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Unprecedented Defense-Swift Offense, Where Victory Lies

Posted September. 29, 2002 23:02,   


“Find out the secret to overcome the Great Wall.”

Korean basketball team is aiming at the championship in the Asian Games for the first time in 20 years. But China, which is also aiming at the championship to make its 5th in a row, is not an easy opponent at all.

The Dream team of China, which China has boasted of, made its debut to its Korean fans on September 28, 2002. It took on Kuwait, which is one of the powerful teams from the Middle East, in the opening game. In the entry, Hwangtzz, one of the three Chinese players in US NBA, was not found.

Chine led the game by a big margin without putting neither Yaoming nor Mengk Batir on the court. The final scores were for China 78-45.

Yaoming, who was ranked top on the draft list for NBA rookies, joined Houston Rockies this year. During 22 minutes and 35 seconds, he made an amazing record: 15 points, 13 rebounds and 5 block shoots. He is really swift for a player reaching up to 2m23cm. Based on this speedy movement, he did not allow any attempt in the goal area. In addition, his playing covered the whole court, making, for example, three dunks, lay-ups and long-range shoots.

Mengk Batir, whose team is in Denver, started a little less splendidly. For 5 minutes and 57 seconds, he just recorded 8 points and 3 rebounds. But after making his way into the NBA, he concentrated on weight-training and built up his stamina. Now, when he stands under the goal post, it is hard to find any room for maneuvering.

Both of Korean national team’s manager Kim Jin and coach Part Kun-yon, who watched the Chinese game in person, commented, “The absence of Hwangtzz did not weaken the Chinese team. Rather, it has strengthened it, especially under the goal posts.” In terms of height, the most important advantage in basketball, China overwhelmingly exceeds Korea. In terms of speed and strength, which have been the best merits of the Korean team, China has grown remarkably.

The coaching staff of South Korea analyzes that the guard of China has weakened a little with substitution of Shichang and Wey. But its powerful center and forward offense lines are enough to set off the weakness.

Manager Kim said, “We cannot compete with China in terms of height. Now, we have to find our own merits to beat China. We will employ various tactics, such as fast attack and unprecedented defense system. But the choice will be changed situation after situation.”

Sang-Ho Kim hyangsan@donga.com