Professional basketball cat Sono made his debut. But it came up short.
The Sono, led by head coach Kim Seung-ki, played an overtime game against Seoul Samsung in Group C of the 2023 MG SaeMaeGogo KBL Cup 토토 at Wolmyeong Gymnasium in Gunsan, Jeollabuk-do, on Tuesday. However, they showed a lack of heart and lost 90-100.
Sono, which was founded last season after acquiring players from the disbanded Carrot (Day One), started Lee Jung-hyun, Kim Min-wook, Kim Kang-sun, Jeon Sung-hyun, and Jerrod Jones to take a 27-16 lead in the first quarter. Jones hit two three-pointers and Lee Jung-hyun and Han Ho-bin added to the offense in the second quarter to give Sono a 49-46 lead.
However, SONO gave Samsung a 67-70 lead in the third quarter after Lee Jung-hyun and Lee Won-seok hit three-pointers, and the fourth quarter was a back-and-forth affair. Leading 86-83, Sono gave up a three-pointer to Lee Jung-hyun to send the game into overtime, and the explosion of Lee Jung-hyun and Lee Won-seok gave Samsung the win.
Sono was bolstered by the return of Jeon Sung-hyun and Lee Jung-hyun, both of whom were sent to the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games basketball team. However, they had to accept defeat as Jeon (3 points) was not at 100%. Instead, Lee paced the team with 29 points and six assists. Jones did his part with 26 points and 10 rebounds.
Meanwhile, Samsung, who lost their first game against Seoul SK, improved to 1-1 with the win. Samsung was led by Lee Jung-hyun’s 30 points (9 assists) including 6 three-pointers, Lee Won-seok’s 18 points and 12 rebounds, and Kofi Coburn’s 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Wonju DB won the first game, 96-84, against Sangsang. DB had six players in double figures with Kang Sang-jae (20 points, 7 rebounds), Kim Jong-kyu (17 points, 6 rebounds), Lee Sun Albano (17 points), Didrik Lawson (12 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists), Garrison Brooks (12 points, 7 rebounds), and Park In-woong (10 points). In the loss to Suwon KT, the Sangsung got strong performances from Lee Yong-woo (14 points), Park Jung-hyun (13 points, 7 rebounds), and Han Seung-hee (14 points, 9 rebounds), but were unable to secure the win and suffered their second straight loss.