South Korea defeats Japan to end 1-1 tie in exhibition series

South Korea’s men’s basketball team has lost its bid for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

The team, led by head coach Ahn Jun-ho, fell 80-88 in their second exhibition game against Japan on Sunday at Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan.

South Korea, which won a thrilling 85-84 victory on Friday on a last-second free throw by Ha Yoon-ki, lost the game and finished 1-1 against Japan in the two-game series.

In the FIBA rankings, Japan is ranked 26th and South Korea is 50th. Despite the loss, South Korea, with a young team with an average age of 24, showed promise by playing an evenly matched game against Japan, who were outmatched in terms of objective strength.

South Korea lost the rebounding battle 24-44, but they didn’t let their shooting accuracy get the better of them. South Korea shot over 40 percent from beyond the arc.

Lee Jung-hyun led the way with 23 points, including five 3-pointers, five assists and three steals, while Lee Won-seok and Yoo Yoo-sang added 18 and 17 points, respectively.

South Korea took advantage of Japan’s five turnovers in the first quarter, led by Lee Won-seok, who scored seven points and hit two 3-pointers. Point guard Lee Jung-hyun also opened up the offense with his steady play.

Leading 22-19 heading into the second quarter, Korea took control with three-pointers from Lee Won-seok and Lee Jung-hyun. Moon Jung-hyun followed with a steal and Yoo Yoo-sang hit another three-pointer to extend the lead to 36-27.

However, Korea’s offense was shut down, and in the meantime, Japan fought back to close the gap. Eventually, Japan scored 14 straight points to make it 36-41.

South Korea broke the silence with a three-pointer from Yoo Yoo-sang, but couldn’t stop Japan’s naturalized player Josh Hawkinson from scoring and 먹튀검증가이드 ended the second quarter with a 39-43 lead.

In the third quarter, the gap between the two teams began to widen. While Korea was unable to penetrate their opponent’s strong defense and managed only three points in the first five and a half minutes, Japan was on fire from inside and outside. Korea was down by 16 points, 42-58.

Lee Jung-hyun broke the silence with two free throws with 4:23 left in the third quarter. Lee Won-seok then opened up the offense, and the Koreans ended the third quarter with a 57-68 lead.

South Korea fought back in the final quarter, led by Lee Jung-hyun. Lee sank a three-pointer with 1:35 left in the game to cut the deficit to six points, 77-83, with 1:35 to play.

But that was as close as South Korea would get. They were unable to stop Hawkinson’s offense and had to settle for an eight-point loss.

Japan was without active National Basketball Association (NBA) players Rui Hachimura (Los Angeles Lakers) and Utah Watanabe (Memphis Grizzlies), but Hawkinson led the way with 34 points and 14 rebounds, while Yuki Kawamura added 17 points and nine assists.

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