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North And South Korea, Which Was Different From Five Years Ago

South Korean women's basketball won the inter-Korean match held as a return match and won the Asian Games bronze medal.

The South Korean women's basketball team, led by head coach Jeong Sun-min (49), defeated North Korea 93-63 in the women's basketball third-place match at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games at Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center in China on the 5th. South Korea, which beat North Korea 81-62 in the group stage on the 29th of last month, also scored a 30-point rematch in six days. Leading center Park Ji-soo scored 25 points and 10 rebounds, and "Captain" Kim Dan-bi (33), who is retiring from the national team after this tournament, scored 21 points and six rebounds.

South Korea, which was on the verge of a "no medal" for the first time in 17 years since the 2006 Doha Asian Games (4th place), saved face by winning a bronze medal. South Korea made its third consecutive finals appearance, including the 2010 Guangzhou (silver medal), 2014 Incheon (gold medal), and the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang (silver medal) Asian Games, which participated in Korea (single inter-Korean team). South Korea has also been on the podium since women's basketball was adopted as an official Asian Games event in 1974, except for the 2006 Doha Games. North Korean women's basketball had to be satisfied with the fourth place (1974, 1982, 2022), the highest performance tie in women's basketball at the Asian Games, except for the unified Korean team at the Jakarta-Palembang Games.

South Korea, which clashed with North Korea for the first time in women's basketball at the Asian Games, which began in 1974, lost 15-21 in the first quarter, giving eight points to Park Jin-ah, a 2-meter, 5-centimeter center born in 2003. However, he attacked around Park Ji-soo in the second quarter and turned the game around 30-27 four minutes before the end of the first half, and finished the first half with a wider score gap of 40-33. Park Ji-soo scored 19 points and six rebounds in the first half alone. In the third quarter, South Korea ran 61-44 with Kim Dan-bi's outside shot to grab the victory. Kim Dan-bi scored 13 points, including three 3-pointers, in the third quarter alone. South Korea, which made the first point in the fourth quarter with Lee So-hee (23)'s outer shot to make it 64-44, 20 points, later widened the gap and confirmed its victory.

In North Korea, center Park Jin-ah scored 27 points and nine rebounds, and North Korea's captain Ro Sook-young, a member of the unified Korean team during the Jakarta Asian Games, scored 20 points and seven rebounds. The South and North Korean players, who competed as a single team at the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games five years ago and won silver medals, played in a cold atmosphere that did not say a word to each other, just like in the group stage. Coach Jeong Seon-min said at a press conference after the match, "A bronze medal is also valuable to the players. "I said let's unite and win to win the bronze medal," he said. "The whole team played so well. It is a touching game in that everyone did their best to win the bronze medal," he said.

Asked whether his mindset for inter-Korean confrontation was special, coach Chung said, "I was not very conscious of inter-Korean confrontation. "We played the game thinking only about the bronze medal, which is a task given to us," he said. "We were pushed back (by North Korea's attack) at the beginning of the first quarter, but we ordered our players to start again with defense." The players have good capabilities, leading to a reversal of the atmosphere, he said. Veteran Lee Kyung-eun (36) shed tears as if she was thrilled, saying, "There are many regrets, but I am happy that I have achieved the beauty of the end."

Through this Asian Games, the Korean women's basketball team felt a deep difference in skills from the top of Asia. South Korea lost 58-81 in the semifinals against Japan, the silver medalist at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. He was dragged by Japan all the time, but he fell to his knees without a significant counterattack. Coach Jeong Sun-min said, "I thought that Korean basketball should try and study more in the future."
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Tuesday, October 10, 2023

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