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CBA league set to be expanded to 18 teams
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21:44, September 04, 2008

The Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league is set to be expanded to 18 teams with the Beijing Aoshen and an NBL (National Basketball League) team having chances to compete the top domestic league next season, the league office announced here on Wednesday.

The Aoshen, whose top player Sun Yue signed a two-year contract with the Los Angeles Lakers last week, was ordered to submit all the candidate files to the league office before the deadline of 3:00 p.m. on Sept. 20. Otherwise the club will be considered to waive its right of come-back.

The Beijing-based club was wiped off from the CBA league two seasons ago when it refused to release Sun and other players to play for the national senior and junior teams.

If the Aoshen doesn't compete in the 2008-09 CBA season, the Qingdao Double Stars will be the substitution while Tianjin Ronggang got the nods of all the existing 16 CBA clubs to be the 17th team of the league at the league meeting on Wednesday.

The Aoshen had problems to choose their home court. Beijing Olympic basketball arena Wukesong Indoor Stadium was excluded by the league office due to some commercial reasons.

"Leaders of the club Aoshen was informed to come to the CBA headquarters for additional discussions tomorrow morning," CBA league office director Zhang Xiong said at a news conference on Wednesday.

Foreign players will have more playing time next season as the league has dismissed the time limit for the foreigners when they meet the military team Bayi Fubang, the only team that has no foreign players in the league.

Each team can have two foreign players so far.

"The Beijing Olympic Games showed that how much foreign players could help the domestic leagues. Both our foreign head coaches of the national teams, Jonas Kaslauskas and Tom Maher, suggested us togive more playing time to foreign players in the league," Zhang said.


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