Before the game against North Korea, I was most curious about Park Jin-ah (20), a 6-foot-5 center. She had scored 51 points in the previous game against Chinese Taipei, so I was both curious and excited.
In reality, she was even better than I thought. The last game can be summarized as a five-on-five battle between Park and the Korean team. Their pace was very good, especially from the first quarter.
On the other hand, our players were a little frustrated at the beginning. We started well. Park Ji-soo (Cheongju KB) put in a good pass to make it 2-0. But after that, we didn’t score much. Of course, we didn’t have any outside shots, but it was mainly because we were relying on Park Ji-soo and didn’t create many chances on the inside, so we had to be dragged around a lot by North Korea. You could see the team panicking at the occasional three-point shot by the North Korean player in front of them, player number 7 (Lee Eun Jung). But even so, the key was Park Jin-ah. Our players double-teamed her a lot in one-count situations, when she had a wingman on the ball, and vice versa.
The women’s basketball match between South Korea and North Korea at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games at the Olympic Sports Center on November 29, 2018 in Hangzhou, East China’s Zhejiang Province. South Korea’s Park Ji-soo defends North Korea’s center Park Jin-ah as she tries to drive to the basket in the fourth quarter. Photo by Yonhap
Even in that situation, Park’s play was solid. In the first quarter, we also saw her passing the ball well. None of the North Korean players’ shots went in, except for Park Jin-ah, but if they had, our team would have struggled even more. In the second quarter, we also had some early difficulties. Our outside shots weren’t falling, and the game became frustrating at times as we relied too heavily on Park in both defense and offense.
The women’s basketball match between the Republic of Korea and North Korea at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games at the Olympic Sports Center on the 29th day of the “National Day” in Hangzhou, East China’s Zhejiang Province. South Korea’s Lee Hae-ran shoots a mid-range shot. Photo by Yonhap
It was the introduction of Lee Hae-ran (Samsung Life Insurance, Yongin) that changed the course of the game in the second quarter. With 3:27 left in the second quarter and Korea down by 10 points, Lee came in and scored an end-one, and the game changed from there. Kudos to coach Jung Sun-min for taking a chance on Lee.
Lee So-hee (Busan BNK), the league’s best three-point shooter last season, also made a surprise appearance. At the end of the second quarter, Lee hit a three-pointer from the top of the key. She also made several fast breaks. This was thanks to the rotational defense that kept Park Jin-ah in check. We finished the first half with the fast break, and we used it well to create a chasing situation. That’s what made the second half comeback possible.
Our team kept the momentum going in the second half. Park Ji-soo continued to be active in the offense and defense, and we had a lot of fast breaks. In addition, we started to make some outside shots in the second half, and that really set the tone.
At this point, I have to give credit to veteran Lee Kyung-eun (Incheon Shinhan Bank). She was able to coordinate and hit some 3-pointers from there, and we were able to build a solid double-digit lead midway through the third quarter. In the end, I think the momentum we set at the end of the second quarter was the key to our team being able to play the way we wanted to play in the second half.
The women’s basketball match between the Republic of Korea and North Korea at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games at the Olympic Sports Center in Hangzhou, East China’s Zhejiang Province, on the 29th day of the Mid-Autumn Festival. South Korea’s Park Ji-soo blocks a shot by North Korea’s 205-centimeter center Park Jin-ah in the first quarter. Photo.
-MVP: Park Ji Soo
Several players played well, but the Most Valuable Player (MVP) has to go to Park Ji-Soo. Park Ji-soo’s matchup with Park Jin-ah is not just a tall 2.5-centimeter player. Her defense and instantaneous speed are also good. I watched her go back and forth from one end of the court to the other, a distance of 28 meters. At first glance, she looks slow, but she has good instantaneous speed and is very aggressive in the paint zone.
Against such a player, Park Ji-soo showed good things on offense and defense. Once again, Park Ji-Soo’s value stood out. It’s clear that Park had a world-class performance yesterday. I’d also like to point out that he played nearly 37 minutes without a break, and even though he was substituted in the last three minutes with a thigh problem, he played well for a long time.
Of course, there is also Kim Dan-bi, who showed seasoned play and balance. Park Ji-hyun (Asan Woori Bank) also did a good job. Kang Yiul’s outside shot came late in the game, but there are definitely things to take away from yesterday’s game. If we played like we did against China and Japan in the first two quarters, we would have gone into halftime with a 15-20 point deficit. And we would have had a lot of turnovers trying to turn it around in the second half. The difference in our performance from the first half to the second half was obvious.
Against a good team, we need to make sure that we have that kind of performance in the first half. That’s the key. Even if Park Ji-soo doesn’t find his offensive rhythm, it will still be important for him to be active on defense, and how the players develop the fast break and bring the rhythm and pace of the game to us.
The Women’s Basketball match between South Korea and North Korea at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games at the Olympic Sports Center on the 29th day of the ‘National Day’, Hanja, in Hangzhou, East China’s Zhejiang Province. South Korea’s Park Ji-soo (R) and Lee Hae-ran work together on defense to stop North Korea’s 205-centimeter center Park Jin-ah’s post-up attack. Photo.
-Player to watch: Park Jin-ah
I’m cautiously optimistic about Park Jin-ah, but I’m also cautiously disappointed.
First, if basketball was really systematically managed in Korea, I think her strength would have been better, and she would have been better prepared physically in a good system.
Second, you can tell a lot about a player’s mental strength by the way they play. Sports is a mental game, and that’s what stood out when I watched Park Jin-ah as a basketball player, not as a North Korean player. Our team harassed him quite a bit with traps and double teams. From the very first possession, they were trying to get to him and take the ball away from him, but he was able to manage the situation and not break down even once.
Third, her touch on the ball was quite good. Late in the game, she was able to bump into opponents and get under the basket for layups and hook shots. Even Dae, who is a long player, 온라인바카라 had a lot of shooting skills. Even Park Ji-soo seemed to have a hard time stopping Park Jin-ah by herself. With a double team and Park shaking, Park was able to block and shoot. In a one-on-one physical fight, she was a little bit outmatched.
The women’s basketball match between the Republic of Korea and North Korea at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games at the Olympic Sports Center on the 29th day of the “National Day” in Hangzhou, East China’s Zhejiang Province. South Korea’s Park Ji-soo and Park Ji-hyun work together on defense to block the post-up attack of North Korea’s 205-centimeter center Park Jin-ah. Photo by Yonhap
At the beginning of the game, I said about Park Jin-ah that she fought 1-on-5 with our national team. I thought our other guards, such as Roh Sook-young, who has a lot of national team experience, would do a good job, but that didn’t happen on the 29th. Park Jin-ah filled the void all by herself. Both offensively and defensively.
That’s why it’s even more disappointing. If Park Jin-ah had a more structured education from a young age, I think she would have been able to go beyond Asia and challenge the WNBA (American Women’s Professional Basketball Association) long ago.
If I had to compare Park’s style, I’d say she’s similar to Damiris Dantas, who I used to coach in the past. Her speed is better, but her cleverness under the basket is reminiscent of Dantas. Park is an excellent center who already has that ability.