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Reflections on the ’42-point loss’: “It was my fault for not emphasizing boxing out”

After failing to end a five-game home losing streak, Seoul Samsung acting head coach Kim Hyo-beom placed the blame for the result on himself.

Samsung suffered a heavy 61-103 loss in its 2023-24 regular season home game against Suwon KT at 7 p.m. on Nov. 4 at Jamsil Indoor Gymnasium. The loss was Samsung’s fifth straight at home and its 23rd in the league. A win by ninth-place Daegu Korea Gas Corp. on the same day extended the gap to three games.

Prior to that day, Samsung had a 1-2 record against KT. The team had a history of dominating KT, especially when Kofi Coburn was on fire. However, Coburn has been out of action since suffering an injury against Goyang Sono late last month. Once again, Ishmael Lane was forced to play a lot of minutes.

Midway through the first quarter, the gap wasn’t huge. KT was getting lucky, with one three-pointer after another missing the rim. However, Samsung also suffered from poor shooting from outside, and the gap widened, especially at the end of the first half, when it was 20 points, and in the third quarter, when Heo Hoon and Paris Bass could not stop the showtime, the game was effectively over. It was the largest margin of defeat this season.

“We lost the rebounding battle early on and lost the energy level,” said acting head coach Kim Hyo-beom to the media after the game. “I told the players that it was my fault for the result,” Kim said. We boxed out before we rebounded, and if you only emphasize rebounding against a team with a size advantage, you’re bound to lose. That’s where the points kept coming from, and we couldn’t catch up.”

However, when the reporters asked, “I don’t think the players didn’t know the obvious task,” Kim Hyo-beom, the acting head coach, said, “I was sorry that I missed something and didn’t point it out. In the second half, I told them to practice the things they missed. I need to practice boxing out more thoroughly. Humans are creatures of adaptation, so if you don’t practice, you may miss it.”

After two straight losses, Samsung’s next game is at home against No. 1 Wonju DB on June 6. However, Coburn’s participation is still up in the air. “I don’t think we’re asking Coburn to play just because we lost by 42 points,” said acting head coach Kim Hyo-beom, “I think we need to see the situation. I’m more worried about Lane than Coburn. I think there’s a little bit of discomfort. We’ll try to control the condition of all the players.”

Finally, when the press asked about Samsung’s realistic goals for the rest of the season, Acting Head Coach Kim Hyo-beom said, “If I were to be greedy, I would like to build an elite roster and accumulate wins in the second half of the season after the All-Star break,” adding, “The goal is to lay the foundation for next season. “I’ve been saying this since Lee Kyu-sub was acting coach, but we’re not just playing basketball this year. We have a lot of players with a bright future. It will be important to build a foundation,” he added.

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