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“High” TG Smiles at Last

Posted April. 17, 2005 23:36,   


The TG Sambo Xers have returned to the top of professional basketball after two years.

On April 17, TG Sambo defeated the KCC Egis, 84-76 in the sixth match in the best-of-seven final series of the 2004-2005 Anycall Professional Basketball Championship.

With the victory, TG Sambo finished the series with a record of four wins and two defeats, winning the cup again two years after their 2002-2003 championship.

Wrapping up the regular season in the top spot, TG Sambo also won the championship series, achieving the combined championship of the two tournaments. At the same time, it got revenge for its defeat by KCC, 3-4, in last season’s championship series, despite finishing on top in the regular season that year as well.

Kim Joo-seong, TG’s Korean center, was nominated as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the championship series.

Both TG and KCC went “all-in” for the match. TG let Shin Ki-seong, whose condition was bad, play as a starter; KCC also sent core veteran players such as Lee Sang-min, Cho Seong-won and Chu Seung-gyun onto the court right from the start.

What decided the outcome was height. From the middle of the first quarter, TG widened the scoring gap, firmly securing its upper hand in the center post with active plays of foreign player Jamil Watkins and Kim Joo-seong. TG scored as many as 20 points with free throws alone, making 16 free throws in the second quarter as KCC, inferior in height, went to a foul strategy.

On the other hand, KCC was brought to their knees as players other than Cho Seong-won and Charles Minlend went silent on offense.

Finishing the first half, 47-34, TG enjoyed the brilliant play of Kang Ki-jung, a backup guard who replaced Shin Ki-seong in the third quarter. Overwhelming KCC with creative assists and center-post penetration, Kang Ki-jung rocked Chiak Indoor Stadium when he scored two three-point shots, making the score 70-48, only one and a half minutes before the end of the third quarter.

Won-Hong Lee Jong-Seok Kim bluesky@donga.com kjs0123@donga.com