SK coach Jeon Hee-chul, “Except for the first five minutes of the third quarter…”

KCC coach Jeon Chang-jin, “I thought wrong”

“Except for the first five minutes of the third quarter, the players did a good job” (SK head coach Jeon Hee-chul)

“I thought wrong” (KCC head coach Jeon Chang-jin)

Seoul SK defeated Busan KCC 77-74 in the regular season of the 2023-2024 Korean Basketball Organization (KOB) on Wednesday at Sajik Indoor Gymnasium in Busan. The team has won nine straight games for the first time in the 2023-2024 season. It solidified second place with a 19-8 record. One game behind third-place Suwon KT (18-9).

Jamil Warney (199 cm, C) led the way with a goal. Choi Buk-kyung (200 cm, F) also scored quite a bit in the paint. However, SK didn’t make it easy. They gave up a lot of points in the paint zone.

However, SK overwhelmed KCC in the speed battle, especially after the introduction of Kim Sun-hyung (187cm, G), which increased the tempo of SK’s offense. Utilizing their speed, SK jumped out to a 25-14 lead just 59 seconds into the second quarter. KCC was forced to take its first timeout of the game.

SK continued to push KCC after that. They increased the gap to 47-35. However, they fell behind 49-51 just 4 minutes and 42 seconds into the third quarter. They couldn’t stop KCC’s fast break.

However, Warney and Osegun (200cm, C) stepped up. Warney and Osegun combined for six points in the paint zone. SK started the fourth quarter with a 62-57 lead.

They were caught up in KCC’s momentum early in the fourth quarter and were down 66-71 at one point. However, a dunk by Warney and a three-pointer by Choi Won-hyuk (182 cm, G) put them back in front (73-71), and Warney hit the game-winner with 16.5 seconds left in regulation. SK maintained its winning streak with Warney’s game-winning shot.

After the game, SK head coach Jeon Hee-chul said, “The third quarter is our worst quarter. So at halftime, I said to the players, ‘Let’s play well in the third quarter. Of course, the third quarter didn’t go well, but the players played well the rest of the way,” he said.

“I told them, ‘Let’s stop them from playing well,'” he continued. Except for the first five minutes of the third quarter, it worked. They executed what I asked them to do. More than anything, I think they know how to win close games.”

Meanwhile, KCC also lost their first game of the fourth round, another three-game losing streak. Still in fifth place with 13 wins and 12 losses.

KCC’s start was not good. Giving up points in the paint zone too easily. Down 2-11 at one point in the first quarter. However, KCC picked up their offense around Choi Jun-yong (200 cm, F) and Ragan-ah (199 cm, C). With 2 minutes and 48 seconds left in the first quarter, they trailed SK 12-15.

However, KCC gave up a lot of second-chance points to SK. They also couldn’t keep up with SK’s offensive pace. They were down by double digits (14-25) just 59 seconds into the second quarter, and KCC head coach Jeon Chang-jin used his first timeout of the game.

Nevertheless, things didn’t get much better for KCC. They started the third quarter down 35-47, but an explosive fast break turned the game around. 51-49.

However, KCC went on a run late in the third quarter. From 57-56 to 57-62, we had to play the fourth quarter with a deficit. The mood was not good.

Back-to-back threes by Heo Woong (185cm G), a fastbreak layup by Alize Johnson (201cm F), and a back-down attack by Choi Jun-yong came in the fourth quarter. KCC built on the momentum. They tied the game (73-73) with 1:43 left, but couldn’t get over the hump. They fell victim to SK’s winning streak.

KCC head coach Jeon Chang-jin said after the game, “I thought wrong. I tried this and that, but I kept making errors,” he said after the game.

“Especially in the first quarter, the atmosphere was not good. I don’t think we should have set up like we did in the first quarter. I think it didn’t go well (in the first quarter) because we didn’t score.”

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