Anyang KGC will compete in the 42nd William Jones Cup in Taipei, Taiwan, starting on the 12th.
KGC finished last season on a high note. Although they didn’t win the Cup, they won the regular season wire-to-wire, never losing the lead from start to finish.
It wasn’t just the regular season that went well. They also won the EASL title and were the story of the season in the championship finals, where they defeated Seoul SK in a thrilling seven-game series.
But in the offseason, KGC faced a major crisis. Yang Hee-jong (196 cm, F) retired, but the team lost both Oh Se-geun (200 cm, C) and Moon Sung-gon (196 cm, F). Their starting guard Byun Jun-hyung (187 cm, G) also left for Sangmu. Although the team brought in Choi Sung-won (184 cm, G) and Jung Hyo-geun (202 cm, F), they were unable to fully stem the decline.
Nevertheless, KGC head coach Kim Sang-sik said, “The players who played well before left. But the new players have a lot of determination. The same goes for the players who played well before. In the past, there was a clear starter, but now they are competing with each other. There is a good synergy in the process.”
Meanwhile, KGC will depart for the Jones Cup on Nov. 11. “We haven’t really touched the ball yet,” said Kim, who is preparing for the Jones Cup. But there will be no better opportunity than this. It’s not a practice match, it’s a tournament. You can test the players’ skills and do what you want to practice. Of course, we need to perform well, but we want to use it as a time to get the players together and work as a team, and then the results will follow.”
“The most important thing is not to get injured. You can’t have injuries before the season. We did well last season because we didn’t have any major injuries. We need to have an injury-free season this time around.”
When asked about his strategy for the Jones Cup, Kim said, “It will be similar to before. We have some new players, but the big picture won’t change. They’re all experienced, so they’re integrating into the team quickly. (Choi) Sung-won is in very good shape. (Jung) Hyo-geun is in perfect shape, and (Lee) Jong-hyun and (Kim) Sang-gyu are very determined. I’m looking forward to it,” he said, also sharing the physical condition of the new players.
KGC will be without Daryl Monroe (198 cm, F) and Omari 스포츠토토 Spellman (206 cm, F) for the Jones Cup. Instead, they signed Duvon Maxwell (201 cm, F) and Brian Griffin (203 cm, F).
“I wanted a similar type of style to both of them, but it wasn’t easy to find (laughs), but I found players who are as similar as possible. Maxwell is a great scorer. He can score like Spellman. Griffin is young and plays well. He’s a center-style player. Hopefully, they can integrate into the team quickly and do a good job.”