“It’s actually very hard,” said Chung Hee-jae, realizing that the absence of Asem Marey is a big one.
Changwon LG snapped a three-game losing streak with an 87-80 victory over Daegu KOGAS on Tuesday at Daegu Gymnasium in the 2023-2024 Korean Basketball League. LG, which had lost two straight games to KOGAS after releasing Dante Cunningham and bringing in Juan Tello, relied on its domestic players to secure the win despite being without Asem Marey.
LG jumped out to an 11-4 lead just 2 minutes and 49 seconds into the game, and that’s how much they led at the end of the game.
“From the start, we gave them 11 points in a short three minutes with easy baskets,” said 바카라사이트 GAS acting head coach Kang Hyuk after the game.
LG started the game with two three-point plays from Jung Hee-jae: a free throw and a three-pointer off a tip-in offensive rebound.
Jung Hee-jae, who helped his team win with nine points, three rebounds, and two assists on the day, said, “I felt good shooting from the beginning of the game. The Korean players were tough in terms of physical strength. I thought it was an important game today, so I took the initiative and played with a lot of fight, including defense.” “Every game is important, but we’re on a three-game losing streak, and I didn’t want to lose four in a row,” he reflected on the game.
When asked what went well in contrast to the previous three consecutive losses, Jung Hee-jae said, “If you look at the games we lost or the games we didn’t play well, our team strength is fast breaks after defense, but everyone was blocking their own.” “Today (the 10th), we said, ‘Let’s help each other,’ and we know it’s hard, but the team defense was good, helping each other one step at a time,” he said.
A big reason for LG‘s recent struggles is the absence of Asem Marei.
“It’s hard, actually. I’m not disrespecting Ibarra or Tello,” he said, adding, “It’s hard because we work together in the offseason, and we have a pattern, and then it all falls apart and we start over. I’m trying to get through it, and he’s trying to make it as stress-free as possible.”
Jung Hee-jae, one of the players who benefited the most from playing with Marei, said, “I had some free shots because he was so good at getting me out of the way. At first, I couldn’t get used to it because I didn’t have it.” “The pros are a cold place, so I have to look for it. I’m trying to be more confident even if I take one shot, and I’m trying to be confident even if it doesn’t go in,” he said.
LG’s weakness is at the power forward position. The absence of Marei further exposed that weakness.
“There’s not a lot of pressure,” Jung said. “I wouldn’t have been able to stop Lee Dae-heon by myself,” he said, “because they help each other well. Even in the front, the defense was good, with one-count, two-count, and everything else being controlled and helped.”
LG coach Cho Sang-hyun strongly reprimanded his players after their loss to Wonju DB on June 6.
Jung Hee-jae said, “The team atmosphere was not good. The coach called me aside and told me something. He asked me to keep the players in check.” “The seniors, such as Kwan-hee, myself, and Jae-do, try to lead the team well. We honestly don’t have any special players. Our team color is to help each other, defend, and play fast breaks. We will keep that color and try to win the remaining two games as much as possible.”
LG will face the Ulsan Hyundai Mobis on Nov. 12 and the Seoul SK on Nov. 15 before going on a break. When the league resumes, Marei could be back in the lineup if he’s healthy enough. It’s important to play well in the next two games.
“They’re playing a lot of switch defense these days, but we’ve been studying a lot, talking a lot while watching game footage, and I think we just need to be confident,” Jung said. “If we shoot confidently, it will go in, and if we break through confidently, it will go in. Our domestic players have to help the foreign players adapt well.”