Weekly ReviewAfter All-Star Game hiatus, KBL teams are back in action
The Korean Basketball League resumes its 2015-16 season schedule on Wednesday after taking a break for the All-Star Game over the weekend.
Defending champion Ulsan Mobis Phoebus won the last two games before the All-Star Game and are looking to cut off the chase from the Goyang Orion Orions, who are only 1.5 games behind the team.
However, this week’s schedule for the Phoebus doesn’t look good as all three games are away. The Phoebus will first face the KT Sonicboom in Busan on Wednesday and then head to Jeonju, North Jeolla, to play the No. 3 KCC Egis. The team then moves up to Anyang, Gyeonggi, to meet the KGC.
While the Egis are currently third, three other teams are also vying for the spot. The KGC and Wonju Dongbu Promy are tied for fourth and just 0.5 games behind third place. The Seoul Samsung Thunders are fifth, trailing the third-place Egis by 1.5 games.
The Egis’s game against the KGC on Wednesday and the Promy’s game against the Thunders on Sunday will be critical for their league standings.
The team that desperately needs a win is the Incheon ET Land Elephants, who haven’t won their last eight games. The Elephants square off against the Promy on Thursday and host the Thunders on Saturday.
The Sonicboom are also looking to end their three-game losing streak. Their game against the Changwon LG Sakers on Saturday could be their best chance to get a win this week.
Player in focus: Kim Sun-hyung (SK Knights)
Seoul SK Knights guard Kim Sun-hyung was voted MVP of the KBL All-Star Game on Sunday, becoming first player ever to win the top award three seasons in a row.
In the All-Star Game held at Jamsil Gymnasium in Seoul, Kim played for the Senior team, composed of players born before 1988. He scored 14 points and delivered assists for his team’s 107-102 victory over the Junior team.
Although his stats were weak compared to players like Andre Emmett, who had 23 points and five assists, and Courtney Sims, who bagged 20 points and 11 rebounds, Kim was able to earn 41 out of 64 votes from basketball reporters and won his third MVP award, with 3 million won ($2,500) in prize money.
The KBL said that Kim had featured more “flashy” plays to excite the stadium’s 9,347 fans.
Before this season, Kim was slapped with a 20-game suspension from the KBL after police charged him for online gambling that he committed when he was a Chung-Ang University student. Kim also had to serve 120 hours of community service.
The MVP said he will donate his prize money to the charity he worked for when he was serving the league ban.
In KBL auction, Sonicboom’s Cho can’t let go of his Legos
Before the All-Star Game on Sunday, the KBL held an auction on Saturday, offering star basketball players’ belongings for sale to raise money for charity.
While most players donated their jersey, T-shirts or shoes, Busan KT Sonicboom player Cho Sung-min put an unusual item up for bid: a Lego set.
However, by the end of the auction, the toy bricks ended up back in Cho’s hands.
That’s because the 32-year-old Cho repurchased his Lego set back from the buyer, saying he was “disappointed” by its auctioned value.
Cho’s Lego set was sold for a low price at the auction. While a jersey and cap from Anyang KGC guard Lee Jung-hyun was sold for 410,000 won ($340), Cho’s Lego set was bought for only 50,000 won. According to Cho, his Lego set trades for more than 100,000 won in online secondhand-product markets.
After Cho found out that his Lego set was underpriced, he approached the buyer and paid additional money to repurchase the Lego set.
With the Lego set back in his hands, Cho seemed to gain some energy on Sunday, winning the 3-pointer contest and taking the 1 million won prize money.
Cho, who is in his eighth season with the Sonicboom, is currently third in 3-pointers, making 2.25 per game in the league.