The interesting case of Vita Genomics

Just like I wrote before, Taiwanese basketball never cease surprising us all. The latest case of Vita Genomics — this year’s A-League winner which wanted to get a foot in the SBL so badly — was a perfect case.

First thing first. Vita Genomics lost all three games so far (I couldn’t even find the result of its last game, but it didn’t matter anyway) in the “qualification games”, which was played from Nov. 6-11, and will not be able to join the SBL next season.

What is the qualification games? It was supposed to be a “relegation games” which have the A-League winner and the 6th- and 7th-place SBL teams to play a double round robin games with the last-placed team in the games demoted to the A-League next year.

However, ETSN and YMY — the 6th- and 7th-place SBL teams last season — refused to be demoted ! The very “considering” SBL Committee then decide to make it a qualification games, which means the games will be played to determine whether the A-League winner is qualified to join the SBL or not and no current SBL teams will be demoted.

Vita Genomics lost to YMY twice by the scores of 118-100 and 97-79, and lost to ETSN 99-78 in the series. The results showed the big competition gap between the amateur league and the semi-pro SBL.

Funny thing was that the committee never announced how Vita Genomics can join the league. Will it be able to join if it finshed the seires 4-0? 3-1? 2-2? 1-3? The answer is: nobody knows. Word was that no matter how Vita Genomics performed, it would take a negotiation with current SBL teams to determine the final outcome.

Which makes you wonder: why bother playing all those games if it takes another round of negotiation?

Another funny thing was that the Vita Genomics-ETSN game on Nov.8 was called off by the refs, according to the official FIBA rules, with less than two minutes remaining because there was only one Vita player on the court.

Vita, with many of its core players playing on the same night in the university league, could only dress seven players for the game. Some of Vita players were emergency loans from other A-League teams.

In the second half Vita lost two players for disqualifications and was forced to play the remaining five players. But they couldn’t avoid foul trouble. With less than two minutes to go, the game was called off because Vita was left with only one player on the court.

Anyway, it seems to me that the SBL teams simply will not allow Vita enter the league unless it agrees to pay a large amount of admission fee. On the other hand, Vita needs to secure its players (and maybe find a team manager before that…) if it is serious about entering the SBL.

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Yitong Trust wins President Cup

Yitong Trust defeated NTCPE (National Taiwan College of Physical Education) 2-0 in the best-of-three final series and won its first President Cup champion in team history. Kuo-kwang Power beat Richway Tech 2-1 in the best-of-three 3rd-place series.

President Cup was divided into two divisions – Division I and II – before the formation of SBL (Super Basketball League). Currently there’s only one division in the President Cup.

President Cup Preliminary Round Standings:
1. Yitong Trust 6-1
2. NTCPE 5-2
3. Kuo-kwang Power 5-2
4. Richway Tech 4-3
5. TNIT 4-3
6. Tsaishin Alumni 2-5
7. Shinwu 2-5
8. Jin-jin Design 0-7

Top four teams meet in the best-of-three playoff series, where Yitong faces NTCPE in the finals and Kuo-kwang Power meets Richway Tech in the 3rd-place series.

New Taiwanese basketball competition format

The current Taiwanese basketball competition format that has been going on for years will have a dramatic change after the launch of SBL.

Since the CBA folded, teams went back to join A-League (Amateur League). There are only two stages – President Cup and A-League regular season – for them to play every year. Men’s teams are divided into two divisions – Div-I and Div-II.

Things will look a little bit different this year. Seven top teams form the new Super Basketball League. That means there will be no more Div-I in A-League. From now on A-League will be a one-division league. All men’s and women’s teams which didn’t join SBL will still play under the old A-League format.

2003 President Cup tip-offs on Nov.2

CTBA announced the 2003 President Cup schedule Monday. Eight men’s teams and five women’s teams will participate in the tournament from Nov. 2 to Dec. 4.

With the formation of the Super Basketball League, the remaining teams will still compete in both annual CTBA-sanctioned events – the President Cup and the A-League Regular Season.

Men’s Competition
Teams (8): National Taiwan College of Physical Education (NTCPE), Yitong Trust, Kuo-kwang Power, Jui-tsai Technology, Shingwu-Chiaotai, Jin-jin Design, Tung-nan Institute of Technology (TIT), Tsai-shin Alumni
Time: Nov. 24 – Dec. 4
Venue: Taipei Municipal Stadium
Format: Single round-robin preliminary games. Top four teams advance to the playoffs, with top two teams go for championship in a best-of-three series. No.3 and No.4 teams play for third-place also in a best-of-three series.

Women’s Competition
Teams (5): Kuo-tai Life, Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Power, Taiyuan, Yadong
Time: Nov. 2 – Nov. 23
Venue: Taipei Municipal Stadium
Format: Double round-robin preliminary games. Top four teams advance to the playoffs, with top two teams go for championship in a best-of-three series. No.3 and No.4 teams play for third-place also in a best-of-three series.

A-League Finals stats

Finals: Yulon 2-1 Mars
— Yulon:
Chen Hsin-an 15.7p, 7.3rb, 4a
Tsun Wen-din 13.7p, 9rb
Chen Chih-chung 12.7p, 3rb, 2.7a
Hong Chi-chao 9p

— Mars:
Yang Che-yi 14.7p, 8rb
Lai Kuo-hong 11.7p, 5rb
Lin Jia-huang 11.7p
Yen Hsin-shu 9.7p, 4rb, 3.7a
Lee Chi-yi 8p, 9.3rb
Chen Huei 5p, 4rb, 5a

3rd-place Series: Jutai 2-1 Taiwan Beer
— Jutai:
Yang Yu-ming 31.3p, 5.3rb, 3a
Hu Yu-wei 15.5p, 3.5rb(2 games)
Ha Xiao-yuan 12.7p, 9rb
Tan Bo-chan 6.7p, 9rb

— Taiwan Beer:
Lin Chi-jay 24.3p, 12rb
Wu Yang-juei 17p, 5.7rb
Chen Shi-nian 12.3p, 4rb, 5a
Wu Chih-yuan 12.3p, 7rb
Yo Yu-lun 10p, 4.3rb, 3.3a
Chang Hsien-ming 9p, 3rb

2003 A-League All-Star Teams

(This is my pick. All stats are from preliminary round)

First Team
F Chen Hsin-an(Yulon) 16.3p, 6rb, 3a
F Lin Chi-jay(Taiwan Beer) 11.4p, 6.6rb, 2.1a, 1.57s
C Wu Dai-hao(Dacin) 14.5p, 9.2rb, 1.27blk
G Yang Yu-ming(Jutai) 23p, 3.6a, 1.71s
G Yen Hsin-shu(Mars) 12.8p, 5.4rb, 5.3a, 2.1s

Second Team
F Ho Sho-jen(Bank of Taiwan) 19.3p
F Yang Che-yi(Mars) 13.9p
C Tsun Wen-din(Yulon) 11.8p, 7.6rb, 1.93blk
G Chen Chih-chung(Yulon) 10.6p, 2.5rb, 3.6a, 2.86s
G Chen Shi-nian(Taiwan Beer) 12.2p, 4rb, 4.4a, 1.85s

Third Team
F Lee Fong-yong(Dacin) 12.9p, 6.8rb
F Chang Chi-feng(Dacin) 13.7p, 5.2rb, 1.79s
G Chien Min-fu(Military) 11.9p, 4.6rb, 5.8a, 1.64s
G Chiu Chi-yi(Military) 22p
G Hsu Hao-cheng(Bank of Taiwan) 7.6p, 5.1rb, 6.9a, 2.07s

Yulon wins fourth consecutive A-League title

2002-03 A-League season concluded tonight as both the Finals and the 3rd-place series go down to the final deciding game.

Led by Finals MVP Chen Hsin-an‘s 17 points, Yulon beat Mars, 81-70, in the best-of-three series to win its fourth consecutive A-League title. Sharpshooter Yang Yu-ming had 30 points to lead Jutai past Taiwan Beer, 83-79, in the deciding game of the 3rd-place series.

Embarrassed by its Game 2 performance last night, Yulon came out with a fire in their eyes. Using a 15-0 run, Yulon jumped in front 29-13 in the end of the first quarter and pretty much set the tones of the game.

Mars cut the deficit down to 10 points in the middle of the 4th quarter, but Hong Chi-chao’s three-point play put Mars away. Chen Chih-chung, who was held to 3 points last night, had a game-high 21 points.

Mars once again came up short, although is proved it’s a better team in the first two games. Yang Che-yi led Mars with 19 points.

Taiwan Beer and Jutai didn’t produce a record-breaking third cosecutive overtime game. On the contrary, Jutai Tech pulled in front early and led by as many as 20 points, as yang Yu-ming almost buried his every shot.

Taiwan Beer refused to quit. Just like previous games, Lin Chi-jay took over the game with his powerful one-on-one moves and cut the deficit down to two in the final two minute before bowing out. Lin Chi-jay paced Taiwan Beer with 22 points and 13 rebounds. Fast improving bigman Wu Chih-yuan had 17.

Finals Game 3: Yulon 81-70 Mars(Half 47-27)
Yulon – Chen Chih-chung 21p, Chen Hsin-an 17p+5rb+6a, Hong Chi-chao 15p+9rb, Tsun Wen-din 15p
Mars – Yang Che-yi 19p+7rb, Lai Kuo-hong 15p

3rd-place series Game 3: Jutai 83-79 Taiwan Beer(Half 47-31)
Jutai – Yang Yu-ming 30p, Ha Xiao-yuan 18p+13rb, O-Yang Jin-hen 18p
TB – Lin Chi-jay 22p+13rb, Wu Chih-yuan 17p, Wu yang-huei 14p