‘Coming from behind 10 seconds before the end’ Hyundai Mobis wins 79:77 over KT to take series 1-1…Aluma 22 points

Ulsan Hyundai Mobis, led by Kebe Aluma’s game-winning three-pointer, fought back against Suwon KT to even their best-of-five Korean Basketball Association (KBA) best-of-seven playoffs (PO) series at 1-1.

The Hyundai Mobis defeated the Suwon KT 79-77 in the second round of the best-of-five 2023-2024 Korean Basketball Association (KBA) best-of-seven quarterfinals at the Suwon KT Arena in Suwon, Gyeonggi-do, on Sunday.

After a 90-93 loss in Game 1 at the same venue on May 5, Hyundai Mobis will head to Ulsan 스포츠토토 to even the series at 1-1.

Hyundai Mobis entered the PO in sixth place in the regular season (26 wins and 28 losses), while KT was third (33 wins and 21 losses). In the regular season, KT had the edge with four wins and two losses.

Hyundai Mobis won the first game of the comeback, but in the history of professional basketball, which began in 1997, it’s not often that a team that dropped Game 1 has advanced to the best-of-four PO. Only three of the 11 teams that lost Game 1 and won Game 2 went on to the next stage, a 27.3 percent chance.

To stop KT’s leading scorer Paris Bass, who exploded for 32 points in Game 1, Hyundai Mobis sent Aluma to the starting lineup to defend.

Hyundai Mobis seemed to be slowly gaining control as Bass was held to just 10 points in the first half in a nervous battle with Aluma.

Leading 45-39 at halftime, Hyundai Mobis head coach Cho Dong-hyun substituted Gage Prime for Aluma at the start of the third quarter to focus on attacking under the basket.

However, Bass, who was freed from Aluma’s intense guarding, was able to get one-on-one offense and Heo Hoon’s three-pointers helped KT take a 51-49 lead midway through the third quarter.

KT, which regained the lead behind Heo Hoon, who poured in 11 points in the third quarter alone, led by double digits for the first time with just over six minutes left in the game after back-to-back three-pointers by Bass and Moon Sung-gon.

Hyundai Mobis, facing a second straight loss, made a late push. Aluma led the offense from inside and outside the arc as Hyundai Mobis cut the deficit to two points with just over two minutes to play.

Aluma sank a free throw against Bass with 42 seconds left to cut the gap to one, and Kim Ji-wan drove to the basket with 10 seconds to go to pull within 78-77.

Aluma completed the thrilling comeback with four seconds left, battling with Bass and Ha Yoon-ki for a valuable rebound.

Aluma, who guarded Bass exclusively, led Hyundai Mobis with 22 points, while Kim Kook-chan (13 points), Lee Woo-seok and Prime (11 points) also scored in double figures. Ham Ji-hoon’s behind-the-scenes performance was also impressive.

For KT, Heo Hoon finished with 22 points and Ha Yoon-ki with 19, but the team lacked focus at the end.

The two teams will play Game 3 at Ulsan Dongcheon Gymnasium on Jan. 9 at 7 p.m.

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