ASIAN GAMES: Defense is the key - Guiao on SoKor match

ABS-CBN Sports on Aug 23, 2018 04:07 PM
ASIAN GAMES: Defense is the key - Guiao on SoKor match
The Philippine men's basketball team will need to focus on defense to topple South Korea.

JAKARTA --- Philippine team head coach Yeng Guiao said Korea is not just about Ricardo Ratliffe.

Ratliffe, a former PBA import, is now playing as a naturalized player for the reigning Asian Games champions. But he’s not only the one delivering the goods for the Koreans.

Indeed, he’s not just one of Korea’s shooters as shown in the team’s 117-77 thumping of Thailand that enabled the Koreans to complete a three-game sweep of their group preliminaries.

Six players on the Korean team scored in double figures with the 6-foot-8 Ratliffe finishing with 21 points.

Although Ratliffe averages 23 points and 13 rebounds per game, Guiao said they have to put on a solid defensive scheme if they are to be successful.

"We just have to prepare hard,” said Guiao noting the Koreans move so well and remarkably shoot from afar.

“Korea is getting balance contributions,” Guiao added.

The Rain or Shine-led Phlippine team and Korea square off in a knockout quarterfinal on Monday.

Size, according to Guiao, won’t be much of a problem.

"The best thing about Korea is they've been so patient running their plays. They rely on their ball movement and would wait for an opportunity to break down the defense and attack it," Guiao said.

In all the three games they played in the group stage matches, Korea didn’t shoot below 40-percent from the rainbow territory. Its best shooting performance was against Thailand where they hit 47 percent from the three-point zone (15-of-32). 

One of Korea’s snipers is Jeon Junbeom.

Turning 27 in a few days, Jeon has been playing great with his three-point shooting, hitting 5 of 8 from beyond the arc in their blowout victory over Thailand on his way to finishing with 20 points. He also had a solid showing against Mongolia where he knocked down 4-of-6 treys to end up with 16 markers.   

Heo Ung, a promising 6-foot-1 guard, is also a newcomer in the team, but showed a lot of potential following his decent shooting in the first three games. He averaged 12 points per game, including a perfect 3-for-3 shooting from beyond the arc against Thailand.   

Heo Ilyoung and Lee Junghyun, two of the holdovers from the squad that won gold four years ago, remained to be solid contributors.

The 6-foot-5 Heo had his best game against in his team’s 108-73 beat down of Mongolia where he finished with 20 points on 6-of-9 shooting from behind the arc. He also had 11 markers in their debut win against host Indonesia. Overall, Heo averaged 13 points per game.

Lee is also a solid contributor. The 6-foot-3 forward averaged 11.6 points per game.

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