Men’s professional basketball’s KCC has been called a “superteam” since May of last year when it signed free agent Choi Jun-yong.

With Lagana and Song Kyo-chang, the 2020-2021 regular season MVP, KCC added top shooting guard Heo Woong and big man Lee Seung-hyun in free agency ahead of the 2022-2023 season, and then added Choi Jun-yong when they fell short of the top six. The addition of forward Choi Jun-yong, who was the regular season MVP in 2021-2022, gave the team a five-man lineup with international experience, earning them the nickname “Super Team. They quickly became undeniable favorites.

However, KCC only finished fifth in the regular season. The most anticipated player, Choi Jun-yong, missed a lot of games due to injury. With few games played at full strength, the team had ups and downs, losing four games in a row right after the start of the season 먹튀검증 and then going on a seven-game winning streak in the third round.

KCC coach Jeon Chang-jin was embarrassed at the beginning of the season, saying, “Why do you call yourself a super team if you keep losing?” Even at the media day where the six best teams gathered ahead of the playoffs, he hung his head in shame. The “superteam” moniker became a shackle for KCC.

Since the start of the playoffs, KCC has been a completely different team. Back to full strength with the return of injured players, the team has been on a winning streak with a different offense and defense. After sweeping Seoul SK, the fourth-ranked team in the regular season, in three games in the quarterfinals, KCC defeated Wonju DB, the No. 1 team in the regular season, 95-83, in the first round of the quarterfinals on March 15.

The 12-point margin of victory in the first game, which was considered a “de facto championship game,” was due to KCC’s defense. The Asian quartet of Calvin Jeffrey Epistola and Song Kyo-chang shut down DB’s Lee Sun Albano and Kang Sang-jae. Albano scored 12 points and Kang Sang-jae only 8 points on the day. Laguna completely dominated on the glass. KCC outrebounded DB 42-24, with Lagana grabbing 19 rebounds on his own.

Song Kyo-chang, who scored 22 points in Game 1, said after the game, “We are a super team if we win the championship. They are determined to win the championship and make a name for themselves.

It won’t be easy. No team has ever finished fifth in the regular season and made it to the championship. Only twice (Hyundai Mobis in 2008-2009 and KT in 2010-2011) has the top team in the regular season failed to make it to the championship. Even those two miracle teams, Samsung in 2008-2009 and DB in 2010-2011, didn’t win the title.

KCC needs to overcome all of those mountains before they can call themselves a ‘super team’. DB won’t just back down after getting blown out in Game 1. Albano and Kang Sang-jae, who were pinned down by the defense, will try to save their pride in Game 2. KCC will also have to deal with Lagana’s stamina again in Game 2, as Alize DeShawn Johnson, who injured his ankle in Game 1, is doubtful for Game 2.