Despite the team’s loss, Yang Jong-yoon (18, 189 cm) deserves applause.
Gyeongsung University lost 81-93 to Whimungo at the 53rd Autumn National Men’s and Women’s Intermediate Basketball Federation Games Haenam on Sunday at Usul Gymnasium in Haenam-gun, Jeollanam-do. The victorious Whimungo advanced to the quarterfinals, while the defeated Gyeongsungo left Haenam.
It was a series of fierce battles and close games. At one point in the first half, GyeongsungGo trailed by as many as 21 points against Huimungo, which was led by Lee Ji-won. It was not easy to overturn a 20-point deficit in the highly polarized amateur stage, with young players who were even more agitated.
However, Gyeongsungo, who reached the final stage with three wins, did not give up until the end. In particular, Gyeongsungo’s main player Yang Jong-yoon’s fight against injury shone through.
Early in the game, Yang Jong-yoon hit his knee hard on the floor and went limp in pain. Later in the game, he twisted his ankle during a ball contest.
As athletes whose bodies are an asset, they could have gone to the bench and rested for some time. However, Yang Jong-yoon only took emergency measures and immediately entered the court to lead the team.
He drove to the rim in a combative manner, scoring under the basket and knocking down three-pointers from the perimeter to keep Gyeongsang-go in the game. With Yang Jong-yoon’s effort, Gyeongsungo’s energy level soared and they managed to tie the game at 21.
Unfortunately, they couldn’t pull off the upset. They lost to Lee Ji-won with a jumper and a putback off an offensive rebound. On the day, Yang finished with 21 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and three steals in 37 minutes and 49 seconds of action.
After the game, Yang said, “What we prepared and what coach emphasized didn’t come out on the court. We had trouble keeping up with the score. I was disappointed because I thought this was our chance.”
“We talked together about minimizing the number of three-pointers allowed to their shooters, but it didn’t work out,” Yang added.
As mentioned earlier, Kye Sung-go tied the game and even looked to pull off the upset, but Choi Jun hit a three-pointer at key moments.
“The whole game, I didn’t feel like I could win,” said Yang Jong-yoon. Coach told us not to give up, and we stuck together as a team and closed the gap little by little. It’s really disappointing because we should have tried harder.”
Yang Jong-yoon played with a bandage on 안전놀이터 his head at the Wang Zhongwang in August. This time, his determination to win was enough to touch the hearts of many in the stadium.
“I’m playing for the team more than myself,” he said. I prioritize what will help the team. I know my body well. I don’t think it’s a big injury, so I played.”
There were plenty of disappointing moments. With the score tied, Yang Jong-yoon missed an easy shot that led to a fast break goal by Hwimungo. It was the beginning of the gap again.
Yang Jong-yoon said, “The defense, which is the team color of Gyeongsunggo, didn’t work well. When we narrowed the score at the end, I blamed myself for not being able to fulfill the team’s orders as well as my role as a fixer.”
With Yang Jong-yoon at the center of the team, Gyeongsang-go’s Chuseok League campaign came to an end when they were blocked by Huimengo. However, the strong teamwork and fighting spirit they showed throughout the tournament was enough to make them look forward to the next one.