BEIJING, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese People's Liberation Army's teams, known as Bayi, have withdrawn from the country's top professional basketball leagues - the CBA league for men and the WCBA league for women - the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) announced on Tuesday.
The CBA said it was notified of the decision in a letter from Bayi's governing body on Monday.
The CBA in a statement paid tribute to both teams for their contribution to Chinese basketball, "The Bayi Spirit will always inspire us to remain true to our original aspiration and forge ahead."
Bayi, or Aug. 1, which is China's Army Day, was a perennial title contender in the decade after the CBA launched in 1995, reaching the finals nine times and winning eight times. One of Bayi's top stars, 2.13-meter center Wang Zhizhi, had a five-year career in the NBA before taking over as the team's current head coach. The women's side won five titles in the WCBA.
Bayi saw many players represent China's national teams, including Zheng Haixia, Chen Nan and Sui Feifei in the women's side and in the men's team, Wang Zhizhi, Fan Bin, and, former national team coach, Li Nan are among the long list of famous names. The CBA's Most Valuable Player trophy is also named after one of the most famous nicknames in CBA history, 'God of War', which belonged to Bayi forward Liu Yudong. Enditem