P. LEAGUE+ & T1 LEAGUE/Brendan Joyce from Down Under named T1 LEAGUE coach of the year

06/24/2022 03:04 PM
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Photo courtesy of the T1 LEAGUE
Photo courtesy of the T1 LEAGUE

Taipei, June 24 (CNA) Australian professional basketball coach Brendan Joyce was named Coach of the Year for leading the Kaohsiung Aquas to the highest winning percentage in the inaugural season of Taiwan's T1 LEAGUE, the professional basketball league said on Friday.

The Aquas, the champion of the T1 LEAGUE's 2021-22 season, finished on top with a winning percentage of 76.7 percent after recording a 23-7 record in the six-team league's regular season standings.

The Kaohsiung team also swept the Taichung Wagor Suns 3-0 in the best-of-five final series to clinch the championship trophy.

On the hardwood, Joyce plays the role of the iron-blooded coach, with strict discipline, demanding the best from his players and never compromising easily, the T1 LEAGUE said in a statement.

However, "in private, Joyce below is full of affinity and amiable as he is not only loved by the players, but also won a lot of love from basketball fans," the T1 LEAGUE said.

Image courtesy of the Kaohsiung Aquas
Image courtesy of the Kaohsiung Aquas

In response, Joyce said he is proud to be named Coach of the Year and will cherish the award for the rest of his life, as it carries the respect from the fans and his peers.

Joyce said he also has tremendous respect for the Aquas because he has pushed the players hard so that they could grasp at every chance of success.

"And they now know why, resulting in our first national T1 LEAGUE Championship," Joyce said. "Can't have success without a wonderful performance from our players."

Joyce added that the more experiences he has internationally opens his mind and heart to so many positive opportunities.

A former assistant coach for the Australian men's national team and head coach of the Australian women's national team, Joyce has coached over 400 Australasian National Basketball League (NBL) games

As a professional basketball player, Joyce was also a point guard in the NBL, playing in the league's inaugural year in 1979, and went on to play in 289 games. He was Runner Up for Most Assists from 1985-87 and Winner of Most Assists in 1988.

Video courtesy of the T1 LEAGUE

Born in Melbourne, in the Australian state of Victoria, Joyce grew up as a talented Australian Rules Football player and received an offer to play for the North Melbourne Kangaroos. However, he chose basketball and went on to become a top NBL player for 13 years.

Coming from Australia, Joyce said he is often asked about basketball in Taiwan, so he wanted to represent Kaohsiung the right way by not just playing good offensive and defensive basketball but also building the correct culture.

The idea is not to just represent Kaohsiung on the court, but also embrace the community so people in the southern port city will love the team, Joyce told CNA in an interview in April.

In order to achieve this, he hopes the players will continue to improve, which usually brings success, Joyce said.

"Process is the keyword, stay focused on the process, that is my philosophy. The process of executing the offensive, the process of the defensive, the process of planning each game," Joyce said.

Along with his latest Coach of the Year honor, Joyce has helped to put Kaohsiung basketball on the map by forging one of Taiwan's strongest teams to ever come from the southern port city.

(By William Yen)

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