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Veteran basketball coach An Jun-ho takes national team call

Former Seoul Samsung Thunders head coach An Jun-ho [JOONGANG ILBO]

An Jun-ho, the former head coach of the Seoul Samsung Thunders, will helm the Korean national men’s basketball team, the Korea Basketball Association announced Tuesday. An, 67, led multiple teams from the 1990s to 2010s. He saw the most success during his seven-year spell with the Thunders. The Seoul team won the KBL championship once in 2006 and managed a runner-up finish twice in 2008 and 2009.The veteran coach stepped down from managing after he left the Thunders in 2011, taking on administrative roles in the KBL instead. An’s appointment comes as the men’s national team is looking to bounce back from a recent slump. The national team displayed a lackluster performance during this fall’s Hangzhou Asian Games, where they finished in seventh place. That disappointing finish was another blow to the national team that’s had a far fall from where they stood just five years ago, in 2018. The Korean men’s basketball team won a bronze medal at that year’s Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia.
 
An will have a lot of work to do ahead of the 2025 FIBA Asia Cup, with the national team having to play qualifiers in February next year. Korea will face Australia, Thailand and Indonesia in Group A with a round robin format. The teams will play games over three windows: first in February 2024, second in November 2024 and the third in February 2025.The top two teams from each group will qualify for the Asia Cup, and six third-place teams will play another qualifying tournament for the final four spots.The Asia Cup may be a chance for Korea to leave a mark on the international stage, which they will not be able do at the 2024 Paris Olympics. Korea did not qualify for the Olympics, as they chose not to participate in the qualifiers held in August in Syria. Korea had no 슬롯게이밍 choice but to do so, since Koreans are prohibited from entering the Middle Eastern country.  

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