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Anyang KGC claims KBL title

The Anyang KGC won the 2011-2012 Korean Basketball League title Friday with a hard-fought victory over the Dongbu Promy in Wonju, Gangwon Province.

The Anyang KGC beat the home team 66-64 in Game 6 to win the best-of-seven final series 4-2 and to clinch the KBL title for the first time in its history.

The KGC’s center Chris Daniels scored 15 points and forward Lee Jung-hyun added 14 points to help the team win the Game 6.

Rookie center Oh Se-keun, who was voted as the MVP of the finals, added 12 points. 
Anyang KGC players celebrate after winning the 2011-2012 KBL title in Wonju on Friday. (Yonhap News)
Anyang KGC players celebrate after winning the 2011-2012 KBL title in Wonju on Friday. (Yonhap News)

The Dongbu Promy, last year’s runner-up and the 2011-12 regular season champions, did all the running for the better part of the game before handing over the advantage to the KGC, which was playing its first finals.

The Promy finished the first quarter with a 15-14 lead, and was leading by 11 points until the middle of the third quarter. The KGC outscored the home team 24-11 in the final quarter to win the title.

The Promy center Rod Benson was outstanding with 15 points and 14 rebounds. Forward Yoon Ho-young also added 19 points, only to see the team’s second consecutive defeat in the KBL championship series.

Unfortunately for the Wonju-side, Kim Joo-sung’s woes in the final series continued with the national team forward scoring just eight points on Friday night.

Before the finals, nobody expected the KGC to claim the championship crown.

The Dongbu Promy, which lost to the Egis at last year’s finals, came back as strong as ever this season, winning the regular season title with a 44-10 record, eight games ahead of second-placed KGC. The team set a new record in the KBL with 16 straight wins this season.

“I thought that the championship would never come to me,” Anyang KGC head coach Lee Sang-Bum said.

Over the past two years, Lee rebuilt the team completely, bringing in young players such as Oh and a 26-year-old guard Park Chan-hee.

“It was a difficult time, rebuilding the team. But my players always trusted me, and because of their commitment, we finally won the title,” Lee added.

By Oh Kyu-wook (