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BASKETBALL/Embarrassed PLG adjusts Player of the Week selection process

04/12/2024 08:13 PM
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A P.LEAGUE+ game is played between the Taipei Fubon Braves and New Taipei Kings in Taipei on March 17, 2024. CNA file photo for illustrative purpose only
A P.LEAGUE+ game is played between the Taipei Fubon Braves and New Taipei Kings in Taipei on March 17, 2024. CNA file photo for illustrative purpose only

Taipei, April 12 (CNA) The P.LEAGUE+ (PLG) has revised its rules for selecting the league's best player every week after a player was chosen for the honor despite not scoring a point during the week for which he received the accolade.

In a statement Friday, the PLG said it will change the Chinese title of the weekly award from "MVP of the Week" to "Player of the Week" while keeping its English title. Each franchise will nominate three players based on their stats for the week to vie for the honor.

The changes take effect this week, the league said.

The honor has always been determined by a vote by the fans, aimed at encouraging fans to connect with the league. But there have not been any thresholds for eligibility, meaning all players were candidates regardless of whether they even played in a particular week.

The PLG felt compelled to take action days after New Taipei Kings shooting guard Lin Li-jen (林力仁) was crowned Player of the Week for week 22 (April 1 to April 7) despite posting record-low stats.

In his one appearance, Lin played just over nine minutes in the Kings' 122-96 loss to the Taipei Fubon Braves on April 6, missing all six of his field goal attempts to go scoreless while recording one turnover, one foul, four rebounds, and one assist.

New Taipei Kings shooting guard Lin Li-jen. Photo courtesy of P.LEAGUE+ April 6, 2024
New Taipei Kings shooting guard Lin Li-jen. Photo courtesy of P.LEAGUE+ April 6, 2024

Despite his performance, Lin received a league-record 4,043 votes from fans, far ahead of runner-up Graham Dominique of the Taoyuan Pauian Pilots (1,088 votes), who scored a season-high 24 points in the team's eighth straight win on April 7.

Fans also ignored the Braves' Chou Kuei-yu (周桂羽), who scored 34 points in the team's four-point loss to the Pilots on April 7, and the Kaohsiung 17LIVE Steelers' Cameron Clark, who set a league single-game scoring high for this season with 48.

Following the vote, the PLG referred to Lin as "MVP social media voting #1" in its social media post rather than "Player of the Week," a move generally seen as the league's attempt to differentiate the significance of the result from previous ones.

The strange voting pattern stemmed from Lin's dispute with an influencer who felt the Kings had used inconsistent standards to address and respond to a series of recent issues, including Quincy Davis' domestic violence lawsuit, Jeremy Lin's (林書豪) treatment issue, and Byron Mullens' dismissal following an in-game outburst on March 31.

March 31: New Taipei Kings terminate ex-NBA player Byron Mullens' contract

March 28: Basketball star Quincy Davis gets 1-month sentence for domestic violence

Jan. 27: Jeremy Lin to miss at least 4 games due to foot injury

Lin defended his franchise, but his remarks, such as "You outsiders have no idea about the culture of the sports industry," sparked outrage online, leading thousands to cancel their subscriptions to Lin's YouTube channel.

Many netizens, if not fans, attempted to vote for Lin in Player of the Week voting for the 21st week as a way to protest, only to find that the league had removed Lin from the options in the middle of the campaign.

The league reinstated Lin's name in the 22nd week before tightening its threshold on Friday.

Pilots' Lu named MVP of March

On Thursday, the PLG announced that Pilots shooting guard Lu Chun-hsiang (盧峻翔) was named MVP of the Month for March, the second consecutive month he has won the award.

Lu averaged 19.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, and four assists as the Pilots achieved a league-best 8-1 record during the month. His 40-point game against the Braves on March 24 set a new record for a Taiwan-born player in the league.

With this latest honor, the 26-year-old has tied Jeremy Lin for the most monthly MVPs with four.

(By Chao Yen-hsiang)

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Taoyuan Pauian shooting guard Lu Chun-hsiang (center, in black) plays in the team's game against the Formosa Dreamers on April 5, 2024. Photo courtesy of P.LEAGUE+
Taoyuan Pauian shooting guard Lu Chun-hsiang (center, in black) plays in the team's game against the Formosa Dreamers on April 5, 2024. Photo courtesy of P.LEAGUE+
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