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MANILA, Philippines – Rhenz Abando and the Anyang KGC gutted out a nail-biting 100-97 overtime win against the Seoul SK Knights in Game 7 of their best-of-seven finals to capture the 2022-2023 Korean Basketball League (KBL) crown at the Anyang Indoor Gymnasium on Sunday, May 7.
Despite going scoreless in 27 minutes and 50 seconds of action, Abando, who went 0-of-7 from the field, racked up 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, and 2 blocks to help Anyang dethrone Seoul and reclaim the title it last won in the 2020-2021 season.
The KBL crown capped Abando’s unforgettable rookie season with Anyang as he had also won the KBL Slam Dunk contest, the East Asia Super League (EASL) title, and the KBL regular season championship earlier this year
Former Golden State Warriors big man and newly naturalized Lebanese Omari Spellman was a man on a mission for Anyang in the championship decider as he dropped a monster double-double of 34 points on an efficient 15-of-22 shooting and 14 rebounds.
Oh Se-keun also came up huge for Anyang, posting his own version of a double-double of 20 points and 13 rebounds.
With Seoul enjoying a two-possession lead, 91-87, with 1:55 remaining in regulation, Spellman and Oh immediately responded with two consecutive baskets for Anyang to tie the score at 91-all with 1:24 left.
Still knotted at 91-apiece, Spellman missed out on a golden opportunity to put Anyang ahead by 3 with 20 seconds to go, before Seoul’s Kim Sun-hyung committed a costly turnover on the other end as time expired.
In overtime, it was Spellman and Oh, who once again delivered four straight points for Anyang from the free throw line to build a 100-97 advantage with only 31.1 seconds remaining.
Seoul had three chances to potentially send the game into double overtime in the final possession, but Kim, Hyung-Bin Kim, and Choi Seongwon all failed to convert on their attempts from beyond the arc.
Kim carried the scoring load for Seoul with a game-high 37 points, along with 5 rebounds and 10 assists, while Choi and Jameel Warney added 25 and 20 markers, respectively. – Rappler.com