In preparation to represent the Super Basketball League (SBL), the Fubon Braves have reinforced their 2019 FIBA Asia Champions Cup squad with the addition of Gursimran “Sim” Bhullar.
After a dominant 3-0 run during the East Inter-Sub Zone Qualifiers in Thailand last month, the Chinese Taipei ball club will be looking to challenge Asia’s elites with what they hope is a stacked lineup.
The signing of 7-foot-5 center Gursimran Bhullar, who has proven experience within Asia, is a testament to the team’s commitment to the tournament. The 26-year-old last played on this stage with the Taipei Dacin Tigers at the 2017 FIBA Asia Champions Cup, where he averaged 12.8 points and 10.3 rebounds per contest.
Though the Tigers failed to advance past the quarterfinals, Bhullar left impressive marks on the tournament with his unmatched size and chemistry with teammates.
However, Bhullar has not been seen in other professional leagues around the globe since last year, so his participation in this year’s tournament should serve well as a testing stone for the Braves in determining if the Canadian big man can be a viable option for the team’s final lineup in its upcoming ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) campaign.
Partnering with the towering center will be 30-year-old Charles Garcia, who helped lead the Braves past Thailand’s Hi-Tech Basketball Club in the finale of the qualifying tournament. Garcia averaged 11.0 points and 8.7 rebounds in three contests in Thailand.
Locals Lai Ting En, Joseph Lin, Hung Chih-Shan, Chang Po Wei, Lin Bing Sheng, Hsiao Shun Yi, Oscar Lin, Lin Chih-Chieh, Tsai Wen-Cheng, Lin Chih-Wei, Wu Hung-Hsing, Liu Weir-Chern and Yang Hsing-Chih are expected to complete the lineup.
High-profile veteran Lin Chih-Chieh is expected to make his debut for his new team against the best ball clubs in Asia as well. Formerly considered as Asia’s best small forward by many, he recently joined the Fubon Braves after ten successful seasons with the Zhejiang Guangsha Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA).
The Fubon Braves are set to join Alvark Tokyo of B.League Japan, Ulsan Mobis Phoebus of the Korean Basketball League (KBL), Hi-Tech Basketball Club of the Thailand Basketball League (TBL), Al Riyadi from the Lebanese Basketball League (LBL), the Guangdong Southern Tigers of the CBA, Palayesh Naft Abadan of Iran’s Super League, and Al-Muharraq of Bahrain’s Premier League as the final eight teams of the tournament.
The 2019 FIBA Asia Champions Cup will be held at the Chulalongkorn University Sports Complex in Bangkok, Thailand from September 24-29.
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