Reigning champions off to slow start as 2022-23 KBL season begins
The 2022-23 Korean Basketball League (KBL) season officially kicked off on Saturday, with all 10 teams playing their first matches over the weekend.
Established in 1997, the KBL regular season starts in October and ends in April or May the following year.
This KBL season started Saturday with 10 clubs — Anyang KGC, Changwon LG Sakers, Jeonju KCC Egis, Seoul Samsung Thunders, Seoul SK Knights, Suwon KT Sonicboom, Ulsan Hyundai Mobis Phoebus, Wonju DB Promy, Daegu Kogas Pegasus and the newly renamed Goyang Carrot Jumpers — each playing 54 games, 27 at home and 27 away throughout the season.
After the 270 games are over, the regular season will come to an end on March 29 next year, and the top six clubs will advance to the postseason.
Last season, the top six teams in order of their regular season standings were the SK Knights, KT Sonicboom, KGC, Mobis Phoebus, Goyang Orion Orions and Kogas Pegasus.
However, last season’s top two clubs appear to still need some time to adjust, after the defending champion Knights and runners-up Sonicboom both dropped their first match of the 2022-23 season, with the Knights losing to the Mobis Phoebus and Sonicboom to the KGC.
Ulsan beat Suwon 85-76 in the first match of the entire season, while Anyang beat Seoul 88-75 in the second match.
Last season, the Seoul Knights won both the Championship title and season title for the first time. It was also the first time in five years that the Knights had won the Championship trophy.
The Knights ended last year’s regular season with 40 wins and 14 losses, three wins more than the Sonicboom. Anyang KGC finished third with 32 wins and 22 losses.
Throughout KBL history, the Mobis Phoebus have the most regular season titles. They have won seven times, most recently in the 2018-19 season, and finished runner-up three times. The KCC Egis have five wins and five runner-up finishes, while DB Promy have five wins and two runner-up finishes.
Phoebus have seven Championship titles, the most in the league. They won both the regular season and the playoffs five times in 1997, 2006-2007, 2009-2010, 2014-2015 and 2018-19. KCC Egis have won five championship titles and both DB Promy and Anyang have won the championship title three times.
On Saturday, alongside Ulsan and Anyang, Goyang won their first match as the Carrot Jumpers, beating Wonju 87-80, despite dropping their second match against Anyang 73-62 on Sunday.
The Gyeonggi club, formerly the Goyang Orion Orions, was recently purchased by Day One Asset Management, a unit of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, which sold the naming rights to car insurance company Carrot Insurance.
On Sunday, Seoul Samsung Thunders beat Changwon 65-62 and Jeonju KCC Egis beat Daegu 81-72.
The KBL weekday fixtures continue on Tuesday as Changwon faces Jeonju at home.
BY YUN SO-HYANG [firstname.lastname@example.org]