Anyang KGC are one win away from the championship series
Defending champion Anyang Korea Ginseng Corporation are on the verge of advancing to their second straight Korean Basketball League championship series after beating Suwon KT Sonicboom 83-77 in the third game of the best-of-five playoff on Monday.
Anyang enter game four on Wednesday with a 2-1 lead, having lost the opening game 89-86 to Suwon and then won two on the trot, 90-78 and 83-77. If they win, Anyang will advance to the championship series for the second year in a row. If they win that, they'll take their fourth title, having won in the 2011-12 season, the 2016-17 season and last year.
Last season, Anyang took home the KBL championship title on May 9, winning the first four matches of the best-of-seven series against the 2020-21 regular season winner Jeonju. Anyang last year became the first champion to be crowned in two years as the KBL decided in March 2020 to cancel the remainder of the regular season and the playoffs due to safety concerns surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic.
The 2021-22 KBL season started in October last year with 10 clubs — Anyang KGC, Changwon LG Sakers, Goyang Orion Orions, Jeonju KCC Egis, Seoul Samsung Thunders, Seoul SK Knights, Suwon KT Sonicboom, Ulsan Hyundai Mobis Phoebus, Wonju DB Promy and the newly renamed Daegu Kogas Pegasus — each playing 54 games, 27 at home and 27 away, in the regular season.
The 2021-22 regular season ended April 5, with the top six teams in order of their regular season standings — Seoul SK Knights, Suwon, Anyang, Ulsan Hyundai Mobis Phoebus, Goyang Orion Orions and Daegu Kogas Pegasus — advancing to the postseason.
Anyang finished the regular season in third place with 32 wins and 22 losses, then won all three matches in the first leg of the best-of-three playoffs against sixth-place Daegu, 78-72, 79-61 and 93-86. In the other leg, fifth-place Goyang beat fourth-place Ulsan in all three matches, 87-83, 78-70, 89-81.
For the final round of the playoffs, Goyang faced the Knights while Anyang faced Suwon. After beating Goyang in three matches, 101-83, 91-83 and 86-81, the Seoul Knights have secured their spot in the championship series.
The big showdown between Anyang and Suwon is scheduled at 7 p.m. on Wednesday. If Anyang wins, they will advance to the best-of-seven championship series to face the Knights. If Suwon wins, Suwon and Anyang will face each other one more time on Friday to decide who advances.
The championship series starts May 2. The first two matches will take place at the home of the Seoul SK Knights, Jamsil Students' Gymnasium in southern Seoul. The next two matches will take place at the home of the opponent.
BY YUN SO-HYANG [email@example.com]