Professional basketball’s Seoul SK has earned its first win in the East Asian Super League (EASL), East Asia’s professional basketball club competition.
SK, last season’s runner-up in the competition, defeated the Ryukyu Golden Kings (Japan) 82-69 in the second game of Group B of the 2023-2024 EASL at Sono Arena in Goyang on Monday.
SK avenged a 79-80 loss to Ryukyu in the first leg at Okinawa Arena in Japan on March 18.
In Group B, SK and Ryukyu were tied with one win and one loss apiece.
SK seemed to fall behind early in the first quarter due to Ryukyu’s continuous perimeter offense, but they managed to chip away at the deficit, led by aces Kim Sun-hyung and Heo Il-young.
After a two-point play by Oh Jae-hyun, SK started to pull away from Ryukyu with three-pointers by Heo Il-young and Song Chang-yong.
The teams traded points in the second quarter, and SK went into the half with a 42-34 lead.
Ryukyu started the third quarter with back-to-back threes from Alan Durham and Shota Onodera to pull within two points, but SK answered with two threes from Kim Sun-hyung.
SK scored nine straight points, including a three-point play by Oh Se-geun, and extended the lead to 17 points at one point thanks to a pair of three-pointers by Leon Williams.
In the final quarter, SK virtually sealed the win with back-to-back 3-pointers from Oh Jae-hyun and Heo Il-young, as well as a basket by Choi Buk-kyung.
SK did not allow Ryukyu to catch up and won by 13 points.
SK was led by Leon Williams’ double-double of 23 points and 17 rebounds, while Kim Sun-hyung led the offense with 12 points and eight assists.
Heo Il-young and center Oh Se-geun, who was transferred ahead of the season, chipped in with 12 points each.
Ryukyu was led by Keita Imamura with 18 points.
SK finished runner-up to Anyang Jeongguanjang in the inaugural EASL on March 1-5 this year, which featured a “Champions Week” format that compressed the group stage and tournament into five days.
Ryukyu, the 2022-2023 Japanese B League champions, finished fourth in the last EASL.
Both teams are in Group B with New Taipei of Taiwan and Meralco of the Philippines.
The second edition of the EASL will feature home-and-home group stage matches every Wednesday through Feb. 7 next year to accommodate each league’s schedule, with the top teams in each group advancing to the quarterfinals on March 8-10.
The winning team will receive 1 million dollars (approximately 1.35 billion won), the runner-up will receive 500,000 dollars, and the third-place team will receive 250,000 dollars. 파워볼사이트