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Too Exhausted Just to Breathe, But Never Give Up

Posted April. 11, 2005 23:35,   


Some players might dream about being hospitalized to get rest, but no player wants to give away the chance of grabbing the championship without thinking about all the difficult training they had to face all year long. The tingling smell filled the L Hotel in Jeonju, North Jeolla Province where TG Sambo Xers and KCC Egis players were staying. The games held every other day between the two rivals made the players fully utilize sprays and hot patches, resulting in the assailing smells diffusing throughout the hotel.

The 54 regular season and playoff games have finally taken a heavy toll on the players, who were totally exhausted but still eyeing on winning the championship.

Shin Ki-sung, the starting point guard for TG, has been suffering from a horrible flu for more than a week. Runny nose and phlegm continuously irritates him, but he was unable to rest because the team has no backup for his position. He averaged 36.3 minutes through the final three games amid choking defense and terrible physical condition. He barely hung in the game with the injections. "I even have a bruise since I had too many injections. It is so hard to play the game with a runny nose," Shin said.

KCC guard Lee Sang-min had four stitches inside his mouth and a bruised chest after colliding with Shin in the face during Game 2. "I manage to have my first meal in four days. It is hard to breathe since my chest hurts so much," said Lee.

Kim Joo-sung, TG`s starting center, has scratches and bruises all over his body, but he tries to hang on to the bitter memory of the team`s defeat against the same KCC last year in the finals. KCC foreign player Charles Minlend, known to be a family man, lost his grandfather-in-law and decided last Sunday to join his wife and three children to fly back to the U.S., but changed his mind to remain in the game because he couldn`t disappoint his teammates.

With TG leading the series 2-1, mental toughness will be the decisive factor for Game 4 to be held in Jeonju on Tuesday.

Jong-Seok Kim kjs0123@donga.com