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 [jason@joongang.co.kr]
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모비스, 반은 이뤘고, 반이 남았다


울산 모비스의 정규리그 정상 등극은 예견된 것이나 다름 없었다. 훌륭한 감독과 똘똘 뭉친 선수들, 무간섭 원칙을 지킨 프런트의 세 바퀴가 막힘없이 굴러갔다. 이제 목표는 '통합 우승'이다.

◇만수(萬數) 유재학 감독=모비스는 2연패로 시즌을 시작했다. 유 감독은 "양동근과 던스톤의 호흡이 맞지 않아 애를 먹었다"고 회상했다. 기회를 만들어줘야 하는 브라이언 던스톤은 과거 크리스 윌리엄스와 달랐다. 하지만 양동근은 유 감독의 전술에 빠르게 녹아들며 던스톤과 금세 손발을 맞췄다. 모비스는 2라운드 8승1패의 고공행진을 벌였다.

3라운드 또 한번의 고비가 왔다. 함지훈의 골밑 공격과 거기서 파생되는 외곽슛을 상대팀이 읽고 들어온 것이다. 모비스의 주요 전술이었기에 타격은 컸다. 유 감독은 기민하게 대처했다. 함지훈에서 외곽으로 가는 공을 골 밑의 던스톤에게 연결시켰다. 이 공격이 먹히자 다시 외곽에 기회가 났다. 이동훈 모비스 기획팀장은 "유감독이 보유한 패턴만 300가지가 넘을 거다"고 귀띔했다.

◇ '나'가 아닌 '우리'=모비스의 강점 중 으뜸으로 꼽히는 것은 조직력이다. 모비스 만큼 선수들 간 손발이 척척 맞는 팀도 드물다. 외국인 선수까지 팀 중심의 농구를 한다. '욕심'과 '개인 플레이'가 끼어들 자리가 없다.

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