Knights beat Anyang 97-76 in second best-of-seven playoff
The Seoul SK Knights beat defending champions Anyang Korea Ginseng Corporation in the second best-of-seven playoff 97-76 on Wednesday. With just two more wins, the Knights will clinch their first Championship trophy in five years.
Wednesday's victory puts the Seoul Knights ahead of the race for the ultimate trophy. The last time they won the Championship was in the 2017-18 season when they finished the regular season runners-up.
On Wednesday, it was Choi Jun-yong of the Knights who added the most points of the match with 24. Despite the Anyang club taking a one-point lead in the first quarter, 18-17, the Knights dominated in the second quarter adding 23 points while Anyang only added 17. The Seoul team added another 26 points in the third quarter and 31 points in the fourth quarter.
The Knights ended the regular season top of the standings with 40 wins and 14 losses, three wins more than runners-up Suwon KT Sonicboom. Anyang KGC finished the season in third with 32 wins and 22 losses.
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.
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.
In the postseason playoffs, Anyang won all three matches in the first leg of the best-of-three playoff 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 playoffs, the Knights faced Goyang while Anyang faced Suwon. The Knights secured their spot in the Championship series after beating Goyang in three matches, 101-83, 91-83 and 86-81.
Anyang earned their spot in the Championship series after beating Suwon KT Sonicboom 81-79 in the fourth game of the best-of-five playoff on April 27. Anyang had entered the fourth match with a 2-1 lead over Suwon, having lost the opening game 89-86 to Suwon and then won two on the trot, 90-78 and 83-77.
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.
This is the second year in a row that Anyang have advanced to the Championship series. If they win, they'll take their fourth title, having won in the 2011-12 season, the 2016-17 season and last year. They will have to win the next playoff match scheduled on Friday to have a chance at defending their title.
Anyang will face the Knights for the third match of the Championship series on Wednesday. The first two matches took place at the home of the Seoul SK Knights, Jamsil Students' Gymnasium in southern Seoul. The next two matches will take place at Anyang Gymnasium in Anyang, Gyeonggi.
BY YUN SO-HYANG [email@example.com]