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Joo and Hwang Will Call the Shots

Posted March. 14, 2003 22:43,   


Suh Chang-hoon (Samsung) and Eric Ebertz (Korea Tender) will call the shots in the bout between Samsung Thunders and Korea Tender Prumi, the first game in the first round of the 2002-2003 Anycall Pro Basketball playoff. But the two players are too big a shot to command the media attention. Instead, coaches of both teams believe that Thunders` Joo Hee-jeong and Prumi Hwang Jin-won would eventually determine the result.

Samsung suffered a lot from its players` weakness at long-range shoots, and maintaining their pace. Joo has been making up for the weaknesses.

In some games, Samsung failed to maintain its more than 20-point lead to Prumi and other teams at the end of the game. It was a nightmare.

Getting into the sixth round, Samsung could get off the spell. Joo, who had difficulty teaming up with Suh, began to work with him in harmony. Thus, Samsung would not give up its lead any more. Due to tutoring by coach Lee Min-hyung, Thunders started regaining confidence in long-range shoots. Joo succeeded in making an average of 42% three-pointers in the sixth round, while his season average was 35%.

Once Suh and Joo team up perfectly with each other, threatening the opponents under and far away from the basket, Thunders will surely win, believes the Thunders coaching staff.

On the other hand, Hwang, around whom Prumi build up its offense, is determined to get even with Thunders. Leading his team`s surprising advance this season, he even got an award for his development. Nonetheless, he would not go easy on Thunders.

Full of the pride from the status of the members who put Chung-Ang University on top, he got picked up by Samsung right upon graduation. Even before making his pro debut, however, he got traded to LG, the biggest hardship he had ever faced.

Then, near the end of last season, he joined Prumi. This season, he demonstrated what potential he had. Securing his spot in the starting lineup, he led his team with his fast play and accurate shooting. The upcoming playoff is the venue for Hwang`s "vengeance." This season, throughout fifty-three games, he scored an average of 14.6 points, and recorded 3.0 rebound and 2.8 assists in a game. Literally, Hwang is hitting his pinnacle.

Sang-Ho Kim hyangsan@donga.com