KB Stars win regular season with six games still to go
The Cheongju KB Stars have secured the Women’s Korean Basketball League (WKBL) 2021-22 season trophy with six games still left to play after beating Yongin Samsung Life Insurance on Saturday at home.
The KB Stars won both their games last week, defeating Busan BNK Sum on Jan. 17, 74-66, and Samsung Life Insurance on Saturday, 75-69, to extend their winning streak to 14 games .
With a total of 23 wins and one loss, the KB Stars have now secured the top seat in the WKBL, becoming the first team to win the season title in 24 games since 2008, when the WKBL first combined the winter season and summer season.
Asan Woori Bank hold the previous record of winning the title after just 25 games, winning 24 and only dropping one in the 2016-17 season, when teams each played 35 games in one season. The KB Stars have achieved this feat in a shorter season as this year the six clubs each play 30 games, facing each other six times in the regular season.
The KB Stars also recorded their 14th consecutive win, the longest winning streak in the Cheongju club’s history.
The club's previous record was 13 consecutive wins in February of 2019. Even after securing their season title, the KB Stars will go on to chase Shinhan Bank's 19 consecutive wins in the 2008-09 season and 2009-10 season, the most consecutive wins in women's basketball history.
If the Stars win their remaining six games, they will not only become the club with the longest winning streak in WKBL history, but also the club with the highest winning rate, at 0.976. Woori Bank currently hold the record for winning rate, recording a .943 rate in the 2016-17 season.
The KB Stars were a strong candidate from the very start of the season, with ace player Park Ji-su and Olympian Kang Lee-seul joining the Cheongju club.
With the acquisition of Kang, a survey conducted by the WKBL before the start of the season indicated that 84 percent of the media, 45 percent of athletes and 40 percent of fans thought the Stars were most likely to win this season.
Park and Kang proved to be the winning formula this season. The KB Stars are the only team to have two of their players in the top five scorers this season: Park is the highest scorer in the WKBL, scoring an average of 21.78 per game, and Kang stands at fourth in average score per game, with 17.54 points per game. Park also has the most rebounds per game, at an average 14.65, while Kang has the highest success rate with three-pointers, at 42.6 percent.
After all regular season games have been played, the top four clubs will advance to the postseason, starting March 31. The KB Stars will face the fourth-place club as the winner of the regular season and the runner-up will face the third-place club in a best-of-three format. The last two clubs standing will play the finals, which will be played as a best-of-five format.
As of now, Woori Bank is in second place, with 16 wins and eight losses, but Shinhan Bank follow close behind with 14 wins and 10 losses in third place.
BY YUN SO-HYANG [email@example.com]