[스포츠조선 최만식 기자] Seoul SK succeeded in escaping the losing streak with the ‘Choi Jun-yong return effect’ at the forefront.
SK won a 92-90 come-from-behind victory against Ulsan Hyundai Mobis in the ‘2022-2023 SKT A-Dot Professional Basketball’ held at Jamsil Student Gymnasium on the 24th.
SK with 2 consecutive losses meets Hyundai Mobis with 3 consecutive wins. The two teams drew attention with a confrontation of ‘reinforcing the power they’ve been waiting for’, leaving the joys and sorrows of losing streak and winning streak. SK brought back ace Choi Jun-yong, who had been missing for a while due to plantar fasciitis, and Choi Seong-won, who had completed military service. Hyundai Mobis entered Henry Sims, who was recruited as a substitute for Knox, who returned home from injury, into the entry for the first time that day.
SK, which hovered in the mid-lower ranks while MVP Choi Jun-yong was missing last season, and Hyundai Mobis, which were able to breathe through the struggles of Gage Prim, were as if they had obtained ‘Cheongunmanma’. However, SK was the first to enjoy the comeback effect. Choi Jun-yong played the role of a solver in every crisis to the extent that I wondered if it was true that he had just returned from injury. As soon as he stepped on the court with about 3 minutes left in the first quarter, Choi Jun-yong scored a 3-point first shot following a defensive rebound, putting cold water on the opponent’s early momentum.
Choi Jun-yong, who recorded 3 points, 3 assists and 2 rebounds in 5 minutes and 7 seconds until the beginning of the 2nd quarter, went to the bench to rest for a while and was put back in as a ‘fireman’ with 4 minutes and 40 seconds left at the end of the 2nd quarter. SK, which once had a 4-point gap (44-48), succeeded in turning the tables again with Choi Jun-yong’s consecutive goals and free throws, ending the first half with a score of 49-48.
On the other hand, Hyundai Mobis used Prime, which had endured well by itself. This is because Prim played full-time until the second quarter and not only did not commit a foul that he ‘concerned’, but also neutralized SK’s ‘option 1’ mercenary Jamil Warney.
Hyundai Mobis, who could not run away even after a reversal at the beginning of the 3rd quarter, seemed to need a change, and it was only at 2:25 in the 3rd quarter that they put in Sims instead of Prim. But there was no Sims effect. When Warney, who had been sluggish in the first half, started to take revenge, SK’s ‘speed basketball’ came back to life.
Hyundai Mobis succeeded in a strong counterattack by putting Prim, who had been given a break, back in when the score reached 56-63 3 minutes and 20 seconds before the end of the 3rd quarter. Instead of tying the opponent scoreless for about a minute, they pursued it to 61-63. After that, it lit up properly. A tense seesaw game ensued.
3.4 seconds before the end of the match, when the weight of the match was not slanted, veteran Heo Il-young became the fixer with a winning shot. Heo Il-young, who received a pass from Kim Seon-hyung, completed a thrilling come-from-behind victory with a bonus one-shot play. Choi Jun-yong played the best role in the team with 19 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists in the return game that day. At the same time, Suwon KT won the match against Wonju DB 88-78, and instead of winning 3 in a row, Suwon KT plunged DB into a 5-game losing streak.
Meanwhile, in the ‘Shinhan Bank SOL 2022-2023 Women’s Professional Basketball’ match between Hana 1Q and Shinhan Bank at the Bucheon Indoor Gymnasium, Shinhan Bank won 70-63, reaching a 50% win rate (4 wins and 4 losses). Hana Won-gyu fell into a 7-game losing streak in the opening season.
Reporter Choi Man-shik [email protected]