DB-like tenacity, ‘extra innings’ thrilling upset win over SONO

It was a game that showed the tenacity of the Wonju DBs. The Wonju DB presented the home fans with a thrilling overtime victory.

DB won the home game against Goyang Sono in the 2023-2024 regular season of the Korean Basketball Association (KBA) at the Wonju General Gymnasium on the 24th, 86-85, after a nerve-wracking overtime game. With the win, DB improved to 40-13 on the season.

Although DB had already clinched the top spot in the regular season, the result was significant in that it raised the team’s spirits with a thrilling come-from-behind victory. After clinching the top spot in the regular season with a win over Suwon KT on the 14th, DB’s performance was a bit disappointing. Aside from an 84-83 win over Seoul SK on the 21st, they lost to Hyundai Mobis on the 16th, Changwon LG on the 17th, and Anyang Jeongwanjang on the 23rd. Even DB head coach Kim Joo-sung has been bitterly criticizing the team lately.

This night was different, however, as the team’s ace Dedrick Lawson was out for the rest of the night, but Ethan Albano poured in 33 points and 12 assists to lead the team to victory. Jeff Widdie also contributed with 20 points and 18 rebounds, while Kim Hoon chipped in with 10 points and three rebounds. Minsoo Min and Lee Yong-woo added five points apiece.

SONO had a monster game from Chinanu Onuaku with 39 points and 31 rebounds, but his head was down in defeat. Lee Jung-hyun added 15 points, three rebounds, and seven assists. Kim Ji-hoo added 13 points. SONO improved to 19-34.

DB held a slim 56-54 lead after three quarters. However, they were badly shaken by SONO’s counterattack at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Onuaku scored the game-winning basket and Kim Ji-hoo hit a three-pointer to push DB back.

DB then took advantage of Albano and Weedie’s play to pull away. In a back-and-forth game, SONO took a 73-72 lead with 53 seconds left in the fourth quarter on an Onuaku basket. SONO then took a 75-72 lead on a basket by Lee Jung-hyun. It was a crisis for DB. But then a miracle happened: with three seconds left in regulation, Albano got free throw opportunities, making the first attempt but missing the second. But DB won the rebounding battle and Albano hit a dramatic two-pointer to tie the game and send it to overtime.

In overtime, the game was just as close. It was SONO who set the tone early on. Onoaku scored back-to-back baskets to take a 79-75 lead, but DB answered with a three-pointer by Albano, followed by back-to-back fouls to score free throws. At the 1:28 mark, Kim Hoon drained a crucial three-pointer to tie the game at 84-84.

With five seconds left in regulation, Sono missed a three-pointer from Onuaku, and DB immediately went on the offensive, with Park In-woong hitting the game-winning 사설토토 shot in the fast break.

Meanwhile, Cho Sang-hyun’s Changwon LG won 86-85 at home against Hyundai Mobis in Ulsan to extend their winning streak to 10 games and clinch second place in the regular season, securing a spot in the playoffs. LG finished with a 35-17 record, winning a tight two-way battle for second place with third-place KT.

It was the first time in nine years since 2015 that LG had won 10 straight games. Foreign players Asem Marei had 23 points, 16 rebounds, and six assists, while Lee Jae-do added 20 points. Justin Gutang also added 12 points.

Meanwhile, the sixth-ranked Hyundai Mobis lost their third straight game. They are now 25-26. Gamsi Prime scored 24 points and grabbed eight rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the loss.

Elsewhere in the bottom 10, 10th-ranked Seoul Samsung pulled off an upset, beating Busan KCC 96-87. The win snapped a three-game losing streak and improved Samsung to 14-39. Kofi Coburn scored 26 points and Lee Jung-hyun added 23 in the win. Fifth-ranked KCC fell to 27-24 and was led by Ragan Ah with 34 points and nine rebounds.

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