South Korea’s women’s basketball team came from behind to defeat North Korea at the Asian Games.
South Korea, led by Chung Sun-min, defeated North Korea 81-62 in the second game of the women’s basketball Group C at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games on Monday at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center Gymnasium in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China.
With two wins, South Korea will play its final group game on Oct. 1 against Chinese Taipei. With the win, South Korea has virtually clinched a spot in the quarterfinals.
The match was the first inter-Korean team ball game at the Asian Games.
The North Korean cheering squad was seated on one side of the stadium, while the South Korean officials and community members, including the President of the Korean Olympic Committee, Lee Ki-heung, cheered the South Korean team to victory.
Women’s basketball was the last sport to have a unified team at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta-Palembang.
At that time, only three sports had a unified North-South team: women’s basketball, canoeing, and rowing.
The 2018 team consisted of Park Ji-soo, Kang Isul (KB), and Park Ji-hyun (Woori Bank), while North Korea’s then-coach Jung Sung-sim, Roh Sook-young, and Kim Hye-yeon competed in the event.
The atmosphere was favorable for North Korea in the beginning.
North Korea led 21-11 and by as much as 10 points in the second quarter, led by Park Jin-ah, a 205-centimeter tall center born in 2003.
However, Korea responded with a three-point play by Lee Hae-ran (Samsung Life) and four consecutive points by Park Ji-soo, and then Lee Hae-ran and Park Ji-soo took turns making free throws to score 11 points in a row to take a 22-21 lead.
After a brief back-and-forth battle, Korea took a 29-25 lead on a three-pointer and a mid-range jumper by Lee So-hee (BNK), followed by two points each by Kim Dan-bi (Woori Bank) and Park Ji-hyun to take a 33-25 lead at the half.
The Koreans, who had been on the ropes since the middle of the second quarter, extended their lead to more than 10 points in the third quarter, thanks to a three-pointer by Park Ji-hyun and two free throws by Kim Dan-bi.
Park finished with 18 points, 13 rebounds, six assists, four steals, and three blocked shots, but retired to the bench in the fourth quarter 스포츠토토 after feeling some discomfort in her leg muscles.
Kim Dan-bi and Kang Yul also contributed 16 points apiece to the offense.
North Korea was led by Park Jin-ah with 29 points and 17 rebounds, but could not overcome the objective power differential with South Korea.