Seoul SK gets back at Abando, Anyang in EASL semis

John Bryan Ulanday - Philstar.com
Seoul SK gets back at Abando, Anyang in EASL semis
Jameel Warney (34)
East Asia Super League

LAPU-LAPU CITY – Vengeful Seoul SK finally solved the puzzle of title holder Anyang reinforced by Filipino import Rhenz Abando with a convincing 94-79 win in the East Asia Super League (EASL) Final Four Friday at the Hoops Dome here.

Jameel Warney sizzled with 38 points and 16 rebounds as the Knights exacted sweet revenge on their compatriots and broke through to the one-game finale on Sunday against the winner of the other semis battle as of press time between the New Taipei Kings and the undefeated Chiba Jets of Japan.

Jaehyun Oh fired five triples for 20 points, Youngjun An had 13 while Leon Williams dropped nine points and 13 rebounds to complement Warney, the EASL’s best scorer, in a scattered attack.

Seoul bowed to Anyang in an all-Korean championship of the EASL Champions Week as well as the Korean Basketball League (KBL) finals last year.

But not this time around.

“We’ve been second placers in the past years. We just want to compete this time around, play hard and try to get the win. That’s what we did and that’s what we gonna do in the finals,” said Warney.

Led by former PBA import Jamil Wilson, the Red Boosters scored the first five points and took a 26-23 lead after the opening salvo only for the Knights to find their groove in the second behind Warney and the hot-shooting An.

Warney and An put up 15 and 11 points, respectively, at the half alone as Seoul limited Anyang to only 14 points in the second quarter to snatch the lead at the turn, 45-40.

It was all Seoul since then, keeping Anyang at bay until a strong finish punctuated by An’s roaring slam and Oh’s triple for a 92-75 gap heading home.

Imports Robert Carter Jr., (21) and Wilson (14) paced the Red Boosters with Abando posting 11 points on 4-of-4 freethrows.

Abando, who shrugged off a nagging back injury to put on a show for the Filipinos fans when he checked in the 2:35 mark of the first quarter, added three rebounds in his Philippine return since the FIBA World Cup stint here last year with Gilas Pilipinas.

Seongwon Choi (11) and Hyogeun Jeong (10) also had contributions, but Anyang still fell short to settle in the bronze medal match against the loser between New Taipei and Chiba.

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