Juan Carlo Mercado

Spoiled by a sword.

Photo Courtesy of SunStar

The Seoul SK Knights exited the Hoops Dome with a ticket to the finals round, vanquishing the Anyang Jung Kwan Jang Red Boosters as they spoil Rhenz Abando's homecoming game in a one-sided showdown, 94-79 in the semi-finals of the East Asia Super League (EASL), March 8.

The Knights' inside and outside scoring partnered with their defense proved to be key for them to boost past against the Red Boosters.

Three-time Korean Basketball League Foreign MVP Jameel Warney showed his might as he sizzled with 38 markers, 16 boards, and six dimes to send the defending champions home.

Nearing the three-minute mark of the clash, the Red Boosters forced a 5-0 run to keep their team afloat, 75-83.

The Knights then quickly sought revenge with a 4-0 run of their own, courtesy of a Warney floater and Yaung Woo Sub's quick layup to beat the shot clock, 87-75.

Youngjun An's steal and wide-open layup served as the exclamation point for this match with the Red Boosters looking helpless in the game's closing moments.

In the first half, the Red Boosters seemed to have struggled to pull away from the forces of the SK Knights with only a two-point margin with five minutes remaining before halftime.

Seoul then took advantage of the Red Boosters' struggle as they let the opposition suffer by as much as 17 points and bullied them by outrebounding Anyang, 44-27.

The Cebuano fans witnessed Abando's 11 points, shooting 3-of-4 from the field including a triple along with his three rebounds and a rejection after suiting up for 20 minutes of action.

“We did our best in the game but it was not enough. They overpowered us in the rebounds. We are going to focus on the next game,” said Abando.

Bob Carter led his squad's scoring parade with a near-double-double performance with 21 markers, nine rebounds, and six dimes.

The loser of the Chiba Jets and New Taipei Kings match will face the Red Boosters in the battle for bronze on Sunday.