“We will also win the second game of the championship with momentum”

There was nothing rough in front of the ‘super team’. Busan KCC, who defeated the 4th place team (Seoul SK) and the 1st place team (Wonju DB) in the regular league to advance to the championship game, easily won the first game against Suwon KT. KCC, who succeeded in taking the lead, is poised to use the momentum to win the second away game and then lift the championship trophy at home.

KCC defeated KT with a large score of 90-73 in the first away game of the 2023-2024 Professional Basketball (KBL) Championship held at Suwon KT Arena in Gyeonggi-do on the 27th.

It was a game that showed off the might of the super team. While KT’s one-two punch of Paris Bass (29 points, 10 rebounds) and Heo Hoon (12 points) struggled, most of KCC’s main players performed evenly. Domestic players such as Heo Woong (17 points), Song Kyo-chang (17 points), and Choi Jun-yong (12 points) scored double-digit scores, while foreign players La Gun-ah and Alize DeShawn Johnson also contributed to the victory by recording 14 points and 9 rebounds.

The game continued to be tight through the first and second quarters, but the game was decided in the third quarter. KCC blocked KT’s attack with organized defense, then ran quickly and completed a series of fast breaks. For about 4 minutes, Heo Woong, Song Kyo-chang, Choi Jun-yong, and Calvin Jeffrey Epistola scored in a row, making the game 15-0.

With the score in double digits, KT’s Heo Hoon scored the first point with an outside gun at 4 minutes and 7 seconds in the third quarter. However, Laguna immediately responded with a 3-point shot and did not give up the momentum.

There was no reversal in the 4th quarter either. With about 3 minutes left, Johnson’s outside shot allowed KCC to run away with a 21-point lead, putting a wedge in the game. In particular, the fast break score of both teams on this day was 20-8, with KCC outscoring KT by more than twice. The game was decided in a fast attack that widened the gap by as much as 12 points.

Immediately after winning the first game, KCC coach Jeon Chang-jin said, “We quickly called strategy time (in the first quarter) to discourage the opponent,” and “It was good that Bass (who went to the bench) came back right away in the second quarter and was able to use up his stamina. “I think it was connected in the third and fourth quarters,” he said.

KT coach Song Young-jin said, “I think we have physical strength (playing through the 5th game of the semifinal PO). “We have to attack with the mindset of increasing our concentration and activity up to 120% compared to the regular league,” he said, predicting an all-out battle for the next game.

With this victory, KCC had a 68.2% chance of winning the championship. Of the 26 KBL championships in history, the team that won the first game won the championship 18 times.

This season, KCC is racing toward victory in ‘Spring Basketball’, breaking the 0% chance. For the first time, the 5th place team in the regular league defeated the 1st place team and advanced to the championship game, and if they defeat KT in the championship game, they will write a new history as the ‘5th place team winning’. KT, which has only won the regular season once, will win the championship trophy for the first time in its history if it defeats KCC.

For coach Jeon Chang-jin, this is his first championship challenge in 16 years. Coach Jeon led the team to three championship wins in the 2002-2003, 2004-2005, and 2007-2008 seasons. Coach Song Young-jin made his debut as a coach by taking charge of KT for the first time this season. After finishing in 3rd place in the regular league, they are aiming for the championship. Meanwhile, the second game of the championship between KCC and KT will be held at the same location at 7 p.m. on the 29th.

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