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S. Korean men's basketball team seeks to redeem itself at Asian Games

10-21-2010 10:23 BJT Special Report:Guangzhou Asian Games |

SEOUL, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- At the 16th Asian Games, to be held from November 12 to 27 in Guangzhou, China, the men's national basketball team of South Korea will seek to bounce back from its dismal finish in the 2006 Asian Games, the team's head coach Yoo Jae-hak said in a recent interview with Xinhua.

The team wound up in fifth place at the previous Asian Games held in Doha, Qatar, failing to earn a medal for the first time in 48 years. It suffered another humiliating result at the 2009 FIBA Asian Championship in Tianjin, China as it finished in seventh place.

For the Guangzhou Games, the basketball team held overseas training sessions in the United States twice this year. South Korea also recruited National Basketball Association (NBA) Hall of Fame coach Lenny Wilkens from the United States as a technical adviser for the national team.

To boost their chances, the team also opened its door to more South Korean-foreign players.

Lee Seung-jun, a naturalized player who joined the national squad as a center, shared his excitement about being part of the national team. "First of all, I'm very, very honored to be a part of the team. And my goal is to do the best we can. 2002 we won the gold medal in Busan and our goal, definitely, is to recreate the magic we had in 2002," said Lee, who joined the Korean Basketball League (KBL) last year.

The 2.06-meter Lee is expected to give balance to the team against opponents such as China and middle east teams boasting greater height and physique.

Yoo expressed his confidence in the national team's teamwork. "The South Korean basketball team's strength is that players unite as one. And their unity is expressed through defense. I think that is the strongest aspect of the team."

The immediate goal for the national team is to ride into medal contention, and if it succeeds, the ultimate goal is to top the competition, according to Yoo.

Editor:Jin Lin |Source: Xinhua

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