Friday, October 22, 2010

Out of town notice and 2010 Probation Cup

I will be out of town for a trip for five days, during which the 2010 Probation Cup (Guanhu Cup) invitational tournament will be played in the eastern Taiwan city of Hualien. So I will not update this blog until Oct. 28.

Four SBL teams -- Yulon, Taiwan Beer, Dacin and Bank of Taiwan -- and a pair of Chinese teams - Liaoning and Sichuan -- entered the six-team tournament.

The tournament has been plagued by bad weather in Taiwan as Typhoon Megi has brought around one meter of rain in eastern Taiwan over the past 24 hours.

In the first day of action Thursday, Liaoning, a team in the first division Chinese Basketball Association, pounded BOT 85-52. BOT was led by Chuan Hsiao-wen's 13 points and Sun Huan-po's 10 points.

Yulon Luxgen defeated Sichuan of the Chinese second division NBL 72-64 with Chou Shih-yuan pacing the team with 18 points and Lin Kuan-lun added 14. Sichuan won the NBL regular season champion with a 16-2 record this past season. However, it only finished 5th in the post-season.

Final roster of Taiwan men's NT for Asian Games announced

CTBA announced the final roster of Taiwan men's national team for Guangzhou Asian Games Friday and said that the team will meet Liaoning, which is visitiing Taiwan, on Oct. 27 in a friendly game before leaving for China on Oct. 28 for a seires of warmup games.

Taiwan NT will meet the Philippines NT, North Korea NT and Guangdong Dongguan of China's CBA in Guangdong and return to Taiwan on Nov. 2.

Wu Feng-cheng, Chien Chia-hung, Chang Chih-feng and Cheng jen-wei were dropped from the 16-man roster.

Yang Chin-min 1984.1.22 188 85 Taiwan Beer
Lee Hsueh-lin 1984.1.31 176 75 Yulon
Chen Shih-nian 1984.4.8 180 76 Taiwan Beer
Chen Shun-hsiang 1985.5.25 190 90 Bank of Taiwan
Hung Chih-shan 1985.7.5 176 75 Pure Youth
Lu Cheng-ju 1986.4.13 194 88 Yulon
Mao Chia-en 1982.11.16 196 90 Pure Youth
Tien Lei 1983.6.1 202 100 Dacin
Wu Tai-hao 1985.2.7 202 100 Taiwan Beer
Tseng Wen-ting 1984.7.6 203 90 Yulon
Lin Chih-chieh 1982.6.11 192 95 Taiwan Beer
Chou Po-chen 1990.8.8 196 94 University

Head coach: Zhang Xuelei
Assistants: Chiu Chi-yi, Wei Yung-tai

Friday, October 08, 2010

2010 AUB - Taiwan wins gold, China withdrew over political reason

本次賽會最佳MVP宋宇軒Sung Yu-hsuan

本次賽會最佳五人Best Five

Led by tournament MVP Sung Yu-hsuan's 24 points and Lai Kuo-wei's 23 points, Taiwan beat Universite Saint-Esprit De Kaslik of Lebanon 85-77 to win its first title in Asian University Basketball Championship history.

Lebanon was led by Nodim Souaid, who scored 32 points.

However, the inspiring win was somewhat overshadowed by none other than the political row between Taiwan and China. China's Tianjin Polytechnic University withdrew from the game vs. Mongolia after seeing hundreds of Taiwanese national flags displayed in and around the parking lots outside the arena.

For details, please read the following report:

Chinese basketball team pulls out of tourney over Taiwanese flags

Taipei, Oct. 8 (CNA) A visiting Chinese university basketball team withdrew Friday from a tournament being playing in Taoyuan County after seeing hundreds of Taiwanese national flags displayed outside the arena.

After arriving Friday afternoon at Kainan University Arena, where the 2010 Asian University Basketball Championship was being held, the bus carrying the Tianjin Polytechnic University basketball team turned around and left.

The team missed its game against a Mongolian All-Star team, and was officially credited with a 20-0 loss.

Though nobody from the Chinese delegation commented on its pull-out, the team may have been angered by the hundreds of Taiwan national flags displayed in and around the parking lot and along the road leading to the arena that greeted their bus.

They were put there by a "national flag rally" organized by two local university students in protest of a move the night before by an official from the tournament's organizer, the Chinese Taipei University Sports Federation (CTUSF) , to stop a fan from displaying the country's national flag in the stands.

The students were incensed by reports that the CTUSF official, Lee Hung-chi, clamped down on the fan at China's insistence, though subsequent reports indicated Lee acted of his own volition.

"This is a silent protest to the Chinese team that made the flag issue a big deal, " said one of the two student protest organizers identified only by his surname Hsieh.

The other organizer, surnamed Hsu, said the protest was "non-political" and was held to express "freedom of speech."

Lee described the Chinese team's withdrawal as "silly, " but he himself was criticized by the Sports Affairs Council (SAC), Taiwan's top sports administrator, for going after the fan.

In a statement released Friday, the SAC called Lee's move inappropriate and said he had misinterpreted the "Chinese Taipei" formula, devised in 1981 by the International Olympic Committee to enable Taiwan to participate in the Olympics after the People's Republic of China was admitted to the Olympic movement.

Under the convention, Taiwan participates in international competitions under the name "Chinese Taipei, " and uses an Olympic flag that differs from its national flag.

Organizers of competitions in Taiwan are not allowed to fly the country's national flag at competition venues, but the convention does not regulate spectators and what happens in the stands unless organizers announce specific restrictions prior to a competition.

Previous sporting events in Taiwan against Chinese teams have seen fans wave small national flags during the competition, generally without incident.

Ming Soo Jeong had 31 points, 14 rebounds and 5 assists to power Myongji University of South Korea to a 75-67 win over Hong Kong to win the fifth place in the seven-team tourney.

-- Playoffs standings
1. Taiwan 2-1
2. Lebanon 2-1
3. Mongolia 1-2
4. China 1-2

-- 5-7 place classification round
5. South Korea 2-0
6. Thailand 1-1
7. Hong Kong 0-2

Tournament MVP: Sung Yu-hsuan, Taiwan
Best Five:
Sung Yu-hsuan, Taiwan
Lai Kuo-wei, Taiwan
Liu Cheng, Taiwan
Souaid Nadim, Lebanon
Jad Bitar, Lebanon

(Photos: CTUSF)

2010 AUB - Lebanon is driver's seat


Thursday results:
Tianjin (China) 75-60 Taiwan
Lebanon 90-86 Mongolia
Thailand 67-63 Hong Kong

-- Playoffs
Lebanon 2-0
Taiwan 1-1
China 1-1
Mongolia 0-2

-- 5-7 place classification round
South Korea 1-0
Thailand 1-1
Hong Kong 0-1

(Photos: CTUSF)

Thursday, October 07, 2010

2010 AUB - Taiwan opens playoffs with win

中華隊劉錚(左)拿下全場最高26分Liu Cheng

中華隊後衛林韋翰上籃得分Lin Wei-han

Liu Cheng scored 26 points and Sung Yu-hsuan added 17 as Taiwan opened the playoff round with a 89-77 win over Mongolia Wednesday in the 2010 Asian University Basketball Championship.

In other games, Lebanon pounded Tianjin Polytechnic University 85-63 and South Korea's Myongji University beat Thailand 99-66.

-- Playoffs
Taiwan 1-0
Lebanon 1-0
China 0-1
Mongolia 0-1

-- 5-7 place classification round
South Korea 1-0
Hong Kong 0-0
Thailand 0-1

(Photos: CTUSF)

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Taiwan, China in 2010 AUB semi

中華隊後衛賴國維(右)Lai Kuo-wei

香港隊梁民熊(中)個人獨得19分Liang Man Hung

Taiwan beat Hong Kong 75-68 Tuesday to knock Hong Kong out of the 2010 Asian University Basketball Championship semifinals as Taiwan, China's Tianjin Polytechnic University, Lebanon and Mongolia advanced to the 4-team playoffs.

Lai Kuo-wei scored a team-high 21 points and Sung Yu-hsuan added 11 in Taiwan's victory. Hong Kong All-Stars was led by Liang Man Hung's 19 points. Chan Yik Lun and Tsoi Lung Tak scored 16 apiece.

Lebanon beat Mongolia 90-86 to top Group B with a 2-0 record. China routed Thailand 86-52.

Surprisingly, 2006 AUB winner Myongji University finished last in Gorup B and will have to meet Hong Kong and Thailand in the 5-7 classification round.

Group A
Taiwan 2-1
China 2-1
Hong Kong 2-1
Thailand 0-3

Group B
Lebanon 2-0
Mongolia 1-1
Korea 0-2

(Photos: CTUSF)

Monday, October 04, 2010

2010 AUB - Sung scored 31 but Taiwan lost to China


Sung Yu-hsuan scored 31 points on 14-of-19 shooting but that was not enough to bring Taiwan a win as the host lost 77-72 to China's Tianjin Polytechnic University on the second day of the 2010 Asian University Basketball Championship.

All but Korea, China and Lebanon among the seven participating teams sent All-Star teams to Taiwan, so I argue that this is not a tournament for you to evaluate the real basketball strength of Asian countries at the university level. Plus, it is actually an invitational competition.

Hong Kong is surprisingly leading Group A with two wins while South Korea's Myongji University, which won the tourney back in 2006, is now 0-2 in Group B.

Group A: Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Thailand
Group B: Korea, Lebanon, Mongolia

Group A
Hong Kong 2-0
Taiwan 1-1
China 1-1
Thailand 0-2

Group B
Mongolia 1-0
Lebanon 1-0
Korea 0-2

Top two teams in each preliminary group will advance to a single round robin 4-team playoffs while the three  non-playoff teams will play a single round robin classification round to determine the 5th-7th place placings.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Weekly tidbits: Nancy Liu, SLAM and Taiwan Beer

-- An interview with Nancy Liu
Recently I had an opportunity to interview a special girl who is so hopelessly in love with basketball that she quit her job earier this year and spent 63 days in eight European countries to watch 25 pro teams play in 50 games, including the Eurocups Finals and the Euroleague Final Four because of her passion for the game of basketball.

Her name is Nancy Liu, a Taiwanese girl whose name is probably sort of well-known in some European basketball circles by now. Liu also stayed in Turkey to witness the entire 2010 World Championship and has been featured in a FIBA television interview.

Well, check out the video clip for yourself here and make sure to read her blog at

Yeah, a crazy girl indeed, but every passion starts with a crazy idea, doesn't it? I also happened to find out that Nancy is not only a huge Duke fan and a Virgo but also has been following my blog for a while, which is why I have to write this post for her. Haha.

Read my interview below.

Taiwanese basketball junkie lives her dream in Europe
Nancy Liu has often woken up during the past six months not knowing where she was. All she knew was she was somewhere in Europe -- and that's exactly how she wanted it.

Liu is an uncommonly dedicated sports fan, even by basketball junkie standards. She quit her job and visited 33 European cities in in 63 days from March to May this year to watch professional basketball games in person.

"I love the swishing sound of a basketball going through the net. And I'm uncomfortable if I don't play basketball for two or three days, " said Liu, who started playing basketball in fifth grade when she attended an international school in Beijing, China.

Already familiar with the American basketball scene, including the professional National Basketball Association (NBA) and the college game, Liu said her passion for the sport took her to the other side of the Atlantic to explore an area she was less familiar with the game played.

Liu quit her job at an international trading company and started to map out her plan to visit as many European teams and leagues as possible.

Helped by the many friends she made while volunteering at various local sporting events, including the Jones Cup basketball tournament, the Kaohsiung World Games and the Taipei Deaflympics, Liu set up about 70 percent of her itinerary before departing on what she called, "A Basketball Dream -- Ballin' Europe."

The basketball-loving girl, who majored in applied chemistry at Taiwan's National Chiao Tung University, began her basketball pilgrimage at a Swiss professional league game in Geneva less than 24 hours after arriving there.

In the following two months, the journey took Liu to numerous cities in eight countries -- Switzerland, Italy, Slovenia, France, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands and Greece.

In all, Liu attended 25 games and watched 50 teams play in various European domestic leagues as well as the Eurocup Finals and the Euroleague Final Four, both top-tier European basketball competitions.

Liu estimated that she slept an average of less than three hours a night during her stay in Europe and visited as many as three cities in one day.

After the two-month trip, she spent three months in Beijing to work as an intern at NBA China and returned to Taiwan for a day before resuming her travels.

This time she visited Turkey for the 2010 FIBA Men's World Championship and attended all of the tournament's games, while getting to see her favorite player -- Rudy Fernandez of Spain -- perform in person.

To save money during her European travels, Liu said she spent all but one night staying at friends' places, and ended up spending only around NT$200,000 (US$6,377) for the trip.

"Most of my budget was spent on transportation -- flight tickets, train tickets and bus fare, " Liu said. She also had to overcome "the unthinkable" in Europe, such as a French railway strike and the disruption of Euro air traffic by the eruption of a volcano in Iceland that left European skies bathed in inpenetrable ash.

Though basketball was at the center of her trip, Liu said it had even greater significance because she used every opportunity to let everyone know she's from Taiwan.

"This was my way of promoting Taiwan to the world, " she said.

Newspapers in Serbia and Greece gave extensive coverage to her ambitious trip, according to Liu. She was also interviewed by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) during the World Championship.

Liu recalled that her parents expressed concerns about the trip when she first brought up the idea, but her father finally gave the go-ahead because "he didn't want me to miss the opportunity to realize my dream."

Her European trek has not brought her dream to an end. If anything it was only the beginning of loftier ambitions, including a return to Europe for the 2011 European Championship, which will be held in Lithuania next summer.

Liu's dream now extends beyond watching basketball games.

"I want to be involved in and initiate basketball-related nongovernment organization (NGO) projects which inspire children and the underprivileged through the sport, " said Liu, who described herself as being "broke" and is looking for a job to support her future plans.

"Basketball has been the inspiration to lift myself out of bed every morning since I was 13. I hope that the sport -- and my journey -- would be an inspiration for other people as well, " she said.

-- SLAM: Jeremy Lin
A while ago I also had a rare chance to be interviewed as a basketball writer by the SLAM magazine writer Ben Sin to talk about Jeremy Lin.

Whether or not Lin’s signing is driven by an agenda to boost ticket sales and buzz is up for debate, but the move has undoubtedly caused a positive reaction for the NBA in Taiwan. Chris Wang, a veteran sports journalist and current columnist for in Taiwan, says Lin’s signing has increased interest in the League, although he isn’t sure if it’s increased enthusiasm for basketball in general, because Wang argues that, “pound for pound, Taiwanese basketball fans love of the game surpasses those in China.”

Lin and his family (parents and two brothers) appeared in an NBA-organized press conference in Taiwan less than 10 days after the signing. Hailed as “the first Taiwan player in the NBA,” Lin received a hero’s welcome at the press conference.

-- Taiwan Beer going to China?
There has been talks that Taiwan Beer is mulling to join the Chinese pro league CBA next year. The Chinese basketball authority has flat out rejected the report, saying that the 17-team league isn't planning for an expansion for now.

TB thought about joining the Chinese league for a couple of reasons. First of all, it figured that it would  benefit the team to be in the Chinese basketball market, which looks like a sponsor-rich and popular territory. Secondly, the relocation will be a part of the expansion plan of the Taiwan Beer Corporation, which has been trying to secure market access to China with warming Taiwan-China relations.

It was reported that TB Chairman Wei Po-tao had said he would spend 20-30 million RMB a year for the team to join the CBA, and the team is considering to make a city in Zhejiang Province as its homecourt.

Conflicting reports stated that TB might stay in Taiwan and choose Taipei as its home, but this is highly unlikely because it will cost Chinese teams a lot more on transportation if they have to play in Taiwan. On the political front, having Chinese teams play in Taiwan will definitely stir up controversy.

Anyway, I tend to look at it as just another rumor for now. It's possible that Taiwanese teams will join the CBA in the future, but not in another three years due to too many concerns and techinical difficulties, I think.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

2010 Asian university basketball tournament to tip off Sunday



Seven teams from as many countries will participate in the 2010 Asian University Men's Basketball Championship from Oct. 3-8 in the northern county of Taoyuan, the Chinese Taipei University Sports Federation (CTUSF) said.

Myongji University of South Korea, Tianjin Polytechnic University of China, Universite Saint-Esprit De Kaslik of Lebanon and university All-Star teams from Hong Kong, Mongolia, Thailand and host Taiwan will participate in the biennial invitational tourney, according to the CTUSF.

The single round-robin tournament will be held in Kainan University, which is located in Luzhu Township, Taoyuan County.

The competition was launched in 2006, with Myongji University winning the inaugural title. An Iranian university All-Star team took home the championship in 2008.

2010 AUB official website (Mandarin)

Taiwan Mobile announces two new signings


(L to R)Chen Huei, Su Yi-chieh, TM head coach Cheng Chih-lung and Hsiao Yuan-chang


Su and Cheng

Taiwan Mobile on Friday announced that point guard Su Yi-chieh and forward Hsiao Yuan-chang have signed with the team.

Former Dacin starting point guard Su Yi-chieh, who had been seeking to play in China, decided to sign with Taiwan Mobile instead to complete the final year of his graduate school education at National Taiwan Normal University.

Hsiao Yuan-chang, a blue-collar type power forward, previously played for KKL.

Taiwan Mobile finished 15-15 and ranked fifth in the seven-team SBL in the 2009-2010 season.

(Photos: Taiwan Mobile)

FIBA Asia U18 Men: Taiwan beat Iran for bronze


Taiwan won its first medal in the FIBA Asia U18 Championship for Men since 2000 and a berth to represent Asia in the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship after edging Iran 65-60 in the bronze medal game in Sanaa, Yemen late Friday Taiwan time.

Hung Kang-chiao scored a team-high 18 points and Hu Lung-mao added 17 points as Taiwan used a 14-5 run in the third quarter to control the momentum before holding off Iran's furious rally in the final period.

Taiwan, which opened the biennial tournament with an overtime loss to the defending champion Iran, limited the Iranians to a miserable 30 percent field goal shooting percentage in the game for a sweet revenge.

"We have improved a lot, haven't we? " Taiwan head coach Huang Wan-lung quipped after the game, according to the post-game report on the FIBA Asia Web site.

Taiwan last won a medal -- also a bronze -- in the biennial tourney in Kuala Lumpur in 2000, when Huang served on the Taiwanese junior national team as an assistant coach under South Korean head coach Chung Kwang Suk.

Taiwan has never won the junior tournament. It won silver medals in 1972 and 1989 and took home bronze in 1974, 1987, 2000 and 2010. Two years ago, Taiwan finished an all-time worst ninth place.

With the win, Taiwan secured one of three Asian berths in the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship, which will be held in Latvia from June 30 to July 10, 2011. Taiwan's previous appearance in the world's top-level junior competition came 23 years ago, when they played at Bormio, Italy in 1987.

China routed South Korea 103-80 in the title game to win its ninth gold in the history of the tournament. The gold and silver medalists will also play in Latvia.


China wins gold

(Photos: FIBA Asia)

Friday, October 01, 2010

FIBA Asia U18 Men: Taiwan loses to South Korea in semis

Taiwan missed an opportunity to make history by losing to South Korea 79-68 Thursday in the semifinal of the FIBA Asia U18 Championship for Men in Sanaa, Yemen.

If the team had advanced to the championship game, it would have at least matched its best record -- silver medal finishes in 1972 and 1989 -- in the biennial tournament and could have made a challenge for its first gold in history.

Taiwan was dealt a knockout blow in the decisive third quarter, when the Koreans opened the second half with a 17-2 run, turning a close game into a rout. Taiwan was out-scored 23-10 in the period and trailed by as many as 18 points.

Unable to match Korea's inside play, Taiwan was out-rebounded 39-22. Korea, which was led by Lee Seounghyun's 17 points and 14 rebounds and Lee Jonghyun's 15 points and 10 rebounds, also made 10 more free throws than the Taiwanese.

Center Hu Lung-mao scored a team-high 25 points to go with eight rebounds and six steals for Taiwan, which was leading 35-34 at halftime. Chen Ying-chun and Huang Po-wei had 13 points each.

The team will meet Iran, which lost to China in the other semifinal match, in Friday's bronze medal game. It is still something worth playing for because the top three teams in the tournament will represent Asia in the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship, which will be played in Latvia June 30-July 10, 2011.