Saturday, June 18, 2011

SBL to relax import height limit: report


The Super Basketball League (SBL) will adopt a new height limit of 6-9 (205cm) to replace its current limit of 6-7 (200cm) in the 2011-12 season while the monthly salary cap will stay at the current US$10,000, Taiwanese media reported.

In the first preparatory meeting of the SBL Committee, which is under the Chinese Taipei Basketball Association (CTBA), Friday, new CTBA President Ting Shou-chung also made sure the SBL All-Star Game will be held after a two-year hiatus.

The new season will tip off in mid-December, the meeting decided. Regular season games will be held at Hsinjhuang Stadium, Taipei Municiple Arena and Fengshan Stadium in the southern city of Kaohsiung. Some of the playoff games will be held at the National Taiwan University Gymnasium, one of the best venues in downtown Taipei but was never used as a SBL venue due to its high rent.

In addition, game dates of the new season will be Friday-Saturday-Sunday instead of Wednesday-Friday-Saturday-Sunday due to lack of fan supports on Wednesdays.

The height limit of import players was obviously the most important changes in the new season. The committee adopted the change in the hope of improving the competition level.

Several team representatives argued that, if the salary limit remains unchanged, it will be difficult for teams to hire imports with better skills.

The Chou Po-cheng case, raised by Yulon head coach Zhang Xuelei, was also discussed in the meeting. Chou, who was on Taiwan NT roster for the EABC, was selected by KKL in the SBL Draft last year. The 197cm forward reported to KKL's preseason camp but never signed a contract with the team. He signed with Yulon Luxgen afterwards.

Chou was subjected to a two-year suspension for violating the draft regulation, which states that a draftee must sign with the team that made the pick in the draft or else will be slapped with a two-year ban.

No final decision was reached in the meeting.