BUSAN – Before Game 1 of tonight's series against Wonju, Charles Rhodes said his team was ready – and he was right.
The Sonic Boom took the first game of the best-of-five series with a 73-68 win in front of a packed crowd at Sajik Gymnasium, Monday night, their first game in almost two weeks. They have been practicing and scrimmaging college teams in the meantime preparing for the semifinals.
"We're ready. It's go hard or go home," Rhodes said before the game. "It's time to show them what we got."
Coach Jeon Chang-jin said that he anticipated a tough series, which he thinks will take five games to win.
"We have a solution for their star Kim Joo-sung, but we are worried about Yoon Ho-young," he said.
KT, who won 41 regular season games, showed no signs of rust, jumping out to a quick lead, and not allowing Wonju to mount an offensive attack for almost four minutes. Soon after, they went ice-cold from the field, not being to capitalize and fell behind by five after the first quarter after missing all eight of their three point attempts.
The tough defensive game continued in the second quarter, and KT came alive after Rod Benson got his second foul. Two quick three pointers helped them to retake the lead, and Charles Rhodes was unstoppable under the rim. The Sonic Boom outscored Wonju 21-9 in the quarter to take a 33-26 halftime lead.
The third quarter was much like the first, with Victor Thomas scoring 11 points for Wonju to take a one point lead at the end of the third.
In the end, KT rebounded and once again put on a strong defensive effort to regain the lead. Charles Rhodes, who poured in 24 points and 15 rebounds was too much, and Cho Sung-min added 19 to seal the win for KT.
Game 2 is Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Sajik Gymnasium.
By Jeff Liebsch