With an ultra-luxury lineup, professional basketball’s Busan KCC has emerged as the favorite to win the new season.
When asked at the opening media day of the 온라인카지노 2023-2024 Korean Professional Basketball League at the Olympic Parktel in Songpa-gu, Seoul, on Saturday to name the team they believe is the favorite to win the title, seven of the 10 head coaches (including multiple responses) mentioned KCC. Wonju DB head coach Kim Joo-sung, Seoul Samsung head coach Eun Hee-seok, Seoul SK head coach Jeon Hee-chul, Changwon LG head coach Cho Sang-hyun, and Suwon KT head coach Song Young-jin mentioned KCC.
Kim praised KCC for having a “super team,” while Samsung’s Eun Hee-seok said, “They are organized by position, which is suitable for the small ball that we are pursuing these days.” SK coach Jeon Hee-chul said, “Just count them.”
KCC signed Choi Jun-yong, who was one of the biggest free agents ahead of the season. With scorer Heo Woong and “Twin Towers” Lee Seung-hyun and Ragan-ah, it’s hard to find a weakness. They proved to be a formidable force by winning the KBL Cup, which ended the previous day. New foreign player Alize DeShawn Johnson scored the most points in a single game (40) and was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the Cup. Add to that national team member Song Kyo-chang, and the lineup will be even stronger come November.
“Of course it’s pressure,” said Heo, who attended the event, “but I’m going to enjoy the pressure during the season. It’s not often that I can play with such a good team during my career, so I want to seize the opportunity.”
KCC head coach Jeon Chang-jin is also excited. “We’ve done well so far without any injuries,” he said, “and with Choi Jun-yong, we have the luxury of playing all-around.” “I’m going to try to play a handsome, cool, hoo-ha kind of basketball rather than the old basketball of an old coach,” he laughed.
Anyang head coach Kim Sang-sik and Ulsan Hyundai Mobis head coach Cho Dong-hyun also picked SK to win the title. SK lost Choi Jun-yong to KCC, but even without him at the end of last season, the team made it to the championship game after a six-round undefeated streak, led by veteran Kim Sun-hyung. Along with Kim Sun-hyung, the championship MVP was Oh Se-geun, who had a 52-game winning streak at Chung-Ang University.
Kim Seung-ki of upstart Goyang Sono and acting coach Kang Hyuk of Daegu Korea Gas Corporation predicted SK’s advantage. Kang pointed to the fact that SK has a lot of players with championship experience, as well as the return of signature forward Ahn Young-joon, as factors that could boost the team. “We grew a lot as a team and showed our fans a good side by winning the championship two years in a row, but this year we will have to be especially good at controlling injuries and fitness due to the East Asian Super League schedule. We will make good use of our speed and give our fans fun and impressions.”
Coach Jeon Chang-jin, who is a strong favorite to win the tournament, humbled himself by saying, “The Cup is not an all-out competition,” and added, “I think KT is the strongest team with Heo Hoon, who is being discharged from the military, forming the national team lineup.”
The 2023-2024 season of the KBL, which was kicked off with a cup competition and media day, will begin its six-month campaign on May 21 with the opening game between Chungkwanjang and SK.