The end of this year’s Super Basketball League (SBL) season was marked by the annual awards ceremony at the Taipei Sheraton yesterday afternoon.
Chen “Airman” Hsin-an came away as the biggest winner, edging past dmedia Numen forward Jonathan Sanders by a three-vote margin to claim the coveted season Most Valuable Player (MVP) distinction along with the regular-season scoring title (22.3 points per game) and a spot on the All-SBL Team.
The Yulon Dinos power forward — who was unable to attend the annual awards bash — sent teammate Chang Yi-ming to receive the awards on his behalf having recorded a message to thank his teammates, coaches and fans.
Over the course of the season he demonstrated his value to the three-time champs by leading the team in scoring and rebounds, as well as total minutes played and was a close second to Lee Hsueh-lin’s team-high 98 assists with 96.
Joining the “Airman” as the other big winner on the day was Sanders who capped two straight amazing seasons in Taiwan with the league’s rebounding and assist crowns, as well as a spot on the All-SBL team for his magnificent leaping ability and outstanding field of vision that helped the Numen qualify for postseason play this year.
Due to an injury sustained by four-time winner Tseng Wen-ding of the Dinos, this year’s top finisher in most blocked-shots was easily won by Taiwan Beer’s Wu Dai-hao, who rejected nearly 3 shots per game (2.73) during the regular season to run away with the honor. Wu was also selected for the All-SBL squad for his great inside presence in the Taiwan Beer defense.
Rounding out the All-SBL team were guards Wu Yong-ren of the Taiwan Mobile Leopards and Chen Chih-chung of the Dinos who picked up the Defensive Player of the Year honor for his ball-denying style of play that earned him the nod from the members of the voting press.
Wang Chih-chuin of the Dacin Tigers won the annual “Top Pocket-picker” honor for the second straight year by leading the league in total steals with 2.52 per game.
Taking home the Rookie of the Year honor was Pure Youth forward Lin Jin-bong while teammate Wu Jien-long was voted the Sixth-Man of the year, in a tie with the Tigers’ Chen Tzu-wei.
Pure Youth coach Hsu Jin-tseh scooped the Coach of the Year award.
The Most Improved Player of the year award went to Chang Chih-chiang of Bank of Taiwan, whose surprising rise to stardom was one of the most talked-about feats of the season.