P.LEAGUE+ expands playoffs for new basketball season

10/19/2021 12:22 PM
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P.LEAGUE+ founder and CEO Blackie Chen. CNA photo Oct. 18, 2021
P.LEAGUE+ founder and CEO Blackie Chen. CNA photo Oct. 18, 2021

Taipei, Oct. 19 (CNA) Taiwan's P.LEAGUE+ professional basketball league is expanding its playoffs to four teams in its second season after adding two teams to the league this offseason.

At a press conference in Taipei on Monday, the league said the top four teams in the six-team league will make the playoffs, with the top and fourth-place finishers and second- and third-place teams facing off in best-of-five series to determine the finalists.

In its inaugural 2020-2021 season when the league had four teams, the second- and third-place finishers played a best-of-five series in the first round of the playoffs, with the winner meeting the top seed in the finals.

One of the new teams this year is the New Taipei Kings, led by its general manager James Mao (毛加恩), a former Taiwanese national team basketball star.

Mao said one of the goals of the Kings was to improve the basketball environment in Taiwan.

"We are honored to join the league in its second season and we hope to bring more resources to the league and to Taiwanese basketball. We will use our biggest efforts to help basketball in Taiwan get better and better," Mao said.

The other new addition is the Kaohsiung Steelers and is led by Yosuke Chang (張至言), its general manager.

Born and raised in Kaohsiung, Chang has 15 years of marketing experience and is hoping top players in the country join his team.

"We have our sights set on two to three players who have national team experience, and they will soon join our team," Chang said.

Representatives of the six teams in P.LEAGUE+. CNA photo Oct. 18, 2021
Representatives of the six teams in P.LEAGUE+. CNA photo Oct. 18, 2021

P.LEAGUE+ founder and CEO Blackie Chen (陳建州), a television personality and former professional basketball player, said that in addition to providing exciting games, he has a responsibility to craft a stable basketball league that shows potential.

"We want to nurture a unique Taiwanese basketball dream for the next generation. This is not just our responsibility but our common duty," Chen said.

The new season is set to tip off Dec. 4 in Taipei, with the defending champions Taipei Fubon Braves facing last season's runners-up Formosa Taishin Dreamers. The other teams in the league are the Taoyuan Pilots and the Hsinchu Jko Lioneers, which finished third and fourth, respectively, last season.

(By William Yen)

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