The ‘regular league champion’ Anyang KGC Ginseng Corporation and the ‘defending champion’ Seoul SK will clash in the 2022-2023 SKT A-Dot Professional Basketball Championship (Best of 7), which opens in Anyang, Gyeonggi-do on the afternoon of the 25th.
It is the third time in KBL history that the two teams face each other in the championship match for two consecutive years, and the first time since the finals between Jeonju KCC and Wonju TG Sambo (now DB) in 2004 and 2005.
Last year, SK defeated KGC Ginseng Corporation with 4 wins and 1 loss and rose to the top. Head coach Jeon Hee-chul led the team to a unified championship in his first season as SK leader.
This year, the pattern is the opposite. Kim Sang-shik, director of KGC Ginseng Corporation, challenges the integrated championship in his first season in office. This time, SK is in the position of the challenger.
However, the recent atmosphere seems like KGC Ginseng Corporation is an ‘underdog’.
The competition for the lead in the regular league this season was fiercer than ever. The difference between the two teams was not great, but the joy and sorrow were stark. KGC Ginseng Corporation stood at the top of the regular league with 37 wins and 17 losses, and SK stayed in third place even though it recorded 36 wins and 18 losses, one win less than that. KGC Ginseng Corporation went straight to the quarterfinals, and SK started playoffs in the quarterfinals after a long time.
KGC Ginseng Corporation beat Goyang Carrot with 3 wins and 1 loss in the quarterfinal playoffs. They won the first game by 56 points, but were hit in the second game at home and had a close match in the third game. KGC Ginseng Corporation struggled greatly in the efforts of Carrot, who was pushed out of objective power and had a great lack of physical strength.
On the other hand, SK forgot the defeat in March. SK finished the regular league with a 9-game winning streak from the home game against Suwon KT on the 8th of last month. During this period, he showed his potential by overcoming five games within 5 points.
Last season’s regular league MVP Choi Jun-yong was out due to injury, but the Knights’ momentum was unstoppable. SK defeated Jeonju KCC in the semifinals and Changwon LG in the semifinals with three consecutive wins and undefeated respectively to advance to the championship match.
KCC, who won by 16 points, and the 5 playoff games played after the 1st leg of the 6th round were all matches within 6 points. SK showed a strong back-and-forth each time. In particular, the 2nd and 3rd games of the semifinals with LG all ended with a victory by 1 point.
Adding the last minute regular season schedule and playoff results, SK is on a 15-game winning streak.
In addition, this year’s championship match will be held in a ‘2-3-2’ format due to the rental issue of Jamsil Student Gymnasium in Seoul. The 5th match, which can be a watershed in the game, will be held at the home stadium of 3rd place SK, not the home of 1st place KGC Ginseng Corporation. If KGC Ginseng Corporation fails to defend its home court in the 1st and 2nd rounds, the following 3 consecutive expeditions can come as a big burden.
As such, the energy of SK is not easy. However, we need to pay attention to the last game SK lost before 15 consecutive wins.
It was not a KBL regular league game. It was the Asian Super League (EASL) final held in Okinawa, Japan in early March. At that time, the team that defeated SK and won the championship was KGC Ginseng Corporation.
The two teams were tight with 3 wins and 3 losses in six regular league matches. Except for the first game in which KGC Ginseng Corporation won by 13 points, all close matches were held within 6 points.
The confrontation between KGC Ginseng Corporation and SK was KBL’s best box office card. The average number of spectators for the matches held three times each in Anyang and Jamsil, Seoul is about 4,015. It was a face-to-face card with the largest number of spectators in terms of the average number of spectators between the two teams this season.
Above all, a lot of attention is focused on the confrontation between guard Byun Jun-hyung and Kim Seon-hyung, who represent KBL. Byun Jun-hyeong experienced defeat last season, but has grown into an MVP-level guard this season. However, the player who beat Byun Jun-hyung and won the MVP was none other than Kim Seon-hyung. 토토사이트
Oh Se-geun firmly believes in Byun Jun-hyung’s counterattack. In an interview for winning the regular league last month, he said to Byun Jun-hyeong, “I have to beat (Kim) Seon-hyeon once,” and then he showed confidence, “I couldn’t win last year, so I will do it this time.”
Oh Se-geun showed a strong performance against SK with an average of 15.7 points and 6.7 rebounds in the regular league. It is noteworthy that he matched up with Choi Bu-kyung, an authentic big man who fills the void left by Choi Jun-yong well.
The battle of pride between Jameel Warney and Omari Spellman to determine the best foreign player in the KBL is also interesting. While Warney played an average of 27.8 points and 12.2 rebounds in six playoff games, Spellman averaged 14.0 points in four semifinals and had a 43.1% field goal success rate.
Spellman broke down in tears on the bench after losing last year’s championship game. His will to revenge is stronger than anyone else.
His most noteworthy variable is KGC Ginseng Corporation’s Philippine Guard Lens Abando. Abando’s season average is just 9.0. However, he flew by, averaging 20.4 points in 5 games against SK. Coach Kim Sang-sik announced that he would actively use Abando, who had not had many opportunities to play in the semifinals, in the championship match.