KCC Egis are in! KBL side secures first spot in EASL 2024-25

April 24, 2024

4 mins

KCC Egis are in! KBL side secures first spot in EASL 2024-25
KCC Egis are in! KBL side secures first spot in EASL 2024-25

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Busan KCC Egis upsets Wonju DB to advance to 2024 KBL Finals

Busan, South Korea, April 23, 2024 – The Busan KCC Egis are advancing to the 2024 KBL Finals and are the first team to qualify for the EASL 2024-25 Season.

KBL 2023-24 Journey

It was a roller-coaster Korean Basketball League season for KCC. The team started the year with just three wins in their first 10 games. They finished the season just above .500, with a 29-25 record, good for fifth in the standings.

A tilt against the EASL runners-up the Seoul SK Knights was due in the quarterfinals. In a best-of-five series, KCC plowed through the Knights, whose team included EASL leading scorer Jameel Warney, outscoring their opposition by 65 in a three-game sweep.

Next came the KBL regular season champions, the Wonju DB Promy, who had only lost 13 of 54 games all season.

But KCC crushed the regular season leaders in four games, outscoring DB by 32 points. The 3-1 series win clinched KCC’s KBL finals place and their spot for the upcoming EASL 2024-25 Season.

This is the first time in Korean professional basketball history that a fifth-place team in the regular season advanced to the Finals.

EASL History

This will be the second time that KCC Egis has participated in an EASL competition.

The team played in the 2019 EASL Terrific 12 tournament in Macau, going down to Chinese CBA side Zhejiang Guangsha Lions, before defeating Japanese B.LEAGUE side Utsunomiya Brex and finishing with a 1-1 record.

Key Players

1.       Ra Gun-Ah, PF

The Busan KCC Egis are headed by Ra Gun-Ah, a four-time KBL champion and three-time KBL Best Import. He was also named KBL Defensive Player of the Year in 2015.

This season he is averaging 16.5 points in 60 games. Ra has been unstoppable in the playoffs, averaging 23.3 points and 13.1 rebounds per game.

Originally named Ricardo Ratliffe, the US-born Ra became a naturalized South Korean in 2018 and has represented the South Korean national team.

Ra has played in Korea since 2012, representing the Ulsan Mobis Phoebus and the Seoul Samsung Thunders, before joining KCC Egis in 2020.

The 6-foot-8 big man also had a two-year stint in the Philippines Basketball Association (PBA), playing for the Star Hotshots in 2016 and 2017.

2.       Heo Ung, SG

Heo Ung is one of KCC’s top scorers this season, averaging 15.9 points in 59 games, and hitting 2.5 threes per game.

A member of the South Korean national team, Heo has medalled on five occasions for the country. His best showing was at the 2016 Williams Jones Cup, where Korea won silver.

The fifth overall pick in the 2014 KBL Draft played his first eight years with the Wonju DB Promy. He was the KBL’s Most Improved Player in 2016 and was voted into the KBL Best 5 in 2022.

Heo joined KCC Egis in 2022.

3.       Choi Jun-Yong, G

Choi Jun-Yong is averaging 13.9 points and 5.8 rebounds this season.             Courtesy: KBL

Choi Jun-Yong has brought championship pedigree to KCC since his arrival last season.

The 6-foot-7 guard is a two-time KBL champion with the Seoul SK Knights, where he played seven seasons and was named the KBL Most Valuable Player in 2022.

Choi was also a part of the SK team that was runner-up in the 2019 EASL Terrific 12, where he averaged 31.2 minutes in four games.

The South Korean national team guard brought his all-around game to Busan, averaging 13.9 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 42 games this season.

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