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Mens Basketball Team Under Ahn Jun-ho Achieves its First Win

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Coach Ahn Jun-ho “The players' attitude as national team players has changed… sense of duty and responsibility”

Kim Jong-gyu looking back on the ‘Hangzhou disaster' “There were various internal problems”

Coach Ahn Jun-ho of the Korean men's national basketball team, who reported their first win with a 34-point victory, was satisfied, saying that they had taken a meaningful first step towards ‘One Team Korea'. 파워볼사이트

The national team led by Coach Ahn defeated Thailand 96-62 in the second round of Group A of the 2025 International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Asia Cup qualifiers held at the Wonju Sports Complex in Gangwon-do on the 25th.

This is the first win since Coach Ahn, who took office last month, debuted as the national team coach.

For Coach Ahn, it is also a victory that marks his return as an on-site leader after 12 years away.

In his debut match away to Australia on the 22nd, he unfortunately collapsed at the end of the game and lost 71-85.

Coach Ahn said at a press conference immediately after the match against Thailand, “After we decided on the slogan ‘One Team Korea', we shared our goals with one mind and one heart.

I emphasized the spirit of being willing to sacrifice one's own glory for the team's success.”

Coach Ahn, who looked back on the big win and smiled, said, “All the players were starters for each team, so they were almost exhausted after the 4th round (KBL).”

He added, “It took 24 hours to go to Australia and 24 hours to get back, but are the players complaining? “There was none,” he praised.

He said, “As a national team player, my attitude has changed.

I played with a sense of duty and responsibility.”

Korea, which was reorganized under Coach Ahn, overwhelmed its opponents with defense from the beginning of the game.

Players such as Oh Jae-hyeon (SK) and Byun Jun-hyeong (Sangmu), who are considered to be among the best in Korea with physique, speed, and strength, increased the intensity of pressure, and forwards such as Song Kyo-chang (KCC) and Kang Sang-jae (DB) also advanced to the front and harassed the opponent.

Thailand's main guns, Frederick Lisi and Moses Morgan, who were struggling under pressure, made a irritating argument during an inbounds pass about 5 minutes before the end of the first half.

Korea, which dominated the rebounds by 48 to 31, also caused 17 mistakes by the opponent.

Immediately after the rebound, the attack speed was especially increased, with a well-organized movement that allowed the player to immediately move into the opponent's half.

Thailand, which struggled against Korea's ‘fast basketball', was dragged by a gap of more than 20 points in the first half alone.

Ha Yoon-ki, who grabbed the most rebounds (14) on the day, looked back on the offensive work and described it as “an attack that goes over (to the opponent’s side) within 3 seconds.”

Coach Ahn said, “Our players are said to be tall at home, but when they go to the international stage, they have to overcome their height disadvantage.

The starting point is strong defense,” and added, “The trend these days is fast basketball.

Increasing the speed of offense and defense is the color of our team.” He emphasized.

He continued, “I think that if more accurate and detailed organizational skills are added, we will become a cohesive and quite good team.”

Veteran center Kim Jong-gyu confessed that the ‘team spirit’ emphasized by Coach Ahn could not be found at the Hangzhou Asian Games.

Kim Jong-gyu, looking back at the last Asian Games, which finished in 7th place, the lowest ranking in history and was even self-deprecatingly called the ‘Hangzhou disaster', said, “It's a shameful story, but there were many bad things internally at that time.”

He added, “We reflected on that and talked to the players about not repeating the same mistake when they reconvened.”



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