South Korea’s men’s wheelchair basketball team finished with a silver medal after losing to Japan at the Hangzhou 2022 ParaAsian Games.
The team, coached by Ko Kwang-yup, lost 45-47 to the “Asia’s strongest” Japan in the final at the Hangzhou Olympic Center Gymnasium in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, on Sunday.
The Koreans, who won back-to-back titles in Guangzhou 2010 and Incheon 2014, as well as a bronze medal in Indonesia 2018, were aiming for their first gold medal in nine years, but settled for silver.
South Korea went undefeated in Group B of the preliminary round, winning all four of their games and then defeating China 74-39 in the semifinals to reach the final.
It was expected to be a tough matchup, especially against Japan, a team they had beaten 52-38 in the second round of pool play, but who had won a silver medal at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Starting with aces Kim Dong-hyun (Sport Level 4-Jeju Samdasu) and Cho Seung-hyun (Sport Level 4-Chuncheon Tigers), along with Gong Dae-young (Sport Level 1-Jeju Samdasu), Kwak Jun-sung (Sport Level 1-Coway Blue Wheels), and Kim Sang-yeol (Sport Level 4-Chuncheon Tigers), the Korean team struggled to find offensive routes in the first quarter due to Japan’s tenacious defense.
Down 2-6 after a series of exquisite passes from Japan, coach Ko Kwang-yup called a timeout to regroup.
Korea then began to pull away with a three-pointer from Cho Seung-hyun and a steady stream of rebounds from Kim Dong-hyun. Kim Min-sung (Sports Grade 1.5-Chuncheon Tigers) followed up with a steal and layup.
After winning the first quarter 13-12, South Korea widened the gap in the second quarter.
A Kim Dong-hyun layup, a mid-range shot by 안전카지노사이트 Lim Dong-joo (Sport Grade 2-Coway Blue Wheels), and back-to-back baskets by Cho Seung-hyun pushed Korea’s lead to six points, and at the end of the second quarter, the ball left Kim Min-sung’s hands and crashed through the rim at the buzzer to give Korea a 27-19 halftime lead.
However, South Korea finally gave in to Japan’s furious comeback in the third quarter.
While Korea’s shots kept missing the rim, Japan kept scoring, eventually allowing Japan to score 11 straight points to take the lead.
After regaining the lead with a mid-range shot from Cho Seung-hyun, South Korea seemed to be out of trouble with a steal by Cho and a basket by Kim Dong-hyun.
Entering the final quarter with a 38-35 lead, Japan’s physicality and solid defense kept them in the game, and the two teams went back and forth in a back-and-forth battle.
South Korea scored the first points of the fourth quarter with just over five minutes left in the game when Cho Seung-hyun drove to the basket, but the pendulum was slowly swinging in Japan’s favor.
With 2:28 left in the game, Kei Akita scored to cut the deficit to 42-45, but a dramatic three-pointer by Lim Dong-joo with 1:29 left in the game tied the score and gave Korea one last hope for gold.
However, they immediately gave up a basket to Japan’s Koki Maruyama and were unable to score in the remaining minute as Japan’s cobwebbed defense prevented them from scoring any more points, resulting in a 45-47 loss.
South Korea was led by Cho Seung-hyun with 18 points and Kim Min-sung with 14 on the night, while Kim Dong-hyun grabbed 11 rebounds. 카지노사이트