Egis and Orions set to clash in KBL finals on Saturday
No. 1 seed Egis defeated the Anyang KGC in the semi-finals. The Egis played four games against KGC, winning the first, second and fourth games of the series to advance.
In the meantime, the third seeded Orions edged the defending champion Ulsan Mobis Phoebus in the semi-finals with three straight wins.
For the Egis, its ace forward Andre Emmett dominated the board throughout the series. Emmett averaged 33.75 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game.
But it wasn’t just Emmett who helped the Egis prevail. The Egis center Ha Seung-jin grabbed 14.8 rebounds on average to reign inside the key. Confident that Ha will return possession when shots bounce off the rim, the Egis players were able to attempt outside shots without much pressure.
With Emmett and Ha going into the next game fired up, the Egis will bring the momentum from the semi-finals to take a shot at the first KBL championship trophy in five years.
For the Orions, it was foreign player duo Aaron Haynes and Joe Jackson who helped the team overcome the Phoebus. Joe Jackson drained a crucial free throw with five seconds left in the first game of the series to lift the Orions over the Phoebus by one point. Haynes had a double-double in the same game with 22 points and 10 rebounds. In the second game of the series, Haynes grabbed a defensive rebound under the Orions’ basket with 25 seconds remaining in the game to prevent the Phoebus get another shot at the hoop. Jackson added 25 points to the board for the Orions. Finally, in the third and the final game of the series on Mar. 12, Haynes had another double-double with 29 points and 14 rebounds.
This is the first time the Orions have advanced to the KBL finals in 13 years. The finals will be played as best of seven series.