Hsu Chih-chao named Dacin head coach

Lee Hsueh-lin[Lee Hsueh-lin]

Hsu Chih-chao, head coach of the Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor (KKL) last season, will become Dacin Tiger’s head coach in the coming season, Dacin Tigers General Manager Wang Tsai-hsiang said.

Hsu, who spent most of his career with Dacin, will be returning to his old team and replace Chiu Ta-tsun, who left after the season to coach in China’s Jiangsu.

Continue reading “Hsu Chih-chao named Dacin head coach”


Ex-Taiwan NT assistant banned by NBA for gambling

20080410150400c71fe Former Taiwan NT assistant coach and Sacramento Kings assistant director of scouting Jack Mai has been banned by the NBA for betting money on league games, including those involving the Kings, Yahoo! Sports reported.

Jack Mai coached Luckipar Panthers in 1995-96 and registered 12 wins and 18 losses in 30 games in the Chinese Basketball Alliance, a Taiwanese pro league folded in 2000 after five seasons.

He worked as Panthers’ general manager after that until the CBA went out of business.

Mai assisted late Yulon head coach Chien Yi-fei and led Taiwan NT to a silver medal finish in the 2001 East Asian Games in Osaka, Japan.

He was instrumental in landing Chen Hsin-an an opportunity to try out for the Kings in 2002. Chen was cut after appearing in two preseason games and did not make the opening day roster, however.

He also brought Tien Lei to play for the Kings in the Southern California Summer Pro League a few years later.

Ex-assistant scouting director gambled with Kings

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Sacramento Kings say they’ve been informed by the NBA that a former employee gambled while on their staff.

Jack Mai, the team’s former assistant director of scouting, was found to have gambled while with the Kings, who fired him in January. Last season was his eighth with the franchise and third as assistant director of scouting.

The Kings’ release says the "investigation revealed that Mr. Mai participated in improper wagering activities while a member of this organization." The Kings say Mai has been disqualified from further association with the NBA and its teams.

The league has taken gambling especially seriously since former referee Tim Donaghy admitted taking thousands of dollars from a professional gambler in exchange for inside tips, including games he worked.


NBA bans Kings scout for gambling on team
Adrian Wojnarowski

The NBA has banned former Sacramento Kings assistant director of scouting Jack Mai for betting money on league games, including those involving the Kings, Yahoo! Sports has learned.

The league informed teams in a memo on Wednesday afternoon that an investigation revealed Mai bet on NBA games “limited to small amounts of money among acquaintances and there is no evidence that he ever attempted to use his position with the Kings to influence the outcome of any NBA game.”

Mai bet on the Kings’ games for years, “some for, and some against,” a league source told Yahoo! Sports.

When reached by phone on Wednesday afternoon, Mai said only, “I resigned,” and declined further comment.

The NBA told teams they can never employ, nor use Mai in a consultant’s capacity. League rules forbid employees from betting on any NBA games, especially those involving their own teams.

“We take this matter very seriously, and we fully cooperated with the NBA’s investigation,” the Kings said in a statement.

Business partners of Mai tipped the NBA to his betting, a league source told Yahoo! Sports. After eight years with the organization, the Kings fired Mai early in 2009. Besides the gambling investigation, one league source said Mai had “questionable business dealings with Korean and Chinese basketball teams and leagues.”

“He was using his position with the Kings to make business deals for players, equipment, etc., and appearances by NBA players in Asia for money,” the source said.

Donaghy tried to peddle a tell-all book that would’ve alleged further impropriety among officials and the league, but the publisher said the threat of potential liability ultimately killed the book’s release.


Scouting assistant Mai gambled
Associted Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Sacramento Kings said Wednesday they were informed by the NBA that a former employee gambled while on their staff.

Jack Mai, the team’s former assistant director of scouting, was found to have gambled while with the Kings, who fired him in January. Last season was his eighth with the franchise and third as assistant director of scouting.

Kings owner Joe Maloof said the team fired Mai as soon as it found out through general manager Geoff Petrie that Mai had been wagering.

"I wasn’t aware that he was betting. But the minute we found out he was doing something wrong we had to let him go," Maloof said. "People should know that you are not allowed to bet on NBA games. It’s against the bylaws, it’s against the rules."

The Kings’ release said the "investigation revealed that Mr. Mai participated in improper wagering activities while a member of this organization." The Kings said Mai had been disqualified from further association with the NBA and its teams.

NBA spokesman Tim Frank confirmed Mai’s disqualification and said reinstatement was not possible, but said the league would have no other comment.

The league has taken gambling especially seriously since former referee Tim Donaghy admitted taking thousands of dollars from a professional gambler in exchange for inside tips, including games he worked.

Luckipar Became 4th Team to Go Down

After month-long discussion, Luckipar Cement decided to cease all operation of its basketball team Luckipar Panthers. With the team’s 20-year long history coming to an end, Luckipar also followed the footsteps of Hong-kuo, Hong-fu and Mars and became the fourth former-CBA pro team to close business.

Currently, only Dacin and Yulon feature the same operating staff and ownership among the 6 original CBA teams. Hong-kuo was bought by internet tycoon Daniel Jiang and changes its name to SINA, while Mars was taken over by BCC (Broadcasting Corporation of China).

Once dubbed as the most promising CBA team by various local reporters, Luckipar would not have a chance to show its promising future. With lead guard Chen Chih-chun coming back from his two-year military service and the addition of high school player of the year Tien Lei, Luckipar could’ve been the team to beat after this year. It’s sad no one can see that happen.

With the team folding, Luckipar players became the target of other A-League teams. Tien Lei is expected to sign with Dacin Construction. SINA has signed 197cm forward Lai Kuo-hong and 190cm guard Hsu Yung-Yi. 199cm center Lin Shin-hwa will sign with BCC Mars. 184cm SG Chao Jia-chun will join Yulon. 180cm SG Yang Yu-min, who’s on this year’s NT roster, will probably join his former team Da-hwa Construction.

Luckipar GM/Head coach Jack Mai, who’s been in charge of all basketball operation since 1998, said he will head back to the United States. But rumors said Dacin is interested in signing Jack Mai to its coaching staff.

Chinese Basketball Alliance Brief History 1993-2000

8.14 Team owners announced the intention to set up the first professional Taiwanese basketball league – CBA, in an official press conference.

9.17 Owners of Hong-kuo, Yulon, Luckipar and Shin-zuei(corporation names later changed to Tera) formed the CBA Organizing Committee.

4.07 CBA logo released.

5.18 Hong-kuo won the exhbition/promotion games.

5.23 Hong-kuo named its team Elephants. Luckipar named its team Panthers.

10.22 Yulon named its team Dinos. Tera named its team Mars.

11.12 Hong-kuo defeated Yulon in CBA’s inaugural game. Hong-kuo’s import Rex Menu scored the first point in CBA history.

12.07 Cheng Chih-lung of Hong-kuo was voted MVP of the month and became the first recipient of this award in league history.

12.24 Dwight Myvett of Luckipar became the first player in CBA history to record a triple-double, tallying 27 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists in one game. Chen Chun-chian of Tera was the first player being ejected in the CBA.

1.22 Yulon won the first stage of the 1994-95 season.

2.08 Dwight Myvett was voted the MVP in CBA’s inaugural All-Star Game.

2.12 Tsun Yi-chin(Luckipar) and Kelvin Benton(Mars) were both ejected in the first brawl in league history.

4.25 League office announced each team can register 4 imports in the 1995-96 season, but only two can play at the same time.

4.28 Yulon won the second stage of the regular season. According to the rules, Yulon automatically became the 1994-95 CBA champion.(No playoffs back then.)

5.13 Joe Temple helped Hong-kuo knock out Yulon 3-0 in the Challenge Cup and was voted the MVP.

7.18 Board of Govenors approved the expansion of Hong-fu and Chung-shin(Later sold the team to Dacin) in the 1995-96 season.

11.02 CBA signed trading card contract with Upperdeck.

11.14 1995-96 season tip-off.

11.15 Todd Rowe of Tera Mars became the first player to surpass 1,000 points milestone.

12.07 Mars center Wang Li-bin became the first local plyer to record a triple-double(17 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists).

1.16 Kenny Kao became the first player to switch team when he transferred from Luckipar to Mars.

1.21 Yulon won the first stage of the regular season.

2.11 Todd Rowe took home the MVP trophy in the 1995-96 season All-Star Game.

5.09 Hong-kuo won the second stage of the regular season.

5.21 CBA held its first ever playoffs.

6.05 Hong-kuo beat Yulon 4-2 to win the 1995-96 CBA Championship.

6.06 Cheng Chih-lung of Hong-kuo was voted the Finals MVP.

7.02 Chung-shin Tigers changed its name to Dacin Tigers.

1.02 CBA experimented double-headers in Touliu.

2.24 Tsun Yi-chin of Luckipar was killed in an automobile accident.

2.27 Mars released its new logo.

3.29 Huang Chun-hsiung of Hong-kuo won the MVP in the 1996-97 All-Star Game.

6.22 Yulon Dinos became the first team to reach the 100-win plateau. At the same time, Chien Yi-fei became the first coach to 100 wins.

7.10 Hong-kuo PG Chou Jun-san became the first player to dish out 1,000 assists.

8.12 Hong-kuo beat Yulon 4-3 again and won the 1996-97 CBA Championship.

8.13 Joe Temple was named the Finals MVP.

1.01 1997-98 season tip-off.

2.05 Todd Rowe became the first player to score 4,000 career points.

3.28 Luckipar became the first team to suffer 100 defeats.

4.05 Todd Rowe won the MVP in 1997-98 All-Star Game.

4.18 The game featured Hong-fu vs. Dacin became the first game in CBA history to go into three overtimes.

4.23 CBA cancelled a game for the first time because of electricity breakdown. Dacin became the fastest team to reach 100 defeats(in 136 games).

7.16 Todd Rowe of Mars became the first player to reach 5,000 career points.

8.18 After trailing 1-3 early in the 1997-98 CBA Finals, Hong-kuo won three straight and beat Mars 4-3, completing the unprecendent three-peat.

11.10 The news of Kuo-yang Group, which owns the Mars, was in the financially crisis shocked the league. Mars admitted it was seeking buyer.

11.19 CBA announced the 1998-99 season will tip-off on December 31 as planned.

12.01 The league was feeling the first wave of the financial crisis throughout Asia. After hour-long meeting, CBA teams decided to impose a 20-percent paycut on local players, while Mars players took a 50-percent paycut. However, salaries for foreign coaches and import players will be the same.

12.31 1998-99 season tip-off. Hong-kuo beat Mars 87-82 in the opening game.

1.20 Rumors said Hong-fu was also in severe financial crisis.

1.21 CBA terminated its broadcast contract with ETV after the contract disputes between two sides.

2.09 CBA called an emergency board meeting to discuss its financial situation. The meeting decided to increase the capitol by 50.4M NT dollars in order to keep the season going.

3.09 CBA again called for an emergency board meeting and decided it will suspend the 1998-99 season starting from March 14, because of financial difficulties of the league.

3.15 CBA suspended its season indefinitely.

8.07 Chinese Basketball Alliance(CBA) announced in a written statement that it will start its 6th season on January 14, 2000. In the statement, the CBA also lay out its preliminary re-structure schedule. In August and September it will arrange a total of four meetings of team managers and owners to set up the re-structure schedule and various plans in details.

11.06 Assisted by the NSC(National Sports Council), the CBA decided to field a “RE-STRUCURE COMMITTEE” after a five-hour marathon meeting on November 3. Mars head coach CHUN CHI-MUN and three-time champion Hong-kuo Elephant owner LIN HONG-DAO were named the co-chairman of the committee, which includes six GMs of CBA teams and a official from the NSC.

1.29 Officials of Yulon Dinos, Luckipar Panthers and Dacin Tigers all expressed they plan to take a step back and re-join the semi-pro A-League.

2.24 CHEN CHENG-CHUN, owner of HONG-FU RAMS, was elected President of the “new” CBA on February 22. Chen said he will work toward the goal of re-launching the league in November.

3.28 Yulon Dinos defeated Hong-kuo Elephants 76-66 and swept the best-of-five Millennium Series Finals in three games.

6.17 CBA President/General Manager CHEN CHENG-CHUN announced that the Chinese Basketball Alliance will re-open its season on November 17. Five of the original six teams, except the Dacin Tigers, will compete in the new season.

6.27 Former ruling party KMT(also known as National Party), which lost the presidential election in March to rival DPP, announced it will take over the Mars. This move, many believe, will make Mars one of the few teams in the world which is owned by a political party.

8.31 Hong-kuo, who won the CBA’s last three championships between 1996-98, received the first overall pick in the Balance Draft after the open draw on August 31. BBC Mars will pick second in the first round, while Luckipar follows in the third. The fourth pick went to Yulon. Hong-fu will pick last in the first round.

9.04 The first ever CBA Balance Draft offered few surprises for those who expected dramatic changes. In the draft held on September 4th, most of the players were drafted by their former teams. The biggest surprise in the draft is maybe Ger Jia-shiang, a former unknown, going No.1 to the Hong-kuo Elephants. Of the 34 players drafted, only five players switched teams.

11.07 Hong-kuo Group decided to dismiss the Hong-kuo Elephants, the most successful team in the CBA, because of financial crisis within its mother corporation. This news virtually shocked the whole basketball cummunity.

11.08 Yulon Dinos owner Yen Kai-tai announced that Yulon will pull out of the CBA indefinitely, leaving the CBA with only three teams. The CBA’s future is again in doubt. Yulon became the third CBA team in the last six months to drop out or folds. Dacin Tigers was the first team to pull out, deciding to drop back to less competitive A-League.

11.22 Luckipar Panthers made clear they will follow the footsteps of Hong-kuo and Yulon and will not play in the new CBA season.

11.27 Chen Cheng-chun, the president of the CBA and the chief organizer of the new season, announced the relaunch plan of the league is suspended indefinitely. Yen Kai-tai, the CEO of Yulon Group, also announced Yulon will not consider re-entering the professional ranks again before December 31, 2001. Powerful dotcom company SINA.COM announced it will take over the original Hong-kuo players and enter the A-League with a new team.

A Sad Story: The Rise and Fall of Taiwanese Pro Ball

After an eighteen-month wait, Taiwanese fans are disappointed again. The CBA (Chinese Basketball Alliance) failed to stage a new season, which was supposed to open on November 18, and announced it will once again suspend all activities indefinitely on November 23.

It is definitely a shocking news for the fans and the media. The announcement also means that there will be no professional basketball action in Taiwan in the foreseeable future.

Looking back the short 4 1/2-year CBA history, maybe we will have a better idea why the CBA, once perceived as one of the strongest pro league in Asia, folds twice within a two-year span.


PART I : The Beginning and the Rise


Summer of 1993, midway thru my final year in college, four A-League team owners gathered for a meeting and talked about the idea of setting up a professional basketball league. Little did anyone know back then that after this simple meeting, Taiwanese basketball would never be the same.

Looking back, the Taiwanese basketball environment was not– and never — MATURED enough to stage a pro league. Attendance of A-League games kept dropping back then and fan interest toward basketball was relatively low. Pro baseball is still the No.1 sports in this island.

However, Hong-kuo Elephants, Yulon Dinos, Luckipar Panthers and Tera Mars(later changed its name to Kaohsiung Mars and BCC Mars because of ownership change) escaped from the A-League and formed the Chinese Basketball Alliance anyway. The league set up the rules in a short time and held the import player tryout with the help from some sports agencies.

After a series of exhibition games, the CBA’s inaugural season was launched in November 1994, a couple months after I went into the two-year military service. At the time, NBA basketball was huge in Taiwan but clearly few people here, especially those who involved in the CBA, understood what PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL really is. For the league staff, the teams and the local players, everything was more like an on-the-job training.


Surprisingly, the CBA received relatively success in the first two years, although the competition level, the venue, the marketing skills of the league was still second-grade. And because of the success, the league expanded to six teams in just its second season, adding Hong-fu Rams and Chung-shin Tigers(later changed its name to Dacin Tigers).

Averaged attendence was more than 2000. Local corporations, especially those related to sports business, were more than willing to be the league sponsors. And the fans were excited for and curious of Taiwan’s first pro basketball league. Local medias expanded their coverage for basketball. Suddenly, Taiwanese basketball’s future looked brighter than ever.

The most important thing was, by playing NBA rules, allowing two imports playing at the same time and paying acceptable salaries, the league was able to attract many big-time imports like former Louisville standout Jerome Harmon. Therefore, local players’ skills were dramatically improved after playing against better-skilled imports every day.

With the great reputation of paying imports, plus the never-ending nightlife and extensive fan support, imports loved playing here, even willing to take less salaries. Gradually, the CBA was viewed as one of the most powerful pro leagues in Asia. Local stars not only became every youngster’s idol, they also became richer after their salaries skyrocketed. Highest monthly salary reached 350,000 NT dollars(about 11,000 USD), almost ten times higher than an average A-League player.

PART II : Chaos and Suspension


The relative success of the league did raise some eyebrows throughout the Asia, but not all things went as smooth and well as outsiders thought. In fact, there are chaos everywhere from the league office down to the teams and the players.

Management guidelines, like salary cap, draft system, player trading rule and free agency rules…etc, were not completely established in the early years of the CBA, because owners wanted to open the season as early as possible. And league office did not complete the guidelines afterwards, thus resulting numerous controvercies among the teams.

Also, teams have mixed feeling toward import players. They want to have the best imports but are reluctant to pay high-end salaries. They want to bring in the best imports to win the ball games, but they don’t want imports EATING UP all those playing times of local players.

Star-studded teams like Hong-kuo and Yulon started investing more money on player salaries, game promotions and courtside activities. As a result, their budget climbed up. On the other hand, due to poor facilities and the differences between top-tier and second-tier teams, attendence figures started to nosedive. Reportedly, every team lost money. And the TV rating of broadcasted games was not looking good.

Meanwhile, local player salaries kept skyrocketing, since every team wanted to lock up its players because not too many amateur players were available. The CTBA, which is the highest governing body of Taiwanese amateur basketball, did not put in any effort to strengthen amateur basketball. And for a long period of time, Taiwanese National Team did not produce good results in international competitions.

We have to admit that several locals, like Cheng Chih-lung and Lo Shin-liang of Hong-kuo, Yen Hsin-shu of BCC Mars, established themselves as franchise players during the years. But too many locals did not improve their skills thru the constant competition against imports, averaging double-figure in scoring is almost like an impossible dream for them. For the most part, this is why the league produced only a handful of star players. Practically, no emerging youngsters brought the fans any excitement and fresh feeling during this period. As a whole, this league was like a dead pond.


However chaotic it may be, Hong-kuo and Mars brought the fans an epic and classic battle in 1998 CBA Finals. Mars took a commanding 3-1 lead after four games, but Hong-kuo refused to lose. They won the last three games all on small margins, completed the most unbelievable come-from-behind victory in CBA playoffs history and became the first team to THREE-PEAT.

Every game in the seven-game series was a sell-out. The dramatical results also made this tiny island hoop-crazy for two weeks. No ones knew that, all of a sudden, everything goes downward from this point.

Starting in late 1998, numerous Taiwanese corporation suffered financial crisis like companies in other Asian countries. Kuo-yang Group, which owned the Mars at the time, sold the team because of financial problems and threw the first BOMB of CBA collapse. After that, Hong-fu also had problems, although it did not sell the Rams.

League office did not do well on the TV broadcast extension negotiation. During the negotiation, the league and ETV, the primary bidder for the broadcasting right, had numerous conflicts and could not agree a final contract. It’s not a secret that if the league end up with no TV money, it will collapse in a split of second.

That’s exactly what happened. On March 14, midway through its fifth season, CBA announced it will suspend its action indefinitely. In fact, rumors had been said the league would folds starting from January.

PART III : Re-structure and Falling Down Again


CBA’s suspension is a huge blow to all the fans and the insiders of the basketball circle. The league immediately pushed itself into a re-structuring mode and claimed it will re-open as soon as all the problems are resolved. They pretty much GUARANTEED the re-launch but set no timetable.

League office and teams joined forces and formed a RE-STRUCTURE COMMITTEE, which includes coaches, owners, general managers and league staff. The main task for the committee is to lay down the foundation – various managing rules and guidelines — that was absent before the suspension.

The committee also looked for the help from the highest sports governing body NSC (National Sports Council). It hopes the NSC can be the peacemaker between the owners who have different opinions and helps bring the league a new arena in downtown Taipei area.

Actually, NSC did not want to be involved in the restructuring of the CBA, although then-NSC president Chao Li-yun did try to organize a ROUNDTABLE MEETING. In the meantime, Dacin Tigers refused to participate in the re-structure and decided to drop back to the semi-pro A-League. Dacin had always been the lowest-budget team, the dropout showed it did not want to spend extra money on professional basketball.

That leaves the CBA with only five teams. Chen Cheng-chun, owner of Hong-fu Rams and a national legislator himself, then took over as the president of both the re-structuring committee and the CBA. Chen decided to speed up the restructring process.

During the suspension, the CBA organized several corporation-sponsored tournaments to keep the players and fans busy. Plus, they want to check out the basketball CLIMATE and maintain fans’ interest in local pro basketball. Among the tournaments are Mellennium Series, Windy City Festival, Sinchu Cup and Elite Four Tournament.

Finally, the good news came on June 18, 2000. The CBA announced it will re-launch the 2000-01 season on November 17(Later changed to November 18) with each team playing 40 games. Also, then-ruling party KMT decided to take over the Mars, which is the only team without an owner. League office released the details of Balance Draft, Salary Cap, regular season and exhibition game schedules in later months.

It seemed everything was going well and the league was on its way back to the glory. Insiders didn’t think so, though. Some said, the biggest problem of the league is not the lack of fan support or a new arena, it’s in the mindset of the team owners and the players. To be more procise, owners still don’t realize they will lose money in the first few years anyway. And Local players still don’t have a clue what PROFESSIONAL PLAYER means. Almost 90% of the local players failed to keep themselves in shape and improve their skills during the suspension.


Like the CBA owners and players, economic situation did not improve much during the suspension. Two weeks before the tip-off of the new season, Hong-kuo Group shocked everybody and announced it will dismiss the Elephants because of financial difficulties.

One day after Hong-kuo’s announcement, Yulon also announced it will pull out of the CBA and re-join the A-League. Suddenly, the CBA is left with only three teams and again in danger of losing the new season. President Chen tried to talk the owners out of pulling teams out but failed.

Bad news keep coming. Luckipar Panthers made clear on November 22 that it, too, will not play in the new season. President Chen was forced to announced that the relauch of the CBA is suspended indefinitely. The CBA is officially dead again.

Ironically, the fall out of the CBA pleased the CTBA. CBA teams were left without a league to play in, they can only re-enter the amateur ranks if they want to keep playing and thus make this year’s A-League an 18-team league, an all-time high number.

Powerful Chinese website SINA.COM decided to take over the players from Hong-kuo and use the team name of “SINA.com” to register in the A-League. Yulon, Luckipar and Mars will make minor roster changes but enter the A-League with the original team name. On the other hand, Hong-fu Rams became history. Most of its players joined other teams like Da-hwa Construction or Dacin Tigers.



The league decided to keep the league office (maybe hiring only one or two employees to handle all the little things) and keep working toward re-open the season after the Board of Directors meeting, although the season is dead again.

Most players stay with their former teams and are preparing for the A-League Regular Season, which starts next January. Other players either transfer to other teams or being force to find a REAL job.

While local media lamenting for the CBA’s failure, the CTBA is pretty excited aout the upcoming A-League season and keep telling everyone that it’s better for Taiwanese basketball at this moment not having a pro league. The CTBA has been feeling bittersweet about professional basketball ever since the CBA surfaced, because they think the pro league STEALS players from them and making amateur basketball miserable.

As far as the future of Taiwanese professional basketball, in my opinion, the first thing we must have is making more corporations believe that investing on a basketball team is worthwhile. Since basketball is the No.1 sports in Taiwan, it shouldn’t be too hard.

Secondly, all team owners have to understand what it takes to manage a pro team and the reality of pro basketball. Any pro team can not expect itself to come in and immediately make money in the first few years. Current team owners can’t stand losing money even for a single season! I guess that’s not a healthy mindset in terms of running a pro team.

No.3. The CTBA should finally do something good for Taiwanese basketball. They have to work hard to develope grassroots basketball in junior high and senior high schools, develop more quality coaches who really have the love of the game and have the positive perspective of the game, and develop more players. All in all, they have to increase the talent pools for Taiwanese basketball. Pro and amateur basketball will be benefited.

Some observers are saying that Taiwan is better suited for the semi-pro basketball, like what it is in Japan. Japan’s JBL is organized by Japan Basketball Association and very similar to Taiwan’s A-League. They also play a short season, but they have two divisions and spend more money on player salaries and team management.

Meanwhile, some are saying that Taiwan simply have not enough quality players to have a pro league. They claim six teams are too many for this tiny island, and a 4-team league is boring because of familiar matchups.

Where is the future of Taiwanese pro basketball? It seems the answer is still up in the air and no one knows for sure. Before anyone figure it all out, Taiwanese basketball fans have only two choices: turn on the TV and watch NBA games, or put up with 40-minute not-so-exciting A-League basketball.

Teams Announced Protection Roster

Five CBA teams officially announced their five-man PROTECTION ROSTER on August 22. A total of 25 players are protected. Players who are not on the protection roster will be automatically in the draft pool of the September 4th BALANCE DRAFT.

Although several players were dropped from the protection list, there is no major surprise in the protection roster. Almost every team was able to hold on to its starters.

The only surprise could be former Mars Taiwanese-American player Matt Bryant. 6-2 guard Bryant, who played in U.S. Christopher Newport University, was protected by the Hong-fu Rams. Roster-thin Rams negotiated with Mars for Bryant before the announcement and will have to pick last in the first round draft.

Complete Protection Roster

Hong-kuo Elephant
Chou Jun-san, PG ; Lo Shin-liang, SG ; Chiu Ter-chi, SG/SF ; Huang Chun-hsiung, SF/PF ; Liu Yi-shiang, C

Yulon Dinos
Chen Hsin-an, SG/SF ; Chiu Chi-yi, SG ; Chou Hong-yu, SF ; Wu Chi-wei, C ; Chiu Tsun-chi, F

Luckipar Panthers
Hsu Yung-yi, SG ; Lai Kuo-hong, C/PF ; Lin Hsin-hwa, C/PF ; Chen Chih-chun, PG ; Yang Yu-min, SG

BBC Mars
Yen Hsin-shu, PG ; Chen Tser-min, C ; Lin Chia-hwang, SG ; Chen Huei, PG ; Lee Chi-yi, PF

Hong-fu Rams
Chu Chih-chin, PF/C ; Hsiung Jen-chen, SF ; Shan Wei-fan, PF ; Liaw Wei-chen, PF/C ; Matt Bryant, PG/SG

Among the protected players, Yen Hsin-shu and Chen Huei of Mars, Chen Chih-chun of Luckipar are/will be in the military service, but their team decided to protect them anyway. Protected players cannot be traded until after the balance draft.

CBA will held the open tryout on August 25 for all free agent players who are not on roster of any team right now. The official draft list will be released on August 28. On August 31 the draft order will be decided by open draw.

Teams Stick with Local Coaches

Hong-fu Rams hired Lee Chi-chan as its head coach and filled the last coaching vacancy of CBA teams. The hiring leaves the league without any foreign coach for the first time in league history.

A former Mars player, Lee also coached the team in two different stints and compiled a 51-54(.486) record. At one point he was a player/coach with the team. Lee was released as an assistant last year by Mars after the financial crisis of the Kuo-yang Group, which owned the Mars at the time.

Aside from Hong-fu, no other teams make coaching changes in the new season. Yulon stays with Chien Yi-fei, the only coach in its team history starting from 1994. Luckipar’s Jack Mai will again be the only GM/coach in the league. Hong-kuo keeps Chiu Da-tsun, who was promoted from assistant after former American coach Paul Coughter left, as its head man. Chun Chi-men, who guided Mars to 1998 CBA Finals, also stays with the team.

In order to keep their budgets down, teams prefer lower-paid local coaches. Although they cannot but admit that most foreign coaches are better than locals in terms of basketball knowledge and coaching experience.

South Korean Cheng Kwon Hee of Dacin Tigers, the only foreign coach from the last CBA season (1999), left the team after his three-year contract expired. At the same time, Dacin announced it will not participate the 2000 CBA season. Tigers will play in the lower level A-League instead.

Prior to leaving Taiwan, Cheng led Taiwan Junior NT to bronze medal in this year’s ABC Junior Championship.