Mobis edges KT for first in KBL play

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Mobis edges KT for first in KBL play

The dramatic conclusion to the 2009-10 Korean Basketball League regular season came down to the wire as Mobis Phoebus narrowly edged out KT Sonic Boom on the final day of regular season matchups yesterday.

KT won over KT&G 94-75 and Mobis won 80-69 over LG Sakers yesterday to each finish the season with identical records of 40 wins and 14 losses.

The seesaw battle for first between the two clubs had gone on much of the season with each team taking three wins apiece in six head-to-head meetings. But Mobis had the better point differential in those head-to-head games.

Head coach Yoo Jae-hak’s Mobis has now finished the regular season with the best record in two consecutive seasons and has achieved the feat four times in past five seasons with the only exception being the 2007-08 season.

“The players have played so well over the past two seasons that I want to applaud them for their effort,” stated Yoo.

Concluding the regular season first overall has its merits: In the history of the KBL, the first seed has gone onto win the league title a total of eight times out of 12.

While the Mobis Phoebus has been the dominant team in the over the past five seasons, KT’s season is a remarkable turnaround considering that the team finished last in the league the previous two seasons. In an attempt to shed its losing image, the KTF Magic Wings changed their name and hired former Dongbu head coach Chun Chan-jin prior to the start of the season. The changes seem to have paid off.

“At the start of the season, our players did not have the winning attitude,” stated Chun. “Midway through the season, the players began to state confidently that they could win against any opponent. I was ecstatic at that point and fed off the players’ confidence.”

The rest of the postseason picture was already decided prior to yesterday’s matchups. KCC Egis will enter the playoffs as the third seed with the LG Sakers, Dongbu Promy and Samsung Thunders placing fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.

The KBL playoff system has the top-two regular season teams earn automatic bids into the semifinals with the first-round winners between LG and Dongbu facing Mobis and the winners of the KCC and Samsung matchup facing KT.

This is only the second time in KBL history that the two teams finished the regular season with identical records.

During the 2002-03 season, Dongyang - now the Daegu Orions - and the LG Sakers tied for first at the end of the regular season with 38 wins and 16 losses.

By Jason Kim []
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