The Knights aren’t the only one with a one-two punch. There is also a ginseng table one-two punch!’ Anyang KGC is undeniably the strongest team this season. In the regular season, he won the ‘Wire-to-Wire Championship’ and even won the ‘East Asian Super League (EASL)’. This is the reason why the saying ‘Winning the championship match is also a matter of course’ came out.
But when it comes to the championship match, the atmosphere is unusual. The defending champion, Seoul SK, took a blow first and went into the second match without losing the first match. It is true that the initial expectations of fans and experts leaned toward KGC’s dominance, which had been called the overwhelming first round before. SK is also doing well, but it is because Choi Jun-yong and Ahn Young-jun, who were the main players of last year’s championship, are missing at the same time.
KGC also had a vacancy of main shooter Jeon Seong-hyun, but Bae Byung-jun was filling the vacancy to some extent, and even Renz Abando, a Filipino player who entered through the Asian quota system, was showing off his presence. Abando played an average of 18 minutes in the regular season and scored 9 points, and scored 20.4 points, 4 rebounds and 2.8 assists in an average of 31 minutes in five games against SK. It was no exaggeration to say that it was a secret weapon exclusively for SK.
The first game was a complete victory for SK in both the result and content. Most of all, the big thing is that they couldn’t stop the ‘one-two punch’ of Kim Seon-hyeong (34‧187cm) and Jamil Warney (29‧199cm). Kim Seon-hyung (22 points, 6 rebounds, 12 assists, 2 steals) and Warney (23 points, 10 rebounds, 3 steals) showed the ideal play they could and played a trick on the KGC defense.
There is a saying in baseball, ‘You shouldn’t make the opposing team’s catcher feel good’. This is because when a player in a position that controls the flow of the entire game is excited, the overall team atmosphere rises to that extent. SK was like that that day. As the main ballhandler Kim Seon-hyung gained momentum, the overall team energy level increased, with Heo Il-yeong on the outskirts, Choi Bu-kyung near the post, and Song Chang-yong, who did not play well, playing their part for more than 10 minutes.
From KGC’s point of view, what is more painful than a single loss may be the part that saved the opposing team’s momentum too much. Of course, KGC, which has consistently competed for championships in recent seasons, is a team with potential. Even if the atmosphere is well settled, the power itself is a stable team that can rise at any time. The leadership of seniors such as Yang Hee-jong and Oh Se-geun is also evaluated as more than a fair coach.
In order for KGC to start a counterattack, Oh Se-geun (35‧199.8cm) and Omari Spellman (25‧206cm) need to put more effort into the ‘one-two punch’. Spellman, to be exact. Oh Se-geun is the only player who did more than his share during the first game. Even in a situation where team play was not going well due to SK’s momentum, he struggled with his individual skills to the end and gnashed his teeth to catch the game.
He recorded 21 points and 16 rebounds while running for 36 minutes and 31 seconds, more than his average playing time. Above all, it is noteworthy that he recorded a high scoring efficiency of 62.5% while the field goal success rate of his teammates declined overallㅋㅋㅋ벳. It can be seen that he focused more than usual and put energy into it. For KGC, the fact that veteran Oh Se-geun lost even though he exerted his strength to this extent is bound to be more painful.
In addition to his large size, Spellman has excellent athleticism. In terms of strength, he is second to none, and his elasticity is excellent, so he is strong in rebounding and block shots. However, there is a difference from the general big man in the overall play style. He enjoys playing outside to the point of feeling like a wing player.
He made 2.76 3-pointers per game in the regular season, second only to Jeon Seong-hyun, the leading shooter in the league. For this reason, this spellman’s tendency is sometimes called a ‘double-edged sword’. On the day when the 3-point shot goes in well, he rushes in all directions and becomes an unstoppable player both inside and outside.
It was like that in the first round. His 24 points and 11 rebounds seem to have been average, but he made 14 3-pointers, only 3 of them. Spellman’s failed shots were more painful in that they were often connected to SK’s fast break. Of course, that doesn’t mean Spellman won’t throw outside shots. Just as Warney has a floater, the 3-point shot is one of Spellman’s specialties.
Oh Se-geun is more suited to a player who can play inside and outside rather than an orthodox big man. In the meantime, Spellman has often dragged foreign players outside the matchup with powerful outside shots, and the space under the goal created there was Oh Se-geun’s solo stage. Although he is said to be old, this is because few domestic players can control Oh Se-geun one-on-one.
Of course, this is the case when Spellman’s 3-point shot went well. Spellman is an up-and-down style. If the offense goes well as desired, other plays such as defense and passing games will naturally work well. On the other hand, there have been quite a few cases where players get tangled up on their own when hunting starts in an attack, such as when the shot doesn’t go well.
KGC should hope that Spellman’s condition is good, but even in the opposite case, it is necessary to prepare various strategies so that he can play as a team. In addition, it is analyzed that the pressure on Kim Sun-hyung needs to be stronger. During the first game, SK used Choi Won-hyuk, Choi Seong-won, and Oh Jae-hyun to bully Byun Jun-hyung. On the other hand, KGC has been criticized for being relatively weak in that area.
SK took the first edition, but KGC is also not a team that will collapse in vain. After giving up the second game to Carrot during the semifinal playoffs, it is highly likely that he will reorganize his powers and launch a counterattack, just as he went into awakening mode while struggling. To do that, KGC’s one-two punch Oh Se-geun and Spellman must fly at the same time.