SK, without Kim Sun-hyung, drops first EASL group game to Nippon Ryukyu by one point

Professional basketball team Seoul SK dropped its first East Asian Super League (EASL) game by one point despite missing key players.

SK fell 79-80 to the 토토 Ryukyu Golden Kings (Japan) in Group B of the 2023-2024 EASL on Sunday at Okinawa Arena in Okinawa, Japan.

With ace Kim Sun-hyung out, new center Oh Se-geun only saw the court for about a minute. Another key player, Jamil Warney, struggled with 39 points and 10 rebounds, but it was one step short of a victory at a crucial juncture.

SK ended the first half trailing 39-40. In the second half, SK countered Ryukyu’s outside shooting with its signature fast-break basketball. With a 79-77 lead with 24 seconds left in the game, SK looked to be on their way to victory.

However, the game was turned on its head when opposing foreign player Victor Law set up a three-point play against Warney with a basket and free throw. Warney had one last hope with two shots, but both missed the rim and he had to accept defeat.

In its second year, the EASL will continue to play its group stage games on a home-and-home basis every Wednesday until February 7 next year to accommodate each league’s schedule.

SK and Ryukyu were drawn into Group B alongside New Taipei of Taiwan and Meralco of the Philippines. SK and Ryukyu will play their return match on Nov. 1 at Goyang Sono Arena.

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