‘Ko Chan-hyuk’s penalty kick’ leads KGC to victory over Japanese university team
KGC, led by Ko Chan-hyuk, wins against Japan’s national team.
Anyang KGC, which competed in the 42nd William Jones Cup International Basketball Tournament as the KBL’s unified champion for the 2022-2023 season, earned a hard-fought victory over a Japanese national team composed of college players.
KGC earned their third win of the tournament with a hard-fought 97-89 victory over Japan in Game 4 at Heping Gymnasium in Taipei, Taiwan on Saturday.
“We have a lot of games left to play, so we want to prevent injuries and give several players a chance to play,” said KGC head coach Kim Sang-sik before the game. An unexpected person who was given the opportunity ended up becoming the ‘victory fixer’. Second-year pro Ko Chan-hyuk scored a team-high 23 points, including six three-pointers. He scored 17 points, including four three-pointers, in the decisive fourth quarter alone.
In the first quarter, KGC didn’t make things easy for themselves, as turnovers (4) and extreme three-point shooting woes (11 attempts, 1 made) plagued them despite a commanding rebounding advantage (16-8). Maxwell’s driving layup and Bae Byung-joon’s three-pointer made it 11-7 early in the quarter, but back-to-back missed three-pointers and poor free throw shooting prevented them from pulling away after the midway point. Meanwhile, Japan went on a 12-11 run, led by two 3-pointers from Hiyu Ozawa. KGC brought in Bryan Griffin to attack the basket. Japan responded with paint-zone baskets from Futa Suzuki and Yori Iwaya, and the first quarter ended 20-20.
In the second quarter, KGC’s three-point shooting came alive. Bae Byeong-jun (2), Lee Woo-jung, and Kim Sang-kyu hit four 3-pointers in a row early in the quarter, and they quickly pulled away. The score was 34-25 after five minutes. Kim pulled all of his foreign players in the second quarter and distributed the minutes to his domestic players. As the advantage under the basket disappeared, the rebounding and shooting percentages started to drop.
Eventually, the tide turned at the end of the second quarter as KGC struggled to find their offense. With 2:30 left in the quarter, Ko Chan-hyuk hit a three-pointer to make it 38-31, but KGC went scoreless from there. Japan, on the other hand, scored 10 straight points, including a paint-zone hook shot by center Anthony Shosuke, a fastbreak layup by Haruki Ito, and back-to-back baskets by Riku Kato, to end the half with a 41-40 lead.
After resetting the tone at halftime, KGC brought Maxwell back into the game in the third quarter to bolster their rebounding. Maxwell had seven rebounds and eight points in the third quarter alone, providing a solid cushion on offense. Bae Byeong-jun also hit two three-pointers to keep the game close. KGC ended the third quarter with a 65-59 lead.
The fourth quarter was no easier. Japan took the lead early in the quarter with two three-pointers from Kai Sugawara. Shogo Wanatabe’s mid-range jumper tied the game at 70-70 at the 7:15 mark. From then on, it was a seesaw game until the end. Japan threatened KGC with Anthony’s driving layups and three-pointers and Dai Nemoto’s dunks.
At the crunch time, Ko Chan-hyuk stepped up to the plate. Down 78-80 with 3:29 left in regulation, Ko hit a three-pointer to lead the comeback. He followed 카지노사이트 that up with a game-winning three-pointer with 1:15 left to make it 87-80. The shot proved to be the difference, as KGC withstood a late Japanese offense to secure the eight-point victory.
“Actually, I felt the same during the game and after the game, but I think this is the game that a coach should reflect on the most. I was caught off guard before the game, and so were the players. I think the players need to think about what didn’t go well today and make sure they don’t repeat the same mistakes. We’ll do our best in the future,” he concluded.
“Japan’s small lineup and offense was stronger than we expected. We shot well from three-point range overall, but our defense wasn’t quite right. I think we were caught off guard by their offense early on.”