KBL season ends with awards

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KBL season ends with awards

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Basketball players from KBL teams headed to the playoffs pose for a photo at a KBL media event in Seoul, Monday. The six-team playoffs for the KBL title will begin Friday, starting with a game between the Dongbu Promy and the LG Sakers in Wonju, Gangwon. [NEWSIS]


The 10 teams from Korean Basketball League (KBL) have come a long way since the 2010-2011 campaign began in October.

And with the regular season now over, the top six teams in the standings are moving on to face off in the playoffs, which will determine this year’s champion.

But while the six playoff teams - the Busan KT Sonicboom, Incheon ET Land Elephants, Jeonju KCC Egis, Wonju Dongbu Promy, Changwon LG Sakers and Seoul Samsung Thunders - were busy practicing for the postseason, which begins this Friday, the KBL honored its players and coaches at a media event Monday by giving out its annual regular season awards.

Park Sang-oh, a 30-year-old forward for the Sonicboom, who helped his team clinch the league’s best record, won the KBL MVP award, his first ever.

Park didn’t really have a solid season until this year, being a bench warmer since he started his career with Busan in 2007. But Park stepped up as a starter this season, averaging 14.9 points and 5.1 rebounds per game to lead KT to the regular season title.

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The forward collected 43 of 78 MVP votes from sport reporters, beating out Elephants forward Moon Tae-jong for the honor. Moon averaged 17.4 points and 5.1 rebounds per game but Park had the benefit of playing on the league’s top team.

“[I thought] this was an event where only star players were allowed to sit,” Park said to the JoongAng Ilbo. “I thank former Chung-Ang University head coach Kang Jung-soo, who gave me an opportunity to continue to play basketball while I was about to quit the game.”

Park was also included in this season’s all-KBL first team, along with Yang Dong-geun, Cho Sung-min, Moon Tae-jong and Ha Seung-jin.

Sonicboom head coach Jeon Chang-jin, earned the Coach of the Year award, a deserved reward for the 47-year-old who led Busan to 41 wins this year. This was Jeon’s fifth Coach of the Year award, the most awards in KBL history.

Anyang KGC guard Park Chan-hee received the Rookie of the Year award for his performance this year. The 24-year-old averaged 12 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game this season. The rookie was the top pick in last year’s draft.

The Sixth Man of the Year award went to Lee Hyun-ho of ET Land, while his teammate, Herbert Hill, was chosen best foreign player. Kim Dong-uk won Most Improved Player.

The KBL’s six-team playoffs will begin Friday, with the Sakers visiting the Promy in Wonju, Gangwon.

Some experts said the Sonicboom is the favorite to win the title but Jeon said it won’t be easy.

“No match will be easy against any team at this level,” Jeon said to the JoongAng Ilbo on Monday. “Our first goal is to reach the final.”

No. 1 seed KT will face the winner of the Dongbu and LG five-game series, while No. 2 seed ET Land will play either KCC or Samsung. The first two rounds feature best-of-five series’, with the KBL finals, scheduled to begin April 16, a best-of-seven affair.


By Joo Kyung-don [kjoo@joongang.co.kr]


Related Korean Article[중앙일보]

[프로농구] MVP 먹은 KT 박상오…설마 싶어 웃지도 못했다

시상식서 “얼떨떨…꿈 같아요”
전창진 2년 연속 감독상
신인상은 인삼공사 박찬희

박상오(30·KT)가 2010~2011 프로농구 최우수선수(MVP)가 됐다. 한국농구연맹(KBL)은 21일 서울 소공동 롯데호텔에서 열린 프로농구 정규리그 시상식에서 MVP 등 개인상 수상자를 발표했다. MVP(기자단 투표수 78표 중 43표 획득)로 자신의 이름이 나오는 순간 박상오는 갓 입대한 이등병처럼 떨었다. 부인 김지나씨가 꽃다발을 들고 단상으로 나왔을 때도 활짝 웃지 못했다. 그는 “얼떨떨하다. 이 자리가 꿈만 같다”고 했다.

박상오는 중앙대 시절 일반병으로 군 복무한 독특한 경력이 있다. 그는 대학 시절 벤치 멤버로 밀린 것을 견디지 못해 운동을 그만두겠다며 현역 입대했다. 전역 후 마음을 고쳐먹은 그는 후배들과 함께 뛰며 프로에 도전했고, 2007년 프로에 진출한 후 계속 식스맨으로 뛰다가 올 시즌 주전을 꿰찼다.

그는 올 시즌 평균 14.9득점·5.1리바운드를 올리며 KT의 사상 첫 정규리그 우승을 이끌었다. 송영진·김도수·표명일 등 주전 선수들이 줄부상을 당한 가운데 KT가 정규리그 우승과 역대 프로농구 최다승(41승)의 두 마리 토끼를 잡은 데엔 박상오의 활약이 결정적이었다.

박상오는 정규리그 시상식에서 “여기는 스타 선수들만 앉아 있는 자리였다. 언젠가 MVP를 받아봐야지 하는 어렴풋한 생각만 했다”며 “지난해에 대학 후배 함지훈이 MVP를 받았을 때 정말 부러웠는데 영광이다”고 기뻐했다.

그는 “운동을 그만두겠다던 내게 다시 기회를 주신 강정수 전 중앙대 감독님께 감사 드린다”고 말했다. 자신을 보며 희망을 키워갈 후배들에게는 “누구든지 열심히 하면 좋은 결과가 있을 것이다. 잘 버티면 된다”고 했다.

박상오를 조련한 전창진 KT 감독은 2년 연속 감독상을 받아 KBL 역대 최다인 5회 수상의 영예를 안았다. 신인상은 인삼공사 박찬희에게 돌아갔다. 

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