South Korea men’s basketball loses to Japan after ‘allowing 13 3-pointers’

After five years, Japan completes a 1-1 tie against the U.S.

South Korea’s men’s basketball team couldn’t stop Japan’s outside shooting.

Head coach Chu Il-seung’s men’s basketball team gave up 13 three-pointers and lost 80-85 in the second game of the KB Home Bank 2023 Men’s National Basketball Tournament against Japan at Jamsil Student Gymnasium on Wednesday.

South Korea, which won 76?69 the previous day, finished the two-game series with Japan, its first in five years since 2018, 1-1.

After losing the previous game, Japan head coach Tom Horvath noted that they were “outplayed by Korea’s physicality.”

As if to compensate, Japan didn’t shy away from the physicality of the first game and actively participated in the rebounding battle. They used space to attack from the perimeter and neutralize Chu Il-seung-ho’s defense.

They made 13 three-pointers. It featured far more three-point attempts (45) than two-pointers (27). Eight of the 12 players on the roster also made three-pointers.

South Korea also made 10 three-pointers, but couldn’t maintain the rebounding advantage they had the day before. They were outrebounded 31-34.

Japan was strong in the paint, with starting guard Yuki Togashi (13 points) scoring the first eight points of the third quarter.

Keisei Tominaga, who attends the University of Nebraska in the NCAA, also scored 12 points, including two three-pointers, while Shuta Hara added 14 points.

Korea’s offense was led by Lee Woo-seok (Hyundai Mobis), Ha Yoon-ki (KT), and Song Kyo-chang (Commerce), but Heo Hoon (Commerce) and Jeon Sung-hyun (Sono), who played well the day before, struggled with poor form.

Lee Woo-seok scored 15 points, including three three-pointers, while Ha Yoon-ki had 14 points and two blocked shots, including a spectacular dunk. Song Kyo-chang also contributed 13 points. Heo Hoon and Jeon Sung-hyun had just five and three points, respectively.

South Korea trailed by 12 points, 23-35, at one point in the second quarter, but fought back behind Lee Woo-seok and Lee Dae-heon (Gasworks). At the end of the quarter, Song Kyo-chang’s three-pointer brought them within three points, 40-43.

However, Japan calmly scored five points to regain the lead. Korea ended the half trailing 40-48.

At the start of the second half, Lee Seung-hyun and Ha Yun-ki scored back-to-back baskets to start the chase.

Japan picked up the momentum as Togashi, who was held to three points in the first half, scored the first eight points of the third quarter on his own.

At this point, Chu Il-seung-ho halted the Japanese offensive flow with a zone defense. Japan squandered their chances by taking unnecessary shots.

Song Kyo-chang, Ha Yoon-ki, and Lee Seung-hyun took advantage of the gaps and scored evenly. With 2:40 left in the third quarter, Lee Seung-hyun’s post-up tied the game at 58-58. With just over two minutes left, Jeon Sung-hyun’s three-pointer made it 61-60.

However, once again, the quarter ended on a sour note. Korea scored seven straight points to end the third quarter trailing 61-67.

In the fourth quarter, Japan’s offense was stronger. They adapted to the zone defense and attacked the Korean rim with ease through passing and movement.

South Korea is preparing for the Paris 2024 Olympic Qualifiers in August and the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games in September. 한국야동 Japan will compete in the FIBA World Cup next month.

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