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The DB sprinting secret is Albano… KBL is the Asian version?

Seoul SK head coach Jeon Hee-cheol sees point guard Lee Sun Albano as the key to DB’s high-flying run.

“Lawson is good, but Alvano is really good at running the game,” Jeon told reporters before the team’s home game against Seoul Samsung at Jamsil Student Gymnasium in Seoul on Nov. 20, adding, “Alvano’s game operation, breakthrough and strength, wow.”

Leading the way with a 12-1 record, Dedrick Lawson has been the player of the game for the DBs.

He was the first-round Most Valuable Player (MVP) this season. It’s the first time in two years and seven months that a foreign player has been named first-round MVP since Jared Sullinger in the sixth round of the 2020-2021 season.

However, as the former coach analyzed, Albano’s play has been equally impressive.

Albano has played in all 13 of DB’s games this season, averaging 15.9 points and 8.3 assists in the regular season.

He leads the league in field goal percentage (48.7%) and three-point percentage (41.9%). All of these numbers are up from his last season in the KBL (13.3 points, 5.1 assists, 41.5% field goal percentage).

“After training with Albano and (Changwon LG’s Justin) Gutang in the offseason (with the team), the players’ bodies really improved (in the Asian quarter),” said Jeon. “This season, when I saw Albano in the DB game, I was like, ‘He’s that fast,’ and it was different. He’s got good technique, but he’s implemented it faster and it’s really hard to stop him.”

Coincidentally, three of the top teams in the early stages of this season’s competition have seen improvements from AsiaQuarter players who entered the Korean scene last season.

Lens Abando of second-place Anyang Jungkwanjang is averaging 10.8 points and 4.8 rebounds. His field goal percentage (51.9%) is well over 50%.

He improved his numbers (9 points, 2.3 rebounds) from last season.

Gutang of the third-place Changwon LG (7-4) is also performing better than last season (4.5 points, 2.3 rebounds), averaging 8 points and 3.1 rebounds in just 13 minutes.

This improvement is a testament to the fact that the three players, who got a taste of Korean basketball last season, are now fully integrated into the team’s offense.

Their salaries are around 200 million won. This is because the salary cap for Asia Quarter players is $160,000 (about $200 million) after taxes.

Teams that have made good use of the Asia Quota system have been able to use their star players at a relatively low price.

In addition, this amount is excluded from the salary cap for domestic players (2.8 billion won ($2.8 million) in total salary), so teams that don’t sign Asian quota players are actually losing money.

Of course, this also applies to teams that do sign Asian-qualified players but fail to utilize them properly.

Outside of last-place Daegu KOGAS, where Samjosef Belangel plays, seventh-place Goyang Sono (4-7), eighth-place Busan KCC (3-6), and ninth-place Seoul Samsung (2-10) all don’t have any Asian Quarter players.

SONO’s Josh Toralba is scoring just 4.1 points per game and Samsung’s Avan Nava 4.6.

KCC’s Calvin Jeffrey Epistola, who has appeared in just two games this season, is considered a non-factor.

Samsung head coach Eun Hee-seok said of Nava, “It’s my fault that I didn’t adapt him to our basketball quickly enough,” adding, “I had Shin Dong-hyuk who could play the sixth man role at Aban Nava’s level, but he’s not here (due to injury).”

The Ulsan Hyundai Mobis (6th-6th), who started the season strong but have slipped to 3-6 since losing star guard Seong-Jin Son to injury on Nov. 29, will feel the absence of the Asian quarterback.

With Ronjay Avarientos, who averaged 13.6 points and 4.8 assists and was named Rookie of the Year last season, gone to Japan, the team is still without an Asian player.

Worse yet, Hyundai Mobis’ second-round draft pick, guard Park Mubin from Korea University, is unable to play due to injury.

If the team had spent around 200 million won to secure a proper Asian quarter guard, they would have been able to erase their worries about the position, which is currently one of their weaknesses.

Hyundai Mobis also has an Asian quarterback in mind.

A Hyundai Mobis official said, “We have a player in the Philippines. We are working to complete the recruitment process by the end of December or early January next year at the latest.” 먹튀검증

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