Weekly reviewKGC invincible at home, sets new record
Anyang KGC is on fire, especially when they are playing at home.
At Anyang Indoor Arena on Sunday, KGC beat Ulsan Mobis Phoebus 78-75 and extended their winning streak to seven. It also ended Phoebus’s four game winning streak.
Now, KGC is only a half game behind Pheobus for the second place in the league standings.
But what’s more important for Sunday’s win is that the KGC has set the KBL single season record for most consecutive wins at home at 10. Previously Wonju TG Sambo Promy (now Dongbu Promy) held the record at nine in the 2003/4 season.
Including last season, KGC had not lost at home in last 13 games. KGC can extend their home game winning streak on Saturday as they face league worst Changwon LG Sakers. The Sakers have lost their last four games.
It was also a meaningful week for Seoul Samsung Thunders. They ended their four-game losing streak by beating Promy 75-70 on Tuesday. They also went on to win against Busan KT Sonicboom on Saturday.
The Thunders will have a tough week as they meet No.2 Phoebus on Thursday and No. 1 Goyang Orion Orions on Saturday. On Sunday, the team meets Seoul rival SK Knights.
The Knights had a good start to the week after getting a stunning 90-69 win over Orions on Wednesday, but later lost two straight games against Promy and SonicBoom.
Player in focus: Kim Sun-hyung (SK Knights)
Kim Sun-hyung is back refreshed and with an apology. The 27-year-old point guard was one of the 12 KBL players who were punished by the KBL after prosecutors found out that he bet
Kim, who admitted that he had placed an illegal online bet when he was a ChungAng University student, was handed 20-game suspension and 120 hours of community service. However, unlike other violators, Kim wasn’t fined because he voluntarily reported his actions to the KBL when he became a pro player.
Kim, the league MVP in 2013, was popular for his speed and aggressive penetration, but his involvement in the gambling scandal spoiled his reputation. He later said he wants to be a speaker for the KBL in education programs for illegal activities.
Despite the absence, Kim showed he is still the top player, although the two-time KBL All-Star Game MVP couldn’t prevent the Knights loss.
After making an apology to fans and serving his punishment, Kim returned to the court on Saturday against Wonju Dongbu Promy. He had 23 points, including five 3-pointers, and made five assists, but couldn’t stop the Knights’ 93-75 defeat.
On Sunday against Busan KT SonicBoom, Kim made his comeback in front of home fans in Seoul and scored 25 points and got six assists with two steals, but the Knights lost 83-79.
Orions trying to stay afloat without top scorer Haynes
The Orions have been dominant in the KBL this season with Aaron Haynes who tops the league in scoring (25.86 points per game), fourth in assists (4.14), and fifth in rebounds (9.05).
But the 34-year-old American, who is the all-time leading foreign scorer in KBL history, injured his knee during the game against Jeonju KCC Egis on Nov. 15 and medics ruled him out for three weeks.
In his absence, the Orions are suddenly shaking. They suffered a shocking 90-69 loss against Seoul SK Knights on Wednesday and even had a tough game against league worst Changwon LG Sakers on Saturday. The Orions trailed 43-24 at the end of the first half, but managed to get a 74-70 win over Sakers.
The Orions said they have signed a three-week contract with Jasper Johnson as a temporary replacement for Haynes and hope the 32-year-old American to fill the void.
Johnson averaged 17.6 points and 6.5 rebounds during his five seasons in the KBL with teams like Busan KT Sonicboom, Seoul SK Knights and Seoul Samsung Thunders. He landed in Korea on Monday and will play the game on Saturday against the Thunders.