Videoland was sold to Taiwan Mobile, one of Taiwan’s largest mobile phone operators, and was renamed to Taiwan Mobile Clouded Leopards. Former Taiwan star Cheng Chih-lung was named head coach of the team.
Cheng Chih-lung, who was generally considered one of Asia’s best players during the late 80s and 90s, welcomed the opportunity of his first head coaching job. Cheng helped Taiwan NT to a 4th place finish in 1999 Asian Championship in Fukuoka, Japan — the last time Taiwan was in the top four in Asia.
Cheng was also the first Taiwan player to play in China’s CBA (Chinese Basketball Association). He was Yao Ming’s teammates in Shanghai Sharks from 2000-2001.
Huang Chun-hsiung, Cheng’s former teammate in Hungkuo Elephants during the old CBA (Chinese Basketball Alliance) days.
Taiwan Mobile will have a new look next season. In addition to the coaching change, two core players Yang Che-yi and Lee Chi-yi left the team for Yulon Dinos.
Currently the Clouded Leopards have 15 players on its roster. Lai Kuo-hong, Lin Shin-hwa, Chen Huei, Wu Yong-jen, Lee Wei-min, Hsu Kai-jay, Chen Yao-ting, Wu Cheng-yu, Hong Chi-chao, Deng An-cheng, Yen Cheng-hong were players who remained with the team. Newcomers included Hsu Tse-shin (From ETSN), Wu Min-hsien (rookie), Liu Sheng-yao (from Yulon) and Hsu Wei-shen (from Yulon).
Lai Kuei-lin and Chen Li-wei were not re-signed.
Taiwan Mobile named the team after Formosan Clouded Leopards, a subspecies of Clouded Leopard that was endemic to the island of Taiwan and is now believed to be extinct.
Videoland bought the team from BCC (Broadcasting Corporation of China) in June 2004. The team formerly known as Mars was taken over by BCC after the pro league CBA folded in 1999.
(Photo source: Apple Daily)