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Korean Team Seeks Revenge for Humiliation at Doha

Posted January. 27, 2007 07:24,   


The Korean men’s basketball experienced the humiliation of its first medal-less event in 48 years at the 2006 Qatar-Doha Asian Games held last December. The basketball team managed to reach the quarterfinals, but then it met China.

China lost to Korea during the 2002 Busan Asian Games even with “The Walking Great Wall” Yao Ming playing, but they were different this time. They beat the Korean team, which was not completely organized after bringing in young players, by a score of 68-52.

The chance to revenge the “humiliation of Doha” has come with the Korea-China professional basketball all-star games.

The five Chinese players who were in the starting lineup against Korea at Doha are included on the Chinese team for these games. In fact, of the 12 Chinese players who went to Doha, all except for three will play.

The Korean team is much more stable than it was at Doha. Inexperienced players such as Ha Seung-jin and Yang Hee-jong have been replaced with veterans.

Still, China will be a tough team to beat.

Players such as Wang Zhizhi (30, 214 cm) and Yi Jianlian (20, 212 cm) are NBA quality. Yi Jianlian, whom NBA players Wang Zhizhi and Yao Ming have both praised as being better than themselves, was one of the key players who scored 34 points against Korea at Doha to lead the team to victory. Korea is disadvantaged in height as well. The average height of the Chinese all-star team is 201.1 centimeters, 10 centimeters taller than the Korean team (191.1 cm.).

The Korean team has high hopes for its long-range shooters including Kim Seung-hyun (Orions), Shin Ki-sung (KTF), Yang Dong-geun (Mobis), Kang Hyuk (Samsung), and Bang Sung-yoon (SK). Kim Joo-sung (Dongbu) and the team’s foreign players will guard the inside. Kim Joo-sung, who was not in top condition at Doha and was unable to live up to his name, is especially determined to put up a good fight.

Although it is a friendly match, it is also a match to defend the pride of each country. The first game of the all-star series will be held at 5:00 p.m. on January 28 in Wuxi, Jiangsu (China).