“I felt the passion and enthusiasm of the players” Anchored by Ahn Jun-ho’s team

Generational change and the possibilities?

The South Korean men’s national basketball team lost 71-85 to Australia on Feb. 22 at the Red Energy Arena in Bendigo, Australia, in a Window 1 Group A matchup of the 2025 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers.

The team led through three quarters, but fell short in the fourth quarter. The team then flew home to face Thailand in the second qualifier on Friday, arriving in Wonju 텍사스홀덤사이트 after midnight on the 24th.

On the morning of the 24th, the team rested to manage their physical condition. In the afternoon, they visited the Wonju General Gymnasium, where the match will be held, for team training and shooting drills.

Coach Ahn Jun-ho said, “The players must have been tired from the long travel time. We had a long bus ride in Australia, and after the game, we went to the airport at dawn to catch a flight back to Korea,” said Ahn. “It’s hard for the players, but we need to recover their physical condition and prepare for the Thailand match.”

Even though Australia (No. 4 in the FIBA rankings) was missing key players, the team took control with their defense. “We had little time to settle in, but our defense was good. The last five minutes of the fourth quarter were disappointing, but I could feel the passion and enthusiasm of all the players. I’m grateful to them,” he said.

“We’ve played one game now. I think our challenges will come after the Thailand game. It’s not always easy for the team. There are a lot of variables and things that happen in one game, and I think it’s a bit premature to talk about possibilities and generational change after one game against Australia. We’ll look to finish well against Thailand and then face the challenges ahead.”

“Our defense was well prepared. We could feel our opponent’s panic and shakiness on the court,” he said of the match against Australia.

The long flight could have been exhausting, but the players’ expressions were not. “We had to change planes in Hong Kong because there were no direct flights. We were fortunate that we didn’t have a long wait between connections,” said Kim Jong-gyu. “It was a long time to travel, but it’s always an exciting and fun journey for the national team.”

Meanwhile, Thailand took to the court first to train with the team. There were rumors that Thailand was willing to try out after hearing that some of their players had withdrawn due to injury.

“Of course, it would be better if we had (Heo) Hoon and (Choi) Jun-yong, but the current team is competitive,” said Kim Jong-kyu. “We will not let our guard down in the national tournament, but we will try to win the match at home and in our home stadium. We have a lot of fans coming to watch, so we will give them an entertaining game.”

The last time the national team lost to Thailand was in the semifinals of the 1966 Asian Games (52-67). Since then, the team has won 36 straight games against Thailand. The second game of Group A of Window 1 of the 2025 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers will take place on Sunday, May 25 at 15:00 at the Wonju General Gymnasium.

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