‘Battle of Korea’ to decide the EASL Champions Week championship game

March 5, 2023

4 mins

‘Battle of Korea’ to decide the EASL Champions Week championship game
‘Battle of Korea’ to decide the EASL Champions Week championship game

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From best in Korea to best in East Asia Anyang KGC prepares for an epic showdown with Seoul SK Knights in the Championship Game

South Korean basketball has shown its strength at EASL Champions Week with the two Korean Basketball League representatives, Anyang KGC and Seoul SK Knights, taking the slots in today’s championship game. Both teams topped their groups, going undefeated in the tournament.


Anyang KGC has dominated their opposition thus far, scoring a tournament-high 236 points through two games in the group stage. They tipped off the tournament with a convincing 25-point victory against the defending P. LEAGUE+ champions, Taipei Fubon Braves. With Group A rivals Ryukyu Golden Kings also winning their first game,the Korean side wanted to win by a large margin in their second game to put themselves in a strong position in case of a points difference tiebreaker. They managed just that, cruising to a massive 55-point victory over San Miguel Beermen, virtually ensuring their championship game spot before group rivals the Golden Kings even took the court later yesterday.


Anyang KGC has been led by former NBA big man Omari Spellman, who has averaged a tournament-leading 37.5 points during the group stage, including a 53-point effort against the Beermen.


Speaking after their big win against the Beermen on Friday, Anyang KGC Head Coach, Kim Sang Shik said: “Before the game, we told the players that we needed a big win, how important the point difference is in the tournament. The players did a great job – they executed well, they did what they wanted to do, and they stayed together.” 

Anyang’s Korean counterpart had a different road to the championship game. In Seoul SK Knight’s first game against the Bay Area Dragons, they fell to an early deficit, going down 19 points early in the third quarter. But their structured defense stymied the opposition, limiting the Dragons to go scoreless in the final five minutes of the third. The Knights stormed back, ultimately recovering to defeat the Dragons 92-84.


The next day, the Knights played a tightly-contested battle against the PBA powerhouse TNT Tropang Giga. The Knights’ offense showed fatigue early on, shooting just 41 percent through the first three quarters. However, it was a different story in the final frame as Seoul outscored the Philippine side 23-14 to finish the group stage as the only undefeated team in Group B.


The defending KBL champions will hope their resilience will play a big part in the final game of the tournament.


Jameel Warney has been leading the charge for the Knights, averaging 25.5 points while grabbing a tournament-leading 19 rebounds per game during the group stage.


Seoul SK Knights defeated Anyang KGC in the 2022 Korean Basketball League Finals four games to one. The two Korean sides now meet again with another trophy on the line. Will Seoul have Anyang’s number once ore and win EASL Champions Week? Or will Anyang KGC get their revenge and claim the title of “Best in East Asia”?


The championship game tips off at 19:00 JST in Okinawa, Japan.

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