Group B – Seoul SK Knights (1-1) 82 vs. Ryukyu Golden Kings 69 (1-1)
November 1, 2023 – Goyang Sono Arena, Goyang, Korea
Seoul SK Knights claimed their first win of the East Asia Super League season with a great defensive effort to beat the defending B.LEAGUE champions Ryukyu Golden Kings, 82-69.
1. No Warney, but there’s Leon
The SK Knights are missing their star player Jameel Warney. Their other big man, Leon Williams, picked up the slack this evening. Williams recorded a double-double, with 23 points and 17 rebounds, to help Seoul get their first win in this season’s EASL.
Williams, a 37-year-old center, has been admirable for the Knights this EASL season. He has averaged 16 points and 13.5 boards in their two games so far, both against the Golden Kings.
2. Golden Kings get out-muscled
Ryukyu were missing their leading rebounder, Vic Law, and last season’s B.LEAGUE top rebounder Jack Cooley. The lack of size showed as SK dominated the boards, out-rebounding the Golden Kings 43-30.
Law was placed on the B.LEAGUE injury reserve list last week after suffering a knee injury. Cooley is coming back off a knee injury of his own and Head Coach Dai Oketani elected to go with Allen Durham and Alex Kirk as his two imports for tonight’s game.
3. SK’s defense frustrates Ryukyu
The Knights played great defense against one of the highest-scoring teams in the B.LEAGUE, limiting the Japanese side to just 69 points on a mere 37 percent shooting. The Golden Kings are averaging 80.7 points in nine B.LEAGUE games this season.
SK recorded seven steals on the night, with Williams recording three of his own.
EASL Player of the Game: Leon Williams, Seoul SK Knights
Leon Williams did a great job replacing star man Jameel Warney at the four today, finishing the game with a double-double, recording a game-high 23 points and 17 rebounds. The 15-year pro belied his age, playing more than 39 minutes in the game.