Jung Hee-jae (35, 195 centimeters) gives a word of encouragement to Yang Hong-seok.

Changwon LG won 98-63 at home against Seoul Samsung in the regular season finale of the 2023-2024 Korean Basketball Association (KBA) on Jan. 31 at Changwon Gymnasium. LG, which clinched second place in the regular season, got points from every player on the roster.

Jung Hee-jae finished with nine points and two assists in 13 minutes and 18 seconds of action. It wasn’t a lot of minutes, but Jung’s contributions were all over the offense. Jung Hee-jae scored back-to-back baskets late in the first quarter to set the stage for the comeback. LG maintained the momentum from there and cruised to the win.

“It was a good win,” said Jung Hee-jae after the game. I was sorry that we played so badly against SK (28th). The coach told us to reflect, and I think the atmosphere we set from the beginning of the workout came out in a good performance.”

“After a long time, (Yoon) Won-sang came in and energized me. It was emotional. I’m glad he did a good job because he must have been suffering a lot,” he said, welcoming Yoon’s return.

LG had many twists and turns this season, including injuries to Dante Cunningham and Asem Marey, but they still managed to secure second place in the regular season.

“It was a season of worry,” says Jung. The expectations around us were too high. This season was unusually long. It’s difficult for all teams to build a team without foreign players, but we did well under the circumstances. The domestic players talked to each other a lot and became closer. That’s why we were able to play well when Marei joined us,” he reflected on the season.

When asked about his own performance, he said, “I will always be consistent. I think it was interesting this season because a lot of foreign players came in, especially forwards. I tried to block them well, so I think I was good and I could see the way.”

LG reached the quarterfinals of the playoffs last season, but an injury to Marei and other setbacks prevented them from advancing to the championship game. This time around, the team has a different attitude toward the playoffs.

“First of all, I’m grateful that the regular season ended without any injuries. Many people say we failed last season, but I don’t think so. Injuries are a skill, but not a failure. If we follow the coach’s tactics based on last season’s experience, I think we will bring good results.”

“I would like to say something to (Yang) Hong-seok. He is doing the best among the free agents this season. So don’t worry. He’s doing well enough,” he said in a message of support.

He added, “The crowd is different in the playoffs. I’ve experienced it before and I’m used to it. I’m proud to hear the fans cheering for me. I’m proud of our home games. The support is incredible. I’m always grateful and I want to do another playoff with them,” he said.


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