“The goal is to go undefeated in the group stage.”
The defending Asian champion South Korea U19 men’s national basketball team will compete in the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup Hungary starting on March 24 in Debrecen, Hungary.
The Koreans head to the world championships as champions of the U18 Asian Games in Tehran, Iran, last year. Led by MVP Lee Ju-young and BEST5 Lee Chae-hyung, the team defeated Iran, China, and Japan to take the top spot in Asia.
A year later, however, South Korea’s roster has been decimated by injuries to Lee Ju-young and Lee Chae-hyung. Instead, the team has changed its colors by bringing in a number of big, fast high school players. At their center is Kang Sung-wook. Along with Lee Ju-young and Lee Chae-hyung, he was part of the Big 3 that led South Korea to dominance in Asia.
He went on to Sungkyunkwan University and won the ace title as a freshman. He is a dangerous man with all the weapons a guard should have: accurate shooting and great personal skills.
“Compared to a year ago, the roster has changed. The existing players were able to adapt quickly because they knew coach (Lee)’s defense, but the new players had a hard time at first, but after about three weeks, they are getting used to it,” he said.
“We don’t have (Lee) Joo-young and (Lee) Chae-hyung, but we’re trying to put as little pressure on ourselves as possible. We are trying to keep our minds as relaxed as possible during training and practice matches.”
Lee and Lee Chae-hyung were the core of Korea’s offense at the U18 tournament, and their combined 34.4 points, 8.2 rebounds, 10.4 assists and 8.4 steals per game are irreplaceable. Kang Sung-wook carries no less of a load. He averaged 11.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and 3.0 steals. He’ll need to do even better at the U19 World Cup.안전놀이터
Kang said, “(Moon) has a good understanding of basketball. I feel comfortable playing with him and can trust him. He is also good at basketball.” “He is the first player to understand the coach’s basketball. The gap between Joo Young and Chae Hyung is obviously big, but I believe Yoo Hyun will be able to fill it.”
South Korea will face hosts Hungary, Argentina and European runners-up Turkkiye. While the grouping isn’t as bad as it has been in the past, every opponent at a world tournament is going to be tough.
Lee Se-beom, the head coach of the national team, said that the goal is to win the title. He said it was an absurd statement, but he was determined to make it happen. “We want to win as many games as we can in the group stage,” he said, “and then I don’t know what comes next, but…. but I want to win a lot first.”