After an unsuccessful ABL season by the now disbanded Kaohsiung Truth, the Formosa Dreamers are the second Taiwanese team to ever join an expanded ABL family. However, this newly formed team has nothing associated with the previous, aside from sharing the same objective in providing a platform for locals to play professionally with participation in the ABL.
The Formosa Dreamers will not be based out of Taipei nor Kaohsiung, but Zhanghua/Changhua, which is located in the middle of Taiwan. The formation of the team is a collective effort of five basketball enthusiasts who all have the same dream of taking Taiwanese basketball a step forward, while at the same time, giving local talent an opportunity to showcase their capabilities, thus, the team adopted the moniker of “Dreamers.” Similarly to the Singapore Slingers, they will only use two World Imports and one ASEAN Import out of the allocated quota, allowing their locals to play more minutes.
Not only is the well-known Blackie Chen one of the team’s investors,
but he is also a famous TV host and more importantly, an experienced manager of basketball operations. Chen serves as the vice team manager of the Fubon Braves (a Taiwanese professional basketball team), having great connections with many basketball associations. These connections will benefit the team in the long run in terms of resources, so the Formosa Dreamers are expected to be a well-balanced team, to say the least. In addition to his popularity within the Chinese TV industry, the team should definitely attract more overseas Chinese fans directly to the ABL.
Fans can expect a very fast and athletic team that emphasizes ball rotations
in their modern small-ball-style system. With the addition of Jaleel Cousins, yes, he is Demarcus “Boogie” Cousins’ brother, the Formosa Dreamers have a formidable rim protector and inside presence who will be surrounded by athletic perimeter players like James Forrester, Luo Jun Quan and others. Based on several training clips provided by “secret sources,” the Dreamers play with fast pace and an intense perimeter defense that will be looking to force turnovers to start fast breaks.
Former Saigon Heat highlight creator, the do-it-all power forward, Lenny Daniel,
has signed with the Taiwanese club after a shocking release from the Vietnamese side. He basically covered all aspects of Heat games, from scoring, to rebounding, to defense, utilizing his athleticism that allowed him to play seamlessly at both ends. Lenny is hard to stop whenever he gets the ball and there aren’t many players in the league that can physically turn him down. In addition to that, he is also versatile enough to guard multiple positions.
Expect him to play with a fearless mentality again, perhaps, with some extra fire when he visits Saigon. Don’t be surprise if he breaks down another rim at CIS Arena this season.
(Guard/Forward, ASEAN Import)
James, known as “Air Canada,” has a few years of PBA experience notched under his belt prior to entering the ABL. He was drafted by Barangay Ginebra as the 4th overall pick during the 2013 PBA Draft, but was never able to firmly establish himself as a reliable force in the league, being traded among teams. Similar to fellow new teammate Lenny Daniel, he has been described as a wing player who has an incredible leaping ability and explosive first step when driving to the basket.
(Center, World Import)
The brother of New Orleans Pelicans’ all-star DeMarcus Cousins, Jaleel also plays the center position, standing at 6 ft 11. Although he has very limited professional experience back in the States, his play style can certainly match with the team. Unlike traditional big men, Jaleel is a modern center who is athletic enough to work inside the paint like his brother, utilizing his gigantic size. Now with his official signature with the Dreamers, he could really be the DeMarcus Cousins of the ABL, dominating at the both ends, but we’ll just have to wait and see won’t we?
The 2017-2018 ABL season will be the Formosa Dreamers’ first year of competition in the league.
WU SUNG WEI
He left his beloved sport three times because of family financial struggles, but every time, the man above pulled him back for a brighter spot to showcase his talent without much disappointment. Wu became more famous after a reality show was organized by Nike called “Rise,” which aimed to discover grass-root players from every region. He was one of the three MVPs who got selected to train and play at Barcelona during the first season.
As the guard described himself during a recent interview, he may not be the best player who has the best scoring arsenal, but he does play every game with his heart like it will be his last. Never underestimate a man’s heart that wants to prove his worth. Watch out, he could be the biggest surprise for the Dreamers, if not, the ABL.
LOCAL TO WATCH
LUO JUN QUAN
Perhaps the shortest guy on the court, Luo Jun Quan has a tendency to play larger than his height. Before joining the Formosa Dreamers, Luo was already an established player in Taiwan, even joining the Kaohsiung Truth during last season’s ABL. His style of play leans more towards streetball, flashy drives, fancy passes, and acrobatic layups!
Head Coach: Hsu Hao Cheng
Local: #1 Cheng Chi Kuan (188 cm, 88 kg)
Local: #2 Pang Xiang Wei (190 cm, 80 kg)
Local: #3 Li Ping Hung (183 cm, 78 kg)
Local: #5 Chen Yu Han (187 cm, 80 kg)
Local: #7 Yang Tien You (170 cm, 72 kg)
Local: #8 Cheng Hao Hsuan (183 cm, 84 kg)
Local: #10 Chai Wei (190 cm, 78 kg)
Local: #15 Li Chia Ching (194 cm, 105 kg)
Local: #32 Tsai Cheng Hsein (197 cm, 100 kg)
Local: #44 Charles Barratt (193 cm, 80 kg)
Local: #93 Syu Hao Jyun (188 cm, 92 kg)
ASEAN Import: #9 James Forrester (188 cm, 86 kg)
World Import: Lenny Daniel (203 cm, 100 kg)
World Import: Jaleel Cousins (211 cm, 115 kg)
As we learned last season, we shouldn’t put our expectations on newly joined teams too high (except the powerhouse that is Hong Kong Eastern), therefore, if the Dreamers are able to qualify for the playoffs, it would be considered a relative success. Don’t take this the wrong way though, the Dreamers surely are a good team, but being stuck in the same group with the defending champions, Hong Kong Eastern, and CBA affiliate team Nanhai Kung Fu, the situation seems grim. We certainly hope the locals from the Dreamers can perform seamlessly at a high level. With that being said, good luck Dreamers.