Abarrientos, Ulsan crush Goyang to close in on KBL semis berth

Apr 4, 2023

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THUMBS UP. RJ Abarrientos keys the Mobis Phoebus to victory.

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KBL Rookie of the Year RJ Abarrientos and the Ulsan Hyundai Mobis Phoebus gain control of their best-of-three quarterfinals against the Goyang Carrot Jumpers

MANILA, Philippines – RJ Abarrientos and the Ulsan Hyundai Mobis Phoebus moved on the cusp of the semifinals in the Korean Basketball League after an 86-71 thumping of the Goyang Carrot Jumpers on Sunday, April 2.

Recently crowned the KBL Rookie of the Year, Abarrientos finished with 9 points, 5 assists, and 3 rebounds as the Mobis Phoebus gained control of the best-of-three quarterfinals.

Seo Myeong-jin showed the way for Ulsan with 18 points, 5 assists, and 4 rebounds, while Ham Ji-hoon fired 16 points to go with 7 rebounds.

American import Gaige Prim put up a 13-point, 14-rebound double-double with 3 steals for the Mobis Phoebus, who are a win closer to arranging a semifinals duel with Rhenz Abando and the league-leading Anyang KGC.

Ulsan trailed 15-17 at the end of the opening quarter before its found its groove, scoring twice as many as Goyang in the second period, 28-14, for a 43-31 halftime lead and cruised the rest of the way.

Lee Jung-hyun paced the Carrot Jumpers with 21 points and Dedric Lawson chalked up 20 points and 13 rebounds in the loss.

Only three Filipino imports remain in contention for the KBL title: Abarrientos, Abando, and Justin Gutang of the Changwon LG Sakers.

Just like Abando and Anyang, Gutang and Changwon advanced directly to the semifinals after ending the regular season as the second seed.

In the other quarterfinals pairing, the Seoul SK Knights earned an 89-73 win over the Jeonju KCC Egis on Monday.

Abarrientos and the Mobis Phoebus will try to punch their semifinals ticket when they face the Carrot Jumpers again on Tuesday. – Rappler.com

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