The Super Basketball League (SBL) announced the resumption of its All-Star Game at a press conference in Taipei yesterday afternoon, with SBL commissioner Ting Chou-chung taking the stage with renowned sports marketing guru Eric Chang of Bros Sports to reintroduce the mid-season hoops gala after a three-year hiatus.
Dacin Tigers skipper Chiou Da-tsong and Pure Youth Construction head coach Hsu Jin-tseh were also present, with Wu Fong-cheng of the Yulon Luxgens and Chen Hsuen-hsiang of Bank of Taiwan as representatives of the Blue Team and the White Team respectively.
An All-Star Weekend is set to be held at the Kaohsiung Arena in Greater Kaohsiung later this month that will feature a slam dunk contest, a three-point shootout, a skills challenge and an unprecedented shooting star contest in which the head coach from each team will suit up with members from the Women’s Super Basketball League (WSBL). The weekend will also feature an exhibition game between overseas SBL players, WSBL players and an All-Star lineup of local rookies and second-year players.
“We are really trying to make it not just an All-Star Game, but an All-Star Weekend of festivities,” Chang said at the press conference.
His firm was responsible for bringing a NBA exhibition game to Taiwan two years ago, as well as the first Major Leagues All-Star Series in Taiwan in November last year.
“All the players will be extended the courtesy of an NBA player, from having their own personal locker to an NBA-designated catering service, throughout the event,” Chang said.
Players who win the most votes in each position during a three-week voting period will earn the honor to start in this year’s All-Star Game, with the Tigers, the Luxgens and Kinmen Liquor representing the Blue Team, while Pure Youth, the Taiwan Mobile Leopards, Taiwan Beer and Bank of Taiwan will represent the White Team.
The color of each team has been changed from the traditional scarlet-and-white combination to represent the colors of Taiwan’s national team, according to a statement issued by league officials.
In an effort to include other local sports celebrities in the All-Star Weekend, players from current Chinese Professional Baseball League champions the Uni-President Lions will also make guest appearances.
The players will also have a chance to pick up more than NT$1 million in prize money. The All-Star Game’s Most Valuable Player will receive NT$50,000, the winners of the skills challenge, the slam dunk contest and the three-point shootout will receive NT$30,000 each, while the winning team will be handed a NT$100,00 check.