The Super Basketball League (SBL) introduced the starting lineups in this year’s All-Star Game in a press conference in Taipei yesterday afternoon, with commissioner Ting Shou-chung taking the stage with all 10 players and the two coaches to promote the mid-season local hoops gala.
With the world’s attention focused on the NBA’s Jeremy Lin, Ting promised that the SBL would do its part by treating fans around Taiwan to a weekend of basketball festivity as the All-Star Weekend moves to Greater Kaohsiung on Friday for the first time in league history to showcase the best of local talent as well as the foreign players.
“We will do our best to turn basketball into our national sport with more people playing the game than any other sport in the country,” Ting said yesterday.
Dacin Tigers skipper Chiou Da-tsong will lead a starting five of Tien Lei (Tigers), Noel Felix (Tigers), Chou Bo-cheng (Yulon Luxgens), Wang Chih-chuin (Tigers) and Chen Chih-chung (Luxgens) for Team Blue to take on Team White, headed by Pure Youth Construction head coach Hsu Jin-tseh and a starting five consisting of Chen “Airman” Hsin-an (Pure Youth), Quincy Davis (Pure Youth), Chang Rong-hsuan (Taiwan Mobile Cloud Leopards) and Taiwan Beer backcourt tandem Wu Yong-ren and Yang Yu-ming.
The All-Star weekend at the Kaohsiung Arena in Greater Kaohsiung 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) to compete in a shooting contest, as well as an exhibition game between the foreign players (and players from the WSBL) and an all-star lineup of local rookies and second-year players on Saturday before Sunday’s All-Star Game.
Players will also have a chance to pick up more than NT$1 million (US$33,850) in prize money in this year’s All-Star Game, with the game’s Most Valuable Player eligible for NT$100,000, while the winners from the skills challenge, the slam dunk contest and the three-point shootout win NT$30,000 and the winning team gets a hefty check of NT$200,000.
Player of the Week
Yulon Luxgens forward Lu Cheng-rue was named this week’s Player of the Week for his outstanding efforts in guiding the Luxgens to a pair of big wins over Pure Youth Construction and Kinmen Kaoliang.
Lu scored a team-high 22 points in each game and shot 54 percent from behind the three-point line to make him one of the toughest outside threats in the league. It was the first time in his career that he was given the honor.
“It’s a great honor to win, given the number of outstanding players in the league,” Lu said earlier this week.