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LG coach Cho Sang-hyun smiles at his second-place finish.

“I hope they play like they did today.”

Changwon LG head coach Cho Sang-hyun applauds his players after the win.

Cho’s team defeated the Seoul SK 87-73 in the regular season of the 2023-2024 Korean Basketball Association on Tuesday at Jamsil Student Gymnasium in Seoul. With the victory, LG, with a 10-5 record, remained tied for second place with Suwon KT (10-5).

On this day, LG pushed SK hard from the start of the game. They dominated the rebounding battle (46-25) and made a whopping 17 three-pointers, led by Lee Jae-do (25 points, 6 assists), who made 7 of them, and in-form Asem Marei (15 points, 23 rebounds) and Yang Hong-seok (9 points, 10 rebounds).

When asked after the game, head coach Cho Sang-hyun said, “I wish we could play like we did today. I thought it was going to be easy because of the early lead, but we didn’t do what we promised on defense, so we had a bad first half. I told the players at halftime that if we can stop them in transition and not lose the rebounding battle, good things will happen.” “Lee Jae-do and others did a great job of capitalizing on the three-point opportunities that came from the rebounds. We limited them to three turnovers and dominated the rebounding battle, and it paid off. The players did the basic things. I think our foreign player, (Jamil) Warney, did a good job of defending us as we practiced,” he smiled.

As mentioned earlier, the star of the show was Lee Jae-do, whose seven three-pointers on the day were a personal best.

Coach Cho said, “Yesterday at practice, (Lee) did a stupid drill. He practiced shooting three-pointers off handoffs, but he said he didn’t want to do it,” Cho said. “After the game, he said he did something he hadn’t done before and it went well. All of our players have the ability, Jae-do and (Lee) Kwan-hee. It’s important how much they show their abilities on the court.”

Cho added, “(Justin) Gutang and (Yu) Kisang also have offensive talent. Still, we have to play defense first. We have to defend and create turnovers. Against the opponent’s No. 4 big man, Oh Se-geun, (Jung) Hee-jae and (Yang) Hong-seok had a lot of three-point opportunities, and (they) made a lot of them, so I think it was a good result.”

Yoo Yoo-sang (9 points) also stood out, hitting two crucial 3-pointers in the final minute of the fourth quarter to help LG secure the win.

Coach Cho said, “Shooters have to have that distribution. If you don’t find your own shot and don’t shoot, you’re just an average player,” Cho said. “You have to try even if it doesn’t go in. Especially the younger players should keep trying, so LG can improve.” He gave a thumbs up.

Finally, Coach Cho Sang-hyun said, “When we lose a game, we have a very long video meeting with the original players. (But) after the 88-93 loss to KT on the 28th, we kept it short. (We were) the second-ranked team and lost one game in the second round, but I told them not to hang their heads down and do their best.” “When seniors like (Lee) Kwan-hee go through the season, there will be difficulties and complaints, but everyone sacrifices and does a good job. I think it’s LG’s strength,” and gave the players a generous applause.

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