Asian basketball

Abando, Anyang thwart Seoul to rule EASL Champions Week

Delfin Dioquino

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Abando, Anyang thwart Seoul to rule EASL Champions Week

CONTRIBUTOR. Rhenz Abando makes his presence felt for Anyang.

East Asia Super League Facebook page

Rhenz Abando and the Anyang KGC complete their unbeaten run, doing it at the expense of former tormentor Seoul SK Knights in a battle of KBL powerhouses

MANILA, Philippines – Rhenz Abando and the Anyang KGC crowned themselves the new kings of the East Asia Super League after toppling the Seoul SK Knights, 90-84, at the Okinawa Arena in Japan on Sunday, March 5.

Abando scored 11 points to go with 2 rebounds and 2 assists to help Anyang go unbeaten in its Champions Week run, doing it at the expense of former tormentor Seoul in a battle of Korean Basketball League powerhouses.

Darryl Monroe finished with 21 points, 16 rebounds, and 5 assists to show the way for the KGC, who found some semblance of payback after bowing to the Knights in their clash for the KBL crown last season.

Former NBA player Omari Spellman put up 19 points and 11 rebounds, while Byeon Jun-hyeong fired 16 points with 5 assists as Anyang used a strong second quarter to put away Seoul.

The KGC trailed 25-27 after the opening period but outscored the Knights 24-10 in the second quarter to grab a 12-point lead at halftime.

Park Ji-hoon added 11 points in the victory that netted Anyang the champions purse of $250,000 (nearly P14 million).

Kim Sun-hyung chalked up 25 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds for Seoul, while import Jameel Warney posted 22 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists.

In the third-place game, former PBA guest team Bay Area Dragons secured a podium finish following a 90-70 shellacking of Japan B. League side Ryukyu Golden Kings.

Myles Powell torched the Golden Kings with 29 points on top of 3 rebounds and 3 steals as he once again formed a mighty one-two punch with fellow former NBA player Andrew Nicholson.

Nicholson churned out 18 points and 8 rebounds, while Filipino-American guard Sedrick Barefield chimed in 17 points and 6 rebounds for Bay Area.

Filipino import Carl Tamayo recorded 2 points and 1 assist in 11 minutes for Ryukyu, which banked on the 19-point, 7-rebound, 3-assist outing of former PBA import Allen Durham.

Meanwhile, the two PBA representatives bombed out as San Miguel and TNT both ended their campaigns without a win.

The Beermen lost to Ryukyu by 28 points and absorbed an 55-point beating from Anyang, while TNT got clobbered by an average of 22 points by Seoul and reigning B. League champions Utsunomiya Brex. –

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.