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“One-Point Win Pumps“ Shinsegae Coolcat

Posted December. 27, 2001 09:32,   


The referee blew the whistle simultaneously with the game-ending buzzer.

It was the situation in which the Shinsegae Coolcat led 71-70 by one point. The crowd as well as the players focused their eyes on the signal of referee.

Since the Shinsegae was in a situation with a `foul to give`, if a referee declared a foul for Shinsegae, the Kookmin Bank Savers could have two free throws to win the game. On the contrary, if a foul was attributed to the Kookmin Bank with only three team fouls, the game would have ended with a Shinsegae victory.

However, a nonsensical scene took place at the crucial moment. A referee ruled as a loose ball foul, and the other referee indicated the free-throw two shots for the Kookmin Bank.

The head coaches of both teams wore a rosy look as if they could see only a sign favorable to themselves. In the midst of the commotion of crowd, three referees gathered. They agreed to ascribe a loose ball foul to Kookmin Bank`s Tami Shuttonbrown. While Shinsegae head coach Lee Moon-Kyu urged the players to leave the court with a joy of victory, Kookmin Bank head coach Park Kwang-Ho stood still as if shocked by an unbelievable event.

The Shinsegae won a 71-70 close victory over the Kookmin Bank to grab an outright first place after the fierce contest in the 2002 WKBL winter league supported by the Kookmin Bank yesterday. The Kookmin Bank had been in a rising trend recording three straight wins in the beginning of this season, but it fell to the second place with two straight losses. As strong champion candidates, both teams quarreled with each other very fiercely.

While the Shinsegae has taken advantage of Lee Eun-Joo`s accurate field goals (22 points) using a high screen of Jung Sun-Min (18 points) and an imported center, the Kookmin Bank tried to compete with the imported centers` highly-probable shooting underneath the basket assisted by penetrating passes of alternating point guards Kim Ji-Yoon and Choi Wee-Jung.

It was only 20.7 seconds before the end of game that the Shinsegae seized the chance for victory. The Shisegae could take an one-point lead on free throws of Jung Sun-Min, who made only one out of two shots taking advantage of a foul of opponent Shin Jung-Ja, Jung`s 6-year-younger Masan women`s high school alumnus.

The Kookmin Bank called for a time out immediately, and resumed the offense from the half line. But after Shuttonbrown`s shot missed the rim 1.7 seconds before the end of game, she committed a loose ball foul to blow the chance to reverse the game.

The Hyundai Hyperion won a come-from-behind victory over the Kumho Life Insurance Falcons on outstanding performance of Sanford (23 points) to snap the three straight losses at Cheonju.

Chang Jeon jeon@donga.com