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BASKETBALL/PLG, T1 to hold joint draft in mid-July

07/01/2024 10:39 PM
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From left to right, forward Ting Kuang-hao (丁冠皓), forward Joof Alasan, and forward Qiao Chu-yu (喬楚瑜), the third, first and second picks in the 2023 P.LEAGUE+ Draft appear on stage after the event in Taipei on July 11. CNA file photo The top three picks at the 2023 P.LEAGUE+ draft in Taipei on July 11. From left, CNA file photo
From left to right, forward Ting Kuang-hao (丁冠皓), forward Joof Alasan, and forward Qiao Chu-yu (喬楚瑜), the third, first and second picks in the 2023 P.LEAGUE+ Draft appear on stage after the event in Taipei on July 11. CNA file photo The top three picks at the 2023 P.LEAGUE+ draft in Taipei on July 11. From left, CNA file photo

Taipei, July 1 (CNA) Taiwan's two professional basketball leagues have agreed to postpone their respective drafts to mid-July to hold a draft together as they work on a merger.

In a joint statement Monday, the six-team P.LEAGUE+ (PLG) and five-team T1 LEAGUE (T1) announced that the two leagues will hold the 2024 summer draft on July 15, after having originally scheduled their respective drafts for July 10 (PLG) and July 11 (TI).

For teams from the two leagues that pick in the same slot (first, second, third, etc.), a draw will be held on the spot to decide which team picks first.

Meanwhile, teams will not be allowed to draft international students after the new league decided to eliminate specific roster spots for them.

According to the new league, whose name has yet to be finalized, the merger is aimed at "effectively elevating the competitiveness of Taiwan basketball on the international stage," and it decided that internatioanl students have not effectively contributed to that goal.

From left to right, forward Chang Chao-chen (張兆辰), forward Lin Sin-kuan (林信寬), and guard Gao Jin-wei (高錦瑋), the third, first and second picks in the 2023 T1 LEAGUE Draft appear on stage after the event in Taipei on July 14. CNA file photo
From left to right, forward Chang Chao-chen (張兆辰), forward Lin Sin-kuan (林信寬), and guard Gao Jin-wei (高錦瑋), the third, first and second picks in the 2023 T1 LEAGUE Draft appear on stage after the event in Taipei on July 14. CNA file photo

The change was an inevitable step ahead of the merger due to different rules each league had for building rosters.

While a T1 team has only local players and up to four international players (or imports), a PLG team can also use roster spots on international students and Taiwanese foreign nationals to get around the quota on international players.

Taiwanese foreign nationals are players whose parents have Republic of China (Taiwan) nationality but do not have a valid document proving it.

According to PLG rules, a team can register up to two Taiwanese foreign nationals or one foreign national and one international student.

For those who have signed deals as international students, they will be allowed to play in the new league under their current contract until the end of the 2025-26 season.

The new league added that its members have fully discussed the rules related to the categories of international players and Taiwanese foreign nationals, and they will be presented in detail when its other rules and regulations have been finalized.

The announcement could have a major impact on Mouhamed Lamine Mbaye, a Senegalese student at National Chengchi University, who has been widely regarded as the overall first pick in the 2024 PLG draft.

On Saturday, the two leagues confirmed they will hold a draft combine on July 3 featuring 40 Taiwanese and eight international student players, but CNA was unable to contact the new league as of Monday evening to determine if those international students will still be invited.

(By Chao Yen-hsiang)

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