The Pilots are in! Taoyuan secures spot in EASL 2024-25

June 3, 2024

5 mins

The Pilots are in! Taoyuan secures spot in EASL 2024-25
The Pilots are in! Taoyuan secures spot in EASL 2024-25

Written by EASL

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Taoyuan Pauian Pilots are the first P. LEAGUE+ team to qualify for new season

The Taoyuan Pauian Pilots are advancing to the 2024 P. LEAGUE+ Finals and are the first team from Chinese Taipei to qualify for the EASL 2024-25 Season.

2023-24 P. LEAGUE+ Journey

After finishing 2022-23 with a 19-21 record, crashing out of the P. LEAGUE+ playoffs in the semifinals against eventual champions the Taipei Fubon Braves, the Taoyuan Pauian Pilots turned over a new leaf this season.

However, Taoyuan couldn’t rev their engines to begin the season. Starting the year with just one win in their first six contests, the Pauian Pilots were still two games under .500 on February 4.

Taoyuan finally got their motor running on February 18, winning 18 of their final 22 P. LEAGUE+ games to finish the season with a 26-14 record. This leapfrogged them over the Dreamers and the New Taipei Kings in the regular season standings to win their first regular-season title in franchise history.

The Pauian Pilots were matched against the fourth-place Hsinchu Toplus Lioneers in the semifinals. Down 2-1 after Game 3, Taoyuan rallied off three straight wins to take the series 4-2, winning their first playoff series in team history and advancing to their first-ever P. LEAGUE+ Finals.

As a P. LEAGUE+ finalist, Taoyuan automatically qualifies for the EASL 2024-25 season. This will be the Taoyuan Pauian Pilots’ first appearance in an EASL competition.

Key Players

  1. #69 Justin Lu Chun-Hsiang – G

#69 Lu Chun-Hsiang is averaging a team-high 19.8 points during the P. LEAGUE+ playoffs.
Courtesy: Taoyuan Pauian Pilots

Guard Lu Chun-Hsiang has been a man on a mission in the P. LEAGUE+ playoffs.

The 26-year-old averaged 19.8 points, 6.3 assists, and 4 rebounds per game against the Lioneers in the semifinals.

The Miaoli native has won many P. LEAGUE+ accolades throughout his career, making the All-PLG First Team last season, averaging 14.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game. He was also named to the PLG All-Defensive Team.

Lu improved his game this year, setting career highs with 16.8 points and 3.3 assists in 37 games. He had a career game in March where he scored 40 points against the defending champions, the Taipei Fubon Braves.

  1. #42 Jason Washburn – C

#42 Jason Washburn is averaging 18.7 points and 10.2 rebounds in the P. LEAGUE+ playoffs.
Courtesy: P. LEAGUE+

Import Jason Washburn is one of the leading figures in the P. LEAGUE+.

The 7-foot center arrived in Taoyuan City in the 2022-23 season and was the league’s sixth-leading scorer at 21.4 points per game.

His numbers remained consistent this year, scoring at the same 21.4 points-per-game clip (4th in P. LEAGUE+) while grabbing 12.7 rebounds per game (2nd in P. LEAGUE+).

In the semifinal series against the Lioneers, Washburn averaged 18.7 points and 10.2 rebounds in six games.

The 33-year-old journeyman has been around the world, playing in Ukraine, Belarus, Belgium, and Kosovo, before spending seven seasons in Japan.

  1. #12 Jackie Li Chia-Kang – G

#12 Li Chia-Kang is averaging 7.8 points in the P. LEAGUE+ playoffs.
Courtesy: Taoyuan Pauian Pilots

Guard Li Chia-Kang has made steady progress in his career in the P. LEAGUE+.

Playing in his third season of professional basketball, Li averaged a career-high 6.2 points per game this season.

Li upped his game in the playoffs. Coming off the bench, he recorded 11 points in Game 1 before following up with a playoff career-high 15 points in 17 minutes in Game 2 against the Lioneers.

His performance was rewarded inthe Game 6 clincher, where he played 29 minutes (2nd highest among domestic players), and recorded 7 points and 5 rebounds to help Taoyuan advance to their first-ever P. LEAGUE+ Finals.

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