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Men’s 3×3 team loses its first tournament against Japan, with disappointing outside defense

The men’s 3×3 team suffered a disappointing loss despite a tenacious comeback. Detail in the perimeter defense was lacking at every turn.

The Republic of Korea 3×3 men’s basketball team lost 17-21 against Japan in their Group B preliminary match at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games 텍사스홀덤 at the Duching Geographic Information Park Court in Hangzhou, China, on Monday (Feb. 28).

The loss snapped a two-game winning streak for the team, which had previously defeated Iran and Maldives. They needed to beat their arch-rivals in order to book a direct ticket to the quarterfinals, which was their primary goal.

The match was a disappointment. The team was down by seven points at one point, but they rallied to get back to within two points. However, they were unable to get over the hump due to a lapse in concentration on the perimeter defense and a series of two-pointers. The team took eight 2-pointers against Japan on the day (and made just one 2-pointer). The team’s free throw accuracy (2/7 FT) was also disappointing.

The national team got off to a poor start. They utilized their height advantage to attack the basket, but their shooting accuracy was poor. In the meantime, Haruaki Tanaka and Takumi Shimokawa hit two-pointers to give Japan a three-point lead.

With just over five minutes to go in the game, the gap widened further as the Koreans were unable to keep pace and allowed Japan to score a series of two-pointers.

But this was not a team that would go down without a fight. As if spurred on by a late surge, the Koreans responded with a pair of free throws from Signe Jin and a basket from Lee Doo-won. With less than a minute to go, Lee scored two points with a spin move and a basket to cut the deficit to two points, and they made a last-ditch effort.

However, with 45 seconds left in the game, a Haruaki through-the-legs two-pointer and a subsequent foul on Kim Dong-hyun gave Japan a chance to close out the game, but the team missed the free throws to give Japan a four-point deficit.

With the loss against Japan, the team was unable to clinch the group stage. The team will play its final game of the preliminary round against Turkmenistan at 2:25 p.m. on Sept. 29. A win against Turkmenistan is essential for the team to advance to the quarterfinals, as well as the playoffs, which are awarded to the second and third place finishers in the group.

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