Without Heo Hoon and Jeon Sung-hyun, the South Korean men’s national basketball team suffered a disappointing loss against Japan.
Head coach Chu Il-seung’s men lost 80-85 in their second exhibition game against Japan at Jamsil Student Gymnasium in Seoul on Wednesday. South Korea, which won the first game 76-69 the previous day, split the two-game series with Japan, its first in four years since the William Jones Cup in July 2019.
The team has seen both promise and challenges in the run-up to next month’s Paris 2024 Olympic qualifiers and the Hangzhou Asian Games in September. In the absence of Oh Se-geun and Ragan-ah, Ha “Baby Hulk” Yoon-ki stepped up and showed his destructive power under the goal. However, it was disappointing to see that they were unable to find a groove in their offense as they panicked under the opponent’s pressure.
Heo Hoon and Jeon Sung-hyun, who led the offense the day before, were held to five and three points, respectively. Lee Woo-seok led the team with 15 points, including three three-pointers. He was followed by Ha Yun-ki with 14 points and two rebounds and Song Kyo-chang with 13 points, three assists and five rebounds.
Japan was led by Shuta Hara with 14 points, including three 3-pointers. Point guard Yuki Togashi added 13 points and three assists, while Keisei Tominaga had 12 points and three rebounds.
메이저사이트 South Korea opened the first half with four straight points from Ha Yun-ki off passes from Heo Hoon and Song Kyo-chang. Heo Hoon and Song Kyo-chang followed with three-pointers, and on the fast break, Ha Yoon-ki extended the lead with a rim-breaking dunk, but Korea was out-shot and out-rebounded and ended the first quarter with a 16-20 lead.
Japan’s Dominagawa Hara set the tone in the second quarter with a three-pointer. Korea was down by as many as 12 points at one point as Ha Yoon-ki and Park Ji-hoon made mistakes with loose passes. Lee Woo-seok came off the bench and took over. He scored 11 points in the second quarter, including three 3-pointers, to close the gap to 40-48.
Korea used a combination of zone and man-to-man defense on defense midway through the third quarter, stopping six consecutive Japanese attacks, and took the lead with baskets from Ha Yun-ki and Lee Seung-hyun and Jeon Sung-hyun’s first three-pointer of the game. However, the lead was short-lived as Japan scored from the outside and inside.
Trailing by six points heading into the fourth quarter, Korea was unable to overcome Japan’s pressure defense on offense and allowed Hugh Watanabe and Hirotaka Yoshii to break through under the basket on defense. Kim Jong-kyu, Yang Jae-min, and Park Ji-hoon scored in the final minutes of the game, but were unable to close the gap and the game ended as it did.