Busan KCC, a strong favorite to win the 2023-2024 professional basketball season, has won its first back-to-back games of the season.
KCC won 77-74 against Seoul Samsung at Sajik Gymnasium in Busan on March 3. KCC, which also won 74-72 at home against Seoul SK the previous day, won both games of a two-game weekend series to gain a foothold in the mid-table.
KCC was the “0” favorite to win the title ahead of the season, thanks to the addition of Choi Jun-yong, a free agent signing from SK, and the quality of foreign player Alize DeShawn Johnson. They even earned the nickname ‘Super Team’.
This is because the existing lineup of Lee Seung-hyun, Heo Woong, and Ragan-ah, plus Song Kyo-chang, who left the team during the season, literally formed a ‘national lineup’.
KCC also won the KBL Cup before the start of the regular season, showing that they were a force to be reckoned with.
However, after the start of the regular season, the team was stuck in the bottom half of the standings.
They never won a game in a row and showed little hope of climbing out of the doldrums, including an 81-96 loss to last-place Daegu Korea Gas on Nov. 25.
KCC, which hadn’t looked much better since winning the championship with a 4-8 record before this weekend’s two-game winning streak, turned things around by sweeping SK and Samsung.
The team is said to be slowly getting back on track, especially with the addition of Choi Jun-yong, who only returned in mid-November after suffering a leg muscle injury during a cup competition, and Song Kyo-chang, who completed his military service in late November.
Against Samsung on March 3, Choi scored 18 points and Song Kyo-chang added 13, while Johnson had a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds.
With six wins and eight losses, the team is still in eighth place, but they are within one game of the fifth-place team and close to the cutoff line for the sixth playoff spot.
KCC has been dubbed a “slow starter” in the past, as they often struggle early in the season before picking up their play after the midway point.
However, they still have their flaws, averaging 85.9 points per game, the third-highest among the 10 teams, and allowing the most three-pointers at 10.1 per game.
SPOTV commentator Shin Ki-sung pointed out that “KCC’s game is still a little too organized,” and that “Lee Seung-hyun needs to come alive, and Choi Joon-yong and Song Kyo-chang need to differentiate their roles.”
“On the third day, Samsung Electronics also made ridiculous mistakes when they had a chance to run away with the game, and there were scenes where they were inefficient in the process of developing fast attacks,” Shin said. “If the team becomes more organized as they play more games, they will be able to diversify their attacking routes, so they can gain momentum after the middle of the season.” 먹튀검증