Anyang KGC, led by head coach Kim Sang-sik, finished the 42nd William Jones Cup International Basketball Tournament in third place (6-2) after gaining valuable game experience.

KGC faced off against Chinese Taipei A in the final game of the tournament on Tuesday at Heping Gymnasium in Taipei, Taiwan, and lost 64-92. The United States (8 wins) and Chinese Taipei A Team (7-1) won the championship and runner-up, respectively.

At full strength, the outcome could have been different, but KGC was less than half of what it was at the start of the tournament.

Playing seven games in the last eight days, especially a six-game series from the 14th to the 19th, KGC’s stamina was almost depleted. In particular, foreign player Duvon Maxwell, who had been one of the team’s pillars of strength, was unable to practice before the game due to back pain after the previous day’s game against the Taiwan B team. Choi Sung-won and Bae Byeong-joon, who suffered nagging injuries in the early and middle stages of the tournament, and Lee Jong-hyun, who had just joined the team, were focused on recovering their physical condition.

However, head coach Kim Sang-sik and the KGC players were as determined as ever. Kim utilized Lee Woo-jeong, Jang Tae-bin, Kim Chul-wook, and Kim Sang-kyu, who hadn’t seen much playing time, against the Taiwan A team. The starters in the first quarter were Park Ji-hoon, Ko Chan-hyuk, Jung Jun-won, Kim Kyung-won, and Brian Griffin, who was in slightly better shape than Maxwell. However, Griffin was the first to signal that he wasn’t feeling well and went to the bench just three and a half minutes into the first quarter. KGC was forced to play with only domestic players.

Despite all the adversity, KGC managed to even the score early on, especially with a four-point play at the 7:14 mark of the first quarter when they were down 2-4, with Ko Chan-hyuk hitting a three-pointer and the extra free throw he was fouled for. A drive-in by Jung Jun-won and two free throws by Kim Chul-wook tied the score at 10-10 with 5:05 left.

However, the gap widened as the Chinese Taipei A team took advantage of Korea’s weakness of not having a foreign player with their 2m10 foreign center Artino William Joseph. Fortunately, a buzzer-beating three-pointer by Kim Sang-kyu just before the end of the quarter ended the first quarter at 18-22.

The second quarter was dominated by the Chinese Taipei A team. After a relentless Joseph post-up, they built a 10-point lead, 28-18, in less than two minutes, but KGC was not to be deterred. At 7:29, Kim Sang-kyu hit a three-pointer, followed by a mid-range jumper from Ko Chan-hyuk and a dunk from Kim Kyung-won after an exquisite pass from Ko Chan-hyuk to cut the gap. Suddenly, with 3:49 left, Ko Chan-hyuk’s three-pointer from the left corner went cleanly through the rim to make it 32-34.

However, the momentum quickly shifted in Taiwan’s favor as inexperienced players such as Jang Tae-bin and Cho Eun-hu committed a series of turnovers. Coach Kim patiently gave the younger players a chance, but it wasn’t enough to break the tense game. The Chinese Taipei team utilized the twin towers of Hsiang-Chun Liang and Joseph at 2m5, and capitalized on KGC’s turnovers into fast break points. The first quarter ended with the score 36-50.

The third quarter was no different. Chinese Taipei A ran a variety of offensive routes with Joseph as the centerpiece, extending their lead. KGC struggled to regain the lead as they were heavily outrebounded, 5-15. By the end of the third quarter, Taiwan A’s Joseph had 30 points and 12 rebounds in 26 minutes and 11 seconds of play. That speaks volumes about their reliance on him. In addition, another 2-meter big man, Liang Hsiang-chun, pressured KGC from the high post with 10 points and 6 rebounds. By the end of the third quarter, the score was already 48-79. The gap was too much for KGC, which had focused on gaining experience for its domestic players, to overcome.

However, Kim and his team persevered and gave several players a chance. Rather than competing, the team used the tournament to “experiment with diversity and 메이저사이트 practice,” which is the main purpose of participating in the tournament. Forward Eugene, who hadn’t played in the previous seven games, and guards Lee Woo-jung, Cho Eun-hoo, and Jang Tae-bin, who needed more experience, played the fourth quarter. Although they lost, the experience they gained was invaluable.

After the game, KGC head coach Kim Sang-sik said, “I’ve played the Jones Cup a lot, and it’s always a tight schedule. Today, we checked the players’ condition in the morning before the final game, but they were not in good shape due to the hard work, so we had no choice but to play the starters in the first half and then try to rotate them evenly in the second half. The players were really struggling, but they gave it their all,” he concluded.

“We played a lot of players who didn’t play a lot last season, so we were able to see their strengths and weaknesses, and it was also a chance for them to work with our regular players. I think it was a good opportunity for them, and a good learning experience for all of us. As I said before, we will do our best to improve on the bad points we learned from this tournament and do even better in the new season,” he concluded.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *