2009-07-23 RP Loses to South Korea, 80-83

‘Statistics’
* Stats for the RP NT for the games before the South Korea game: 21 turnovers per game, and 24 fouls per game.

* Stats for Sonny Thoss before the South Korea game: 5 points, 3 rebounds per game. A bit lame, especially in terms of rebounds for a big man.

* Japeth Aguilar’s stats before the South Korea game: 10 points, 7 rebounds (team leader in rebounds) but 3 turnovers per game. Shooting very, very well though, thanks to those dunks, with a 58% Field Goal percentage.

* At the half stats: Miraculously, the RP NT with only 6 turnovers, same as Sokor. A much more controlled game for the RP NT. Field goal percentages, Free Throw percentages about even, but with Sokor with more assists, 9 to 4. They also had 5 steals to our 0, and made more three point shots, 5 to 2. They had a higher percentage off the three-point shot, 5 out of 13 made to our 2 to 13, but we made more points in the paint, 22 to 12.

‘The South Korean National Team’
* Typical Sokor game, wherein they took and made a lot of outside shots. They had three three-point shots in the first quarter, two successive ones by their big men right from the starting minute. And you really can’t leave this South Korean team free for a medium range shot. Almost all of them can hit that shot if given the opportunity.

* South Korea played 2-3 zone for most of the game, occasionally switching to man to man.

* Kim Jun Soon reminded me a lot of a 6’9″ version of Abet Guidaben. A player with great coordination. Not very flashy, just effective, with that ability to create his own shots. And the guy can run, finishing at least two fastbreak plays.

* Kim Min Soo showed in this game why he is considered one of the main players to watch in this Sokor team. He made at least three three-point shots in the game, plus a couple of good low post plays.

* Whenever we play these East Asian teams, while our big men well against them, their big men also do well. With Japan, it was Takeuchi. With Sokor, its Lee Hyun Sun and Kim Min Soo.

‘The RP National Team’
* RP played man to man for most part of the game, occassionally swithing to a 2-3 zone on rare occassions.

* Japeth Aguilar was sighted with a very rare one on one low post move that he was able to finish with a field goal. “Ag-way-lar” experimented taking three-point shots all throughout the game, probably wanted to emulate Sokor’s sweet-shooting Kim Min Soo, but missed all of them, though. He didn’t end up with any dunks in this game, after coming up with at least two in the last two games. Overall, one of his prolific games in the tournament.

* Great offensive game by “The Thriller” this time. High percentage off the floor with his usual fancy shots, hitting 3 of 5 shots in the first half. Not so much in the second half, as Arwind took over in that period.

* I would say this was Arwind’s breakout game in the tournament, scoring 20 points, most of it in the second half against a tough Sokor team.

* Another player with a good game this time around was Sonny Thoss, one of his best, if not his best in the tournament. Taulava didn’t get a chance to play much in this game.

‘Game Summary and Outlook’
* Sokor was leading at the start, until halfway thru the second quarter when they started to make a couple of turnovers, and we took the lead for the first time in the game. We kept the game close at the half, but at third quarter, they started playing an uptempo type of game, surprisingly even outrunning us in that period.

* In that third period run, they shot 9 out of 13 (70%) while we were missing our shots, especially from the three point area, shooting only 8 out of 20 (40%). The Sokors tried to keep tempo up in the fourth quarter, but we started getting good percentages from the floor, especially from the three point area, thus keeping the game close until the end of the game.

* Despite the loss, I had an overall feeling that we can beat this team come Tianjin, despite us and them hiding some aces under the table. The game was close throughout, they never led by more than double digits. They would pull away by seven to nine points, then we were able to cut it down to two points.

* The atmosphere of the game was different from that against Lebanon, where the opposing team was taking it easy, but we still had to exert a lot of effort. And that game was not as close as this one. The Sokors are not that much taller than us, and they are not anywhere as beefy as the Middle Eastern squads. The problem is, though, is that their game is much more optimized than us. I feel they make better use of their lack of height by their style of play.

* We also did not commit a lot of turnovers in this game. We only had 6 at the half, and while I do not know what the actual figures are at the end of the game, but I would guess only around 10 to 15. From 21, to 10-15 is a big improvement.

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