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Albano-Lawson stuck…rebuilding aheadWonju DB’s biggest problem in the quarterfinal playoffs was their over-reliance on their ace.

If Lee Sun Albano and Dedrick Lawson, the MVPs of the domestic and foreign players, respectively, were blocked, DB’s offense was not threatening. In particular, DB relied heavily on Albano to spearhead their offense. In Game 1, which was the most important game of the quarterfinal PO, Busan KCC sent Epistola, who has a good defense, as Albano’s matchup, but Albano struggled against Epistola’s defense, forcing DB to drop Game 1.

With Albano struggling, DB’s offense was forced to rely on Lawson’s isolation. Lawson, one of the league’s top scorers, did his job, averaging 28.0 points through three games, but the long minutes with the ball took a toll on his stamina. The impact was evident in Game 4, 홀덤 where he shot just 19.0% (4-for-21) from the field and was unable to carry the game into Game 5.

With their defense stymied, DB was unable to show the strength that made them the regular season champions. Kang Sang-jae, who was supposed to be the de facto third option, failed to replicate his regular season performance, averaging just 7.0 points in the best-of-four PO. Kim Jong-kyu also struggled mightily, averaging just 5.0 points after going scoreless in Game 4. Core sixth man Park In-woong chipped in with 10.8 points, but the sixth man wasn’t enough to get them to the championship game. “If we stop Albano and Lawson, we can win,” KCC coach Jeon Chang-jin said throughout the series.

Of course, it could also be the effect of KCC’s overwhelming power. KCC is often referred to as a “super team” due to its international lineup of Heo Woong, Song Kyo-chang, Choi Jun-yong, Lee Seung-hyun, and Ra Gun-ah. They only finished fifth in the regular season, but that was due to a series of injuries to key players, and with a full-strength roster, they could have contended for the top spot.

However, it also means that DB’s current strength is not enough to win the championship. Even if Albano and Lawson are unavailable, the team will need a variety of attacking tactics that can break down opposing defenses.

For now, DB is set for a big change. Kang Sang-jae and Kim Jong-kyu are set to leave as free agents, and it’s unclear if Albano and Lawson will stay. With Kang Sang-jae and Kim Jong-gyu showing their limitations in the best-of-four PO, there is also the possibility of a change in the domestic lineup. Doo Kyung-min, who requested a trade during the season and was ultimately left out of the lineup, is also a variable.

“We haven’t discussed it specifically, but we’re planning to rebuild,” Kim Joo-sung said after the quarterfinals. We will actively consider ways to develop younger players,” Kim said after the quarterfinals.

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