Seoul SK Knights open strong; Stephenson’s Liaoning debut wows
[Macao SAR – September 17, 2019] — “East Asia Super League – The Terrific 12,” co-organized by Sports Bureau of Macao SAR Government and Asia League Limited (Asia league), opened today at Tap Seac Multi-sport Pavilion.
At 3pm on September 17, the first game opened between the Korean Basketball League (KBL)’s Seoul SK Knights and the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA)’s Blackwater Elite, ending with a comfortable 93-77 victory for the Knights. This victory set the Knights off to a good start at The Terrific 12. Knights foreign import player Jameel Warney was outstanding, scoring 26 points and 14 rebounds. Kim Min Soo put up 18 points, with Seoul’s other foreign import, Aaron Haynes, achieving 16 points and eight assists. On Blackwater, Alexander Stephenson stormed through with 22 points and 22 rebounds, while Marqus Blakely had 14 points and five rebounds.
In the second match, Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) powerhouse Zhejiang Guangsha Lions took on the Jeonju KCC Egis. Both sides boasted powerful defense which heightened the competition. In the end, Zhejiang proved to be a cut above, triumphing with 88-67. Guangsha’s defense was especially notable, as they repeatedly capitalized on their opponents’ mistakes to gain the advantage. Guangsha’s strengths were clear as Hu Jinqiu and Jalen Reynolds ruled under the basket. The Egis’ attack options were limited due to the lack of Lee Jung-Hyun, leaving the task of point scoring to Marcus Keene, although he ultimately did not receive the support he needed from the team.
The San Miguel Beermen are a force to be reckoned with in the PBA, being the PBA team with the most successful history and the current dual champions of the 2019 Philippine Cup and Commissioner’s Cup. The Beermen maintained a lead against a forceful attack by the Shenzhen Aviators, claiming a win in the third match of the day before a crowd packed with Philippines fans. The Beermen had five players with double-digit points, including the newly arrived Dezmine Wells, who led with 29 points and eight rebounds. Terrence Romeo scored 17 points, seven rebounds and three assists, while Chris Ross and Christian Standhardinger both racked up 11. Lester Prosper followed with ten points. On the Shenzhen Aviators, foreign import player Pierre De Shawn Jackson scored 18 points and nine rebounds, while He Xining scored 11 points and “Big Bird” Shen Zijie achieved ten points and 12 rebounds.
At 9pm, the last match of the day saw the CBA Liaoning Flying Leopards take on the PBA TNT KaTropa, with Liaoning triumphing 96-91 despite being short crucial players. New foreign import player Lance Stephenson was a hurricane, racking up an impressive tally in his debut for Liaoning. Stephenson scored 31 points, had seven rebounds and gave eight assists. The Tunisian center Salah Mejri, on a one-month contract with Liaoning, also excelled, dominating under the basket with 22 points, 11 rebounds, and four blocked shots. Additional, He Tianju and Cong Mingchen both scored ten points. On TNT KaTropa, McKenzie Moore led the game with a whopping 41 points, while KJ McDaniels scored 32 points and nine rebounds.
The opening day of the group stage of “East Asia Super League – The Terrific 12” has closed to the cheers of roaring fans. Tomorrow, the Shenzhen Aviators take on the defending champs the Ryukyu Golden Kings—stay tuned.
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