Weekly reviewTwo Seoul-based teams are having shaky performance
Seoul Samsung Thunders and Seoul SK Knights are thought have the largest fan base in the country because their home is the nation’s capital city, but both are in trouble.
The Thunders haven’t won in their last four games. Their most shocking defeat came on Wednesday when they were crushed 101-83 by the league’s worst team Changwon LG Sakers which ended a five-game losing streak with the win.
The Knights, who finished third last season, haven’t won a game since Oct. 17 and they are now on a seven-game losing streak. What seems to be worse is that they meet league leaders Goyang Orion Orions on Wednesday before facing Wonju Dongbu Promy and Busan KT Sonicboom over the weekend.
The Thunders, meanwhile, meet Promy on Tuesday and Sonicboom on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Anyang KGC will look to extend their five-game winning streak. The team first meets Incheon ET Land Elephants on Friday. The Elephants beat the Sakers on Sunday, which ended a six-game losing streak. The Elephants have only one game this week.
The KGC then have a tough game as they meet No. 2 Ulsan Mobis Phoebus at home on Sunday. The Phoebus haven’t lost their last three games and have never lost to the KGC so far this season.
Player in focus: Charles Rhodes (Anyang KGC)
Charles Rhodes became fourth player in KBL history to have 400 blocks on Tuesday.
In a game against Jeonju KCC Egis at home, Rhodes first became a victim of a block before getting his own as the Egis center Ha Seung-jin blocked the Anyang KGC forward twice to get his 300 career blocks in the KBL.
But Rhodes got what he wanted in 4 minutes 30 seconds of the first quarter as he blocked Egis guard Andre Emmett to get his 400th block.
At the end, Rhodes also scored 29 points, nine rebounds and four assists to lead his team’s 92-86 victory over Egis to secure third place.
Kim Joo-sung, who is still playing with Wonju Dongbu Promy, is the No. 1 blocker in the KBL at 991, while retired players - Seo Jang-hoon and Jackie Jones - follow with 463 and 443.
Rhodes, who has been in the KBL since the 2010/11 season and played with Busan KT Sonicboom and Incheon ET Land Elephants, said he will now aim to surpass Seo’s record, but not Kim’s.
The 30-year-old American joked he can probably go for Kim’s record if he can play in the KBL until he is 45.
Rhodes is currently second in blocks this season, averaging 1.67 blocks per game. The Elephants’ Herbert Hill is the leader at 2.67 blocks per game.
Suspended players are returning to the court
KBL teams face another turn-around this week as players who were suspended for illegal online gambling return to the court.
Last month, the KBL said that nine players involved in illegal gambling during their college days were given 20 game suspensions and a fine equal to 5 percent of their salary, as well as 120 hours of community service.
The KBL has already suspended suspected players before the season started. The punishment of players was applied retroactively from the first game, however, which means they are clear to play.
Some players have already stepped on the court.
LG Sakers guard Yoo Byeong-hun played on Friday against Wonju Dongbu Promy, while Anyang KGC forward Oh Se-keun also featured on Saturday and Goyang Orion Orions center Jang Jae-seok played on Sunday.
But Incheon ET Land Elephants didn’t play Ham Joon-hoo over the weekend as the team decided he should complete the community service before returning to the court.
Seoul SK Knights guard Kim Sun-hyung and Busan KT Sonicboom’s Kim Hyun-min and Kim Hyun-soo can play from this Saturday.