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Wisdom v. Power in Coaching

Posted March. 13, 2003 22:26,   


Wisdom of a seasoned coach against power of a young coach.

The 2002-2003 Anycall Pro Basketball Playoff opens on Saturday. Unlike the regular season, the victory is determined in just three games. Therefore, the championship usually goes to a team whose coach copes swiftly.

In the first round, TG Xers take on Mobis Automons, and Korea Tender Prumi confront Samsung Thunders. Each team has a unique team color, and each coach of different experience commands a unique style.

Exers` coach Chun Chang-jin and Prumi`s Lee Sang-yoon worked together in Samsung. Chun has officially become the coach as of this year. Previously, he was just an acting coach. Lee also first took the helm of a pro team this year. In this respect, the two have another in common.

On the other hand, Thunders` Kim Dong-kwong and Authomons` Choi Hee-ahm are seasoned coaches of ample experience. Kim first coached SBS Stars, and got to take the helm of Samsung Thunders in 1998. Then, in the 2000-2001 season, he put the team on top. On the other hand, Choi led Yensei University to championship three times, and settled in the pro league. On his first year in the league, he pushed his team up to the playoff.

▽ Prumi v. Thunders = During the regular season, two teams took on each other 6 times. But Prumi won the "match" by 4 victories. Lee set his goal at 30 wins at the beginning of his season, and now comfortably says, "I think I did enough for this season. We have advanced to the playoff." Lee diagnoses, "The winner will be determined in the second quarter, when only one foreign player can play. If we succeed in giving a less than 10-point lead, we can overturn the game for us." To defend the quarter, Lee plans to tie up Suh Chang-hoon with pressuring defense and change the offense and defense patterns frequently.

On the other hand, coach Kim intends to cope with Prumi`s fast and organized team play by having Suh join defense. Another key to victory depends on how much Thunders cut down on errors. Whenever meeting Prumi, Thunders have made plenty of mistakes.

▽ Xers v. Automons = Despite its balanced power under the basket and the outside, Xers won just two games and lost four to Automons. Since Xers are tall and relatively old, they had hard time checking speedy Automons. Chun, however, opines, "While Deriks played in the last three games of the last season, we were a little weak under the basket. But, he perked up the whole team with his good passing and smart plays."

That is what Choi worries about most. If Deriks runs here and there, arousing confusion among Automons, all Xers will get energized and perform excellently. Coach Choi envisions, "We will make up for our weakness in height with fast defense tactics."

Sang-Ho Kim hyangsan@donga.com