SANA’A, Yemen (21st FIBA Asia U18 Championship): Korean guard Giyun Kim scored a game-high 29 points in the gold medal and immediately reacted “I wish we had won,” exuding the spirit of team work that took the East Asian team to a seven-game winning streak in the competition.
Korea began their campaign with a shocking defeat at the hands of Kazakhstan – a game in which Kim scored a mere seven points, one of the reasons coach Songgug Lee listed later for the defeat.
Leaving out that game – and the ones against Qatar and Malaysia both of which Korea won without raising a sweat – Kim went on to score in the double-digits in each Korean win later. Again, coach Lee listed Kim as one of the key factors for the winning streak.
“We couldn’t cap it with a win,” Kim rued as this correspondent caught up with him moments after the gold medal game.
In all, Kim averaged 13.13 points, 4 rebounds and 4.2 rebounds per game in the competition.
“We are a team that relies on teamwork and rhythm. And each of us have a role to play,” he said.
“Just because I scored so many points doesn’t I am the most important player in the team. Just that I played my role in the team,” he added.
“We enjoy playing together as a team,” said the guard from Goseong situated in the North-Eastern part of Korea.
“I think that is the key to our success,” said the 184cm guard.
Speaking of his ejection for five personal fouls in the gold medal game, “May be I should have stayed for a little longer. We could have taken the score closer.”
Talking of his experience in Sana’A, “I think we can look forward to the future with a lot of positive thinking.”
“But we have work to real hard.”
S Mageshwaran / FIBA Asia