Koreas outside shooting beat Russias height advantage.
On May 19, the Bucheon Gymnasium held the Second FIBA (International Basketball Association) World League qualifying games.
Korea, led by three pointers from Byun Yeon-ha (23 points, seven three-pointers) and Kim Kyung-hee (19 points, five three-pointers) beat Russias Super League second place team Dynamo Moscow, 87-72, and has a two game winning streak.
As a result, Korea will advance to the final round taking place in Russia in October, regardless of the result of the remaining game against Australia.
Korean national team coach Park Chan-sook said, I asked my players not to lose their positioning in the paint, even though we have a height disadvantage against Russia. And Im thankful that we made three pointers when we needed to.
Early in the game, Korea, five centimeters shorter in average height than their Russian counterparts, was having difficulties, trailing in rebounds 23 to 31. However, by making 15 three pointers, 13 more than Russias two, the Korean team made its way to victory.
Housewife player Kim Young-ok, who led Woori Bank to win the Womens Korea Basketball League winter season, changed her hair style to a bob, focused on the game play, and scored 10 points in the last half alone.
Korea, trailing 36-39 after the first half, received help from two consecutive three pointers from Kim Young-ok, reversed the game 52-48, and finished the third quarter leading 63-56. Although in the fourth quarter, centers Kim Gye-ryung (six points) and Chung Seon-min (14 points) were expelled from the game with five fouls while defending tall Russian players, Kim and Byuns outside shooting picked up again, consolidating the victory by staking the Korean team to a 81-68 lead with 1:27 left in the final quarter.
Leading teams from the world are participating in the tournament and are divided into groups A and B in Korea and Cuba. The two top teams from each group will advance to the final round, where four other teams will be invited to play in an eight-team tournament.