South Korean women’s basketball got off to a strong start at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games with a 34-point victory in its first game.
The South Korean team, led by head coach Chung Sun-min, defeated Thailand 90-56 on Sunday at the 스포츠토토 Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center Gymnasium in Hangzhou, China, in the first game of Group C of the women’s basketball competition.
With the victory, South Korea got off to a flying start in its quest for its first title in nine years. The last time Korea’s women’s basketball team finished on top at an Asian Games was in Incheon in 2014.
South Korea’s starting lineup consisted of Ahn Hye-ji, Kang Isul, Park Ji-hyun, Kim Dan-bi, and Park Ji-soo. The gap widened early on. The Koreans, led by Park Ji-soo and Kang Yi-seul, gradually built up their points, while Thailand was held to one point five minutes into the first quarter. The first quarter ended with Korea leading 25-7.
There was no crisis after that. The Koreans were not afraid to give their players even playing time to ensure their fitness. Head coach Chung Sun-min sent all 12 players on the court to check their physical condition.
After finishing the first half with a 47-18 lead, South Korea scored 31 points in the third quarter alone to take an early lead. The rest of the half was virtually meaningless, as South Korea was able to utilize their bench players and cruise to an easy Game 1 victory.
Kang Isul paced the team with 18 points, eight rebounds, and three assists, while Park Ji-soo chipped in with 16 points and six rebounds. Park Ji-hyun also had a strong game with 12 points, seven rebounds, and nine assists, while Lee So-hee and Lee Hae-ran both had 12 points, giving us five players in double figures. The 14 three-pointers were particularly encouraging.
South Korea will next face North Korea on Nov. 29, followed by Taiwan on Nov. 1. North Korea won 91-77 against Chinese Taipei on the same day. Park Jin-ah, a 6-foot-2 center, scored a game-high 40 points to lead her team to victory.