Anyang KGC suffered its first loss at the 2023 William Jones Cup after two straight victories.
KGC fell 82-87 to University of California, Irvine (USA) in the third round of the tournament at 온라인카지노 Heping Gymnasium in Taipei on Friday to improve to 2-1. KGC, who entered the tournament as the defending KBL champions for the 2022-2023 season, got off to a good start by defeating the United Arab Emirates in the first round and the Iranian National Team in the second round, but were unable to overcome the height disadvantage against Irvine.
KGC, which had to make a lot of changes after last season due to Byun Joon-hyung’s military enlistment and the free-agent transfers of Oh Se-geun and Moon Sung-gon, is playing with Duvon Maxwell and Brian Griffin instead of Omari Spellman and Darryl Monroe. According to the tournament rules, two foreign players are being used at the same time. Guard Choi Sung-won was also unavailable for Game 3. Choi injured his finger during the tournament and was kept on the bench as it was deemed unnecessary to push him.
It was a good start. In the first quarter, Bae Byeong-jun hit two three-pointers and the team’s inside-outside offense was strong, leading to a 27-21 lead. But they struggled in the second quarter, losing the height battle and unable to win the two-point battle.
Going into halftime with a 44-48 lead, KGC fought back in the third quarter, but couldn’t take the lead. They came out firing in the fourth quarter and closed the gap, but gave up a basket or rebound at every turn.
Maxwell and Griffin scored 24 and 25 points, respectively, while Bae Byung-jun was the only other Korean player to reach double figures with 12 points, including three three-pointers. Forward Jung Hyo-geun, who joined KGC in free agency, had seven points and three rebounds in just over 17 minutes of action. Guard Park Ji-hoon, who returned from a stint with the men’s national basketball team, had seven points and five assists, but shot just 20 percent from the field.