaysia with a strong defense, limiting opponents' field goals to 28 percent and jumping out in front with a 39-18 halftime lead.

"I am pleased about the way we played defense throughout, " said Taiwan head coach Huang Wan-lung after the match.

Eleven Taiwanese players played in the lopsided game as Huang tried to gave his bench more playing time, saying that he felt the team lost to Iran "because the bench lacked experience."

Chien Wei-ju scored a team high of 20 points, while Hu Lung-mao added 16 points, bringing Taiwan to one win and one loss in Group A of the competition.

Sixteen participating teams in the biennial tournament are pooled in groups of four in the preliminary round. The top three teams in each of the four groups will advance to the second round, where they will be divided into groups of six teams each.

Taiwan ranked ninth in 2008 and finished fourth in 2006.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Taiwan NT training camp for Asian Games starts


Taiwan NT opened its training camp for the Guanzhou Asian Games Tuesday in Taipei with Chang Chih-feng and Cheng Jen-wei withdrew from the team due to injuries.

The 16-man team is now down to 14 players. Only 10 players showed up for the first practice Tuesday, however, according to the Liberty Times.

Lin Chih-chieh returned to Zhejiang, China to be with his club. Tseng Wen-ting and Tien Lei were absent for personal reasons. Chou Po-cheng was in China for training with his NTNU unversity team. Point guard Lee Hsueh-lin did attend the practice but will join Beijing Ducks on Sept. 25 to prepare for the new season.

Taiwan NT is scheduled to leave for China early October for a warmup series in which it will meet CBA teams, including Beijing, Liaoning and Bayi. Head coach Zhang Xuelei said the team will play at least 10 geames in China before returning to Taiwan on Oct. 20. Lee and Lin will join the team afteer Oct. 20, Zhang said.

Zhang said that the "Big Four" of Tseng Wen-ting, Tien Lei, Lin Chih-chieh and Wu Tai-hao will make the final roster as well as three guards including Lee Hsueh-lin, Chen Shih-nian and Hung Chih-shan. Which means that the other players will have to fight for the remaining five open spots, Liberty Times reported.

Zhang said he was glad to see Wu Tai-hao, who has been rehabbing his left knee since April, is returning to form. The first phase of the training camp from Sept. 21 - Oct. 4 will focus on conditioning, he said. He will try to come up with the best roster during the second phase in China before the final phase in Taipei.

"We will bring our best team in its best condition to Guzngzhou, " Zhang was quoted as saying.

(Photo: Liberty Times)

FIBA U18 Men: Taiwan lost to Iran in OT

Taiwan lost to defending champion Iran 67-56 in overtime in the opening game of the 2010 FIBA Asia U18 Championship for Men Wednesday in Sanaa, Yemen.

Taiwan trailed by as many as 15 points in the second quarter before bouncing back to take a six-point lead entering the last three minutes of the game, Taiwan national team head coach Huang Wan-lung said.

The game went into overtime with the score tied at 51-51 in the end of regulation, Huang said, but foul trouble finally took its toll on Taiwan in the extra session as three core players -- Hu Lung-mao, Hung Kang-chao and Chen Ying-chun -- all fouled out of the game.

Taiwan, which dropped to ninth place in 2008 after finishing fourth in 2006 in the biennial tournament, is scheduled to meet Malaysia Thursday and Sri Lanka Friday to complete the preliminary round. It is expected to rank second in the Group A, behind Iran.

According to Huang, Taiwan was hurt by foul trouble. The team failed to pressure Iranian point guards and had difficult rebounding against taller Iranian players.

Performance record of FIBA Asia U18 Championship for Men


(Source: FIBA Asia)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

SBL to adopt FIBA rule change in new season

Chinese Taipei Basketball Association announced earlier this week that it will adopt FIBA's 2010 rule changes in the 2010-11 SBL season.

Notable changes include the implementation of the "no-charge" zone, abandoning the trapezoid lane in favor of the NBA-style rectangular paint area, and moving the 3-point line back by a half-meter from its current distance 6.25 meters to 6.75 meters.

On April 26, 2008, FIBA announced several major rules changes involving the court markings. These changes will take effect for major international competitions on October 1, 2010, after that year's World Championships for men and women, and become mandatory for other competitions on October 1, 2012 (although national federations can adopt the new markings before 2012).

CTBA said that FIBA Asia has announced that the changes will take effect on Jan. 1, 2011.

According to this ESPN story, FIBA would like to see the NBA change its goaltending rules to allow players to knock the ball off the rim. The next rule change FIBA wants to institute is widening the court by 50 centimeters on each side, in large part to create additional room for players to attempt 3-point shots from the corners.

Jeremy Lin signs with NIKE: report


Jeremy Lin, who is currently in the training camp with the NBA's Golden State Warriors, has signed an endorsement deal with NIKE Taiwan, the United Evening News reported Saturday. However, NIKE Taiwan denied the report.

Several U.S. websites have reported in early August on Lin's signing with NIKE.

According to Liberty Times, if Lin, the first Taiwanese-American to sign with a NBA club, had signed with NIKE Taiwan, the company would have had a lot more say in terms of how to market Lin in Asia and particularly in Taiwan. NIKE Taiwan might invite him back for clinics or PR events. Now, their plan will have to be approved by people in the HQ before proceeding further.

NIKE Taiwan declined to disclose Lin's contract with the brand, Liberty Times reported.

Taiwan's final roster for FIBA Asia U18 Men's Championship

Taiwan NT's final 12-man roster for the FIBA Asia U18 Men’s Championship, which will be played in Sanaa, Yemen from Sept. 22-Oct. 1, is listed as follows.

Po., Name, DOB, Ht., Wt., School
G Chen Ying-chun 1993.06.09 181 72 Nen-jen High School
G Chien Chao-yi 1993.07.12 180 72 Song-shan High School
G Huang Po-wei 1992.10.04 177 76 Song-shan High School
G Ko Ming-hao 1992.12.27 182 72 Kao-yuan High School
G Yu Chun-an 1992.02.13 189 83 National Taiwan Normal University
G Chien Wei-ju 1992.01.20 188 80 National Taiwan Normal University
G Cheng Tieh 1982.08.22 187 81 National Taiwan University of Art
F Hu Lung-mao 1992.12.22 194 80 Song-shan High School
F Hung Kang-chiao 1992.04.22 191 87 National Taiwan Normal University
F Lee Chia-ching 1982.01.11 195 90 National Taiwan Normal University
C Chen Kuan-chuan 1993.12.30 195 98 Nan-shan High School
C Chen Chao-hao 1992.06.12 200 90 National Kaohsiung Normal University

Head coach: Huang Wan-lung
Assistants: Lou Hsiao-min, Yen Hsing-shu

Taiwan is placed in the same group with defending champion Iran, Sri Lanka and Malaysia. It is scheduled to  meet Iran in the opening game at 2p.m. Sept. 22 Taiwan Time.

Top three teams in each of the four preliminary groups will advance to the 12-team second round, where six teams from Group A and B will be drawn into the same group of six as well as teams from Group C and D. This means that Taiwan will be in the same second round group with teams from Group B, which include Kazakhstan, Korea, Qatar and Lebanon.

In the second round, each team will carry forward the results against the other qualifying teams in their preliminary group and will play against teams qualifying from other preliminary groups. The top four teams from each second round group will qualify for the knockout quarterfinals.

Game schedule released by FIBA Asia:


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Pure Youth added two imports to play in APB


Pure Youth Construction has hired two imports to play in the Asian Professional Basketball tournament, a brainchild of former FIBA president Carl Men Ky Ching which will be played in Haining, Zhejiang, China from Sept. 14 - 19.

Pure Youth has signed 6-6 Tyler Amaya and 6-9 Zack Atkinson to two weeks for the six-team tournament which will allow two imports per team, Liberty Times and United Daily News reported.

The participating teams include:
1. Pure Youth Construction, Taiwan: Ranked 3rd in the 7-team SBL
2. Seoul Samsung Thunders, South Korea: Ranked 6th in the 10-team KBL
3. Hamamatsu Phoenix, Japan: Reigning bj-league champion
4. Zhejiang Guangsha Lions, China: Ranked 3rd in the 17-team CBA
5. Iran All-Stars
6. Philippines All-Stars

(I couldn't find the details of the Iranian and the Philippine teams.)

PY head coach Hsu Chin-tse was quoted as saying that 6-6 U.S. forward Jon Sanders, the team's leading scorer and rebounder last season, will not be returning to Taiwanese basketball. Hsu said he will evaluate Atkinson and Amaya in the APB tourney before deciding on whether to keep them.

However, only one import is allow on each SBL team and Atkinson is ineligible to play in the league because his height exceeds the SBL's 200cm height limit on imports.

Tyler Amaya

Born: Aug. 9, 1982
Height: 6-6
College: Western Washington
Mount Vernon HS, Mount Vernon (Wa.)

2002-2003: Gonzaga (NCAA): 25 games: 0.7ppg, 0.8rpg, FGP: 26.3%, 3PT: 15.4%, FT: 6-6
2003-2004: Dixie JC (NJCAA): 10.0ppg, 7.0rpg
2004-2005: Western Washington (NCAA2): 29 games: 12.0ppg, 7.9rpg, 3.1apg, 1.0spg, 1.0bpg, FGP: 46.7%, 3PT: 28.6%, FT: 68.3%
2005-2006: Western Washington (NCAA2): 30 games: 14.8ppg, 8.0rpg, 3.5apg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 42.6%, FT: 77.6%
Pro career: Played in IBL, Germany, China and New Zealand from 2006-2010

Zack Atkinson
2512697UCI basketball player Zack Atkinson slam-dunks the ball in a game against Hawaii at the Bren Events Center.

Height: 6-9'
College: Cal-Irvine (USA)

Bishopville, S.C./Feather River College
2008-2009: Cal-Irvine (NCAA, starting five): 29 games: 2.5ppg, 2.8rpg
2009-2010: Cal-Irvine (NCAA, starting five): 30 games: 5.6ppg, 3.6rpg, 1.3bpg, FGP: 52.5%, FT: 59.5%

(Photos: Liberty Times, UCI website, IBL website)

Thursday, September 09, 2010

SBL draft afterthought

SBL 2010 draft

You can see a little bit of everything that went wrong in Taiwanese basketball in the annual SBL Draft, which took place Sept. 1 in Taipei with as little fanfare as you can imagine.

Sang Yi-ching, a 19-year-old 195cm university sophomore, was selected by Bank of Taiwan as the No. 1 pick in the draft. In all, 11 of 23 applicants were selected in the 20-minute draft that did not create any buzz nor much press attention.

It shouldn't have been like this, considering that Sang has led his high school Song-shan High School to the HBL (High School Basketball League) championship and was named the MVP before helping his university -- National Taiwan Normal University -- to its second consecutive UBA (University Basketball Association) title and now being named as the top SBL pick in the span of 18 months.

The reasons why Sang's story and the draft were literally overlooked, under-reported and insignificant are because:

1. Sang couldn't play for Bank of Taiwan in another three years due to a special regulation as do other draftees. Only three of the 11 newcomers can play in the SBL next season. We'll get to that later.
2. There are not too many players SBL teams can choose from. Most of these players are not SBL-ready.
3. The seven SBL teams do not exactly need new bloods because of their loaded rosters.
4. Unlike the NBA or other leagues in Asia, the SBL does not market the draft at all. The draft is not a significant and marketable event in its eyes. Actually, it probably isn't.
5. Believe it or not, most SBL teams do not appreciate the idea of a DRAFT in the first place.

The craziest part of the SBL draft is that most of the selected players can not play for the teams immediately, and that's why teams have been lukewarm about the draft.

Traditionally, men or women, college players dominated the player pools in Taiwan. Things were the same even with the existence of a true professional league -- the CBA (Chinese Basketball Alliance) from 1994-1999. Only about 50 percent of Taiwanese players, at best, could be seen as full-time pro players. The majority of them are student athletes in colleges.

In other words, there's not much difference between AMATEUR basketball and PRO basketball in Taiwan because most players in the pro or semi-pro leagues are college students, who are supposed to be amateur.

While some players played for the pro teams and their college teams at the same time, some played exclusively for pro teams. For those who played both ends, they apparently focused more on the pro game and tanked in the college competitions. It was probably what they had to do especially when the pro season and the college basketball season overlapped.

Universities were not happy that these players with athletic scholarships spent much of their energy playing for pro teams and got paid, rather than representing their schools in the UBA.

Chinese Taipei University Sports Federation (CTUSF), the university athletics governing body, has been desperate to change that. It worked out a four-year deal with the Chinese Taipei Basketball Association (CTBA) to phase out the abnormality.

Starting this year, college players can only choose to play either in the SBL or in the university league. The regulation makes both players and teams have second thoughts. For players who enter the draft, they will have to make sure they will be selected. After that, they will have to make sure they will receive playing time in the SBL. Otherwise, they will have to sit on the SBL bench because they can no longer play in the university league.

For SBL teams, they will have to make sure the player they pick is worth the wait. In Sang's case, BOT will have to wait until he graduates from college in 2013 to have his service.

Some argue that the draft is meaningless because these team are selecting players ineligible to sign. And these players can not help them on the court anyway.

The draft system was established in aims of balancing the talent gap between top tier teams and the bottom-dwellers. However, teams with large budget, like Yulon Luxgen, are against the draft privately since they recruited -- and paid -- prospects as early as the players were in high schools. Women's teams in Taiwan even started paying young players in junior high school. Naturally, a fair draft system is the last thing they want, because it keeps them from tying up all those young talent.

Take Chou Po-chen, who was drafted by KKL in this year's draft, for example. Rumors said Chou, a university sophomore who made Taiwan NT roster this year, was going to sign with Yulon. Chou mysteriously disappeared from the draft on Sept. 1. According to a KKL coach, who attended the draft ceremony, Chou did attend the draft but he was escorted away by staff member of Yulon, which obviously did not like the idea of seeing its recruits to accept team jersey from opposing team and pose for photos.

Team representatives have been complaining about the lack of a "system" in Taiwanese basketball for years. Now that the CTBA tries to establish a system, and guess what these teams say and do? They don't care about the future of the league nor the miserable attendance record. All they want to know is whether they can get any player they want and pay him less.

Now let's review the past SBL drafts.

Year Team with No. 1 pick Top pick Selected players / Total applicants
2010 BOT Sang Yi-ching 11 / 23
2009 BOT Doug Creighton 5 / 12
2008 BOT Chen Kuo-wei 19 / 56
2007 BOT Wu Fong-cheng 22 / 89

Have you found anything interesting? Yes, Bank of Taiwan, the perennial laughing stock of the league, have occupied the No. 1 top pick spot for four straight years thanks to its dismal records. Three years later, Wu Fong-cheng has transferred to Yulon and Chen Kuo-wei has had only limited contribution. I'm not sure where Doug Creighton, who I think very well deserved more playing time in BOT, will play next season.

A total of 57 players were selected in these drafts. I wonder how many of them are eligible to play in the SBL and how many of them were actually signed to a contract. Less than 10 percent, maybe.

So, does a draft system functional in Taiwanese basketball? It appears that the answer is negative. However, I argue that the system should be kept in place so teams will have a level playing field and the rich teams will not be able to collect all the good players.

On the other hand, if small-budgeted teams like Bank of Taiwan -- Yes, this bank prints bills, but this team doesn't have money -- doesn't try to do anything to improve itself, it will keep losing players.

It's the same for the SBL, which has done too little to advance the league since it's established in 2004 with a hope of reviving Taiwanese basketball. The SBL teams need to stop being selfish and start supporting and implementing everything that's good for the development of the league and local basketball before it's too late.

Feel free to read these posts below if you would like to know more about past SBL draft.

Friday, September 03, 2010

21st FIBA Asia U18 Championship - Taiwan, Iran in Group A


Defending champions Iran have been drawn alongside East Asia’s Chinese Taipei, Middle Asia’s Sri Lanka and SEABA team Malaysia in Group A for the Preliminary Round of the 21st FIBA Asia Championship to be held here from Sept 22-Oct 2.
The draw ceremony was held at the host city on Wednesday.

SANAA2010_FIBA-ASIA-U18-LOGFIBA Asia Deputy Secretary General Hagop Khajirian and Yemen Basketball Federation president Al Khader Al Azani supervised the draw proceedings in the presence of Director General of Youth and Sports Ministry, Government of Yemen.
Hosts Yemen have opted to play in Group D for the preliminary round, which also comprises last edition’s semifinalists Japan, West Asia’s Iraq and India.
Syria, who bagged a surprise bronze medal at the previous edition of the Championship at Tehran two years ago, have been drawn in Group C that also comprises two former multiple-winners.

Eight-time champions China, who handed a bizarre forfeiture to Syria two years ago, six-time gold medalists SEABA’s Philippines and GCC team Saudi Arabia are the others in Group C.

Group B looks headed for some interesting contests with last edition’s silver medalists Kazakhstan drawn alongside three leading guns.
Three-time former gold medalists East Asia’s Korea, current WABA U18 champions Lebanon and GCC powerhouse Qatar will match wits with Kazakhstan in Group B.

The top three sides at the 21st FIBA Asia U18 Championship will represent FIBA Asia at the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship to be played in Latvia from 30 June-10 July 2011.

Groupings for the Preliminary Round
Group A: Taiwan, Iran, Malaysia, Sri Lanka
Group B: Kazakhstan, Korea, Lebanon, Qatar
Group C: China, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Syria
Group D: India, Iraq, Japan, Yemen

The top three teams from each group will advance to the second round of the championship.

About 21st FIBA Asia Championship
The 21st FIBA Asia U18 Championship is the qualifying event for the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship to be played in Latvia from 30 June-10 July 2011.
The top three teams from the 21st FIBA Asia U18 Championship will represent FIBA Asia at Latvia.

System of Competition
The 16 teams are pooled into four groups of four teams each for the Preliminary Round.
The top three teams from each group will advance to the Second Round, and will be drawn into two groups of six teams each.
In the Second Round, each team will carry forward the results against the other qualifying teams in their Preliminary Round group and will play against teams qualifying from the other Preliminary Round group. The top four teams from each Second Round will qualify for the Quarterfinals, from which stage it will be a knockout.

About FIBA Asia
FIBA Asia ( is the governing body for basketball in Asia. With 44 National Federations affiliated FIBA Asia is one of the largest among the five FIBA zones – FIBA Europe, FIBA Americas, FIBA Africa and FIBA Oceania are the others. The members of the FIBA Asia family bring a diversity of cultures and languages making FIBA Asia the most varied, vivid and vibrant basketball community in the world. As the governing body, FIBA Asia is responsible for controlling and developing the sport of basketball in Asia.

(Photo: FIBA Asia)

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Former high school MVP Sang named top pick in 2010 SBL draft


Nineteen-year-old forward Sang Yi-ching was in the limelight again Wednesday when he was selected by Bank of Taiwan as the No. 1 pick in the annual draft for Taiwan's top basketball league, 18 months after winning Most Valuable Player as a high school senior.

"Today is an important day in my basketball career, but I know I have a lot to learn," Sang told the media after the 2010 Draft of the Super Basketball League (SBL), Taiwan's seven-team semi-professional league.

Sang, who led Song-shan High School to win the 2009 Taiwan men's high school championships and is currently a sophomore at National Taiwan Normal University, was joined by 10 others out of 23 total applicants who heard their names called by team representatives.


According to league regulations, university students must choose between playing exclusively in the university league or the SBL, which means Sang will not be able to play for Bank of Taiwan -- which finished last season ranked at the bottom -- before 2013 if he stays in school.

He said, however, that practicing with professional players will be a valuable experience and help him make the transition from center to small forward.

"I grew another two centimeters after high school, but I'm still too small to play as a center at the professional level, " said Sang, who is 1.95-meters tall and listed Lebron James, who plays for the Miami Heat in the U.S. National Basketball Association, as his favorite player.

Sang said he was very surprised about his No. 1 selection, which was expected to go to Taiwan national team member Chou Po-chen. Chou, a 1.98-meter forward who also came from Song-shan High School, was picked second by Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor, with 2.02-meter Lee Te-wei picked third by Taiwan Mobile.

Defending champion Yulon Luxgen picked up two young players -- 2.05-meter center Liu Yuan-kai and guard Chen Che-yu.

Under regulations reached between Taiwan's university athletic governing body and the Chinese Taipei Basketball Association, only two of the 11 draftees will be able to play in the SBL next season.

The 2010-11 season, which is the league's eighth, is scheduled to open Dec. 25.

(Photos: CTBA)