The Seoul SK Knights, ranked No. 2 overall with the most robust attack capability, and No. 3 Anyang KGC will have a showdown at Anyang Gymnasium on Sunday.
There are few basketballers who earn a nickname and continue to be called as such in the Korean pro basketball community. SK coach Jeon Hee-cheol (49) and KGC coach Kim Seung-gi (50) would have nicknames ‘Air Borne,’ and ‘Turbo Guard,’ respectively while they were active as players, and spearheaded an era of boom in men’s pro basketball before turning into coaches. As alumni of Daebang Elementary School in Seoul (with Kim two grades senior to Jeon), they both continued to learn leadership for a coach while serving as assistant coaches for more than 10 years since retiring as players. As Jeon was promoted to coach this season to lead SK, the two have had three showdowns during the regular season, and are set to engage in their fourth make-or-break duel.
The upcoming showdown is an important game that will bring about a seismic change to the map of dynamics among the frontrunning teams at a time when the frontrunner Busan KT Sonic Boom is stumbling due to two consecutive losses. Thus far, Kim has been the top dog. KGC beat SK in all three games that they have been pitted against each other this season. Living up to their records as the frontrunner (KGC) in overall scores, and the runner-up (SK), they both have staged ‘plays of fierce attacks’ with swords and shields, and KGC has been leading the race by banking on its ability to concentrate. Having secured three wins, Kim expressed confidence in his team’s success in the fourth showdown as well, although he commended Jeon’s strong leadership among SK’s players and ability to manage games.
It is also important for SK to block and lock up KGC’s veteran player Oh Se-keun, who have had 15.3 points and 10 rebounds on average per game. “Jeon Seong-hyeon and Byun Joon-hyung have scored average points in every game. However, we have failed to block Oh Se-keun from attacking. We will significantly reduce their records in scoring and seizing the opportunity to offense.”
Jae-Yeong Yoo firstname.lastname@example.org