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Bay Area adds new faces for upcoming season

The Hong Kong-based professional basketball team, the Bay Area Dragons, which will be named the “Chun Yu Bay Area Dragons” in Hong Kong competition due to their affiliation with the Hong Kong Basketball Association Chun Yu Basketball Club, has signed five new players from mainland China and the Hong Kong SAR for the 2023-24 season. Eight players from the team’s inaugural 2022-23 season are set to return.

The new signings include power forward Ramon Cao, who joins from Florida College in the US; guard Seva Chan, who last played with the Australian NBL1 West team Cockburn Cougars; guard Adili Kuerban, formerly with the Fujian Sturgeons in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA); shooting guard Oliver Xu, who joins from Hong Kong Eastern in the territory’s A1 Division; and Wang Yunzhang, who recently played with Beijing University of Chemical Technology in the Chinese University Basketball Association League (CUBAL).

Among the returning players are guard Hayden Blankley, small forward Ju Mingxin, center Liu Chuanxing, guard/forward Kobey Lam, center Duncan Reid, guard Glen Yang, power forward Zheng Qilong, and power forward Zhu Songwei.

The Dragons are expected to add more names to their playing roster before the start of the season.

Head Coach Brian Goorjian, a six-time Australian National Basketball League (NBL) champion who also led the Australian national team to an Olympic bronze medal at Tokyo 2020, will once again lead the Dragons. He will be supported by a coaching team that includes Assistant Coach William Tomlinson (a three-time Australian NBL champion and China Women’s National Team Assistant Coach) and strength and conditioning coach Francesco Berre.

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Goorjian stated, “We’re shaping this team based on the insights gained from the previous successful season. We’re tremendously excited about the potential of our roster this year and are eager to exhibit our players’ talents to fans in Hong Kong SAR and around the world.”

During the 2023-24 season, the Dragons will play their home games in Hong Kong. They will participate in East Asia Super League (EASL) Season 2 and the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner’s Cup.

In preparation for the season, the Dragons will also engage in several exhibition games in China in September against China CBA teams. The schedule for these games will be announced in the coming weeks.

Glen Yang expressed his anticipation for renewing rivalries with EASL Season 1 and PBA opponents, stating, “All I can say is: it’s the revenge season! We’re coming back with determination!” The Hongkonger added, “We have history with all those teams. It’s going to be an exciting and intense experience.”

Liu Chuanxing, the 7-foot-5-inch Chinese center, shared his enthusiasm, saying, “I’m looking forward to playing alongside our new teammates and striving for new goals together this season. Building upon the foundation we established last year, combined with the addition of our new players, I’m excited for the journey ahead.”

EASL CEO Matt Beyer expressed confidence, stating, “I have no doubt that the Dragons will once again establish themselves as the most dynamic and captivating new team in East Asia during EASL Season 2. Now based in Hong Kong, they will bring Greater China’s talent to an even grander stage and will continue to drive the elevation of the game’s caliber in the region.”

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