It’s hard to argue with that.

The South Korean women’s basketball team, led by head coach Chung Sun-min, won its second straight game with an 81-62 victory over North Korea in their Group C matchup at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, on Monday (Feb. 29).

The Koreans were briefly surprised by the power of 205-centimeter Park Jin-ah, but led by Park Ji-soo (18 points, 13 rebounds, six assists, four steals, and three blocked shots), Kim Dan-bi (16 points, four rebounds, seven assists, three steals, and one blocked shot), and Kang Isul (16 points, three rebounds, and two assists), they were able to overcome the North Korean challenge.

Regardless of the outcome, it was a game that had its fair share of internal issues, most notably the trap defense against Park Jin-ah, but the decision to play Park Ji-soo for nearly 40 minutes without a break was certainly puzzling.

Park played 36 minutes and 19 seconds without a rest. When she got into foul trouble with four fouls midway through the third quarter, and when she complained of pain in her right hamstring around the five-minute mark of the fourth quarter, there was no bench movement. Rather, it was the South Korean bench that rested Park after North Korea called timeout. After returning to the bench, Park immediately received treatment for the sore hamstring.

Park is expected to undergo a medical examination and was not in good spirits throughout the official interview. It’s a worrying situation in more ways than one.

The way the South Korean bench managed their players against North Korea was incomprehensible. Park Ji-soo fought hard against several North Korean players, including Park Jin-ah, who played combatively, and yet she was unable to take a second off. South Korea could have bought time with another trap defense, bringing in Yang In-young and Jin-an at the same time, but Chung turned a blind eye.

It was reckless not to substitute Park Ji-soo for the early foul trouble, and while she avoided fouling out with clever defense, there was no reason for the Korean bench to risk it.

It was also unfortunate that the team didn’t make an immediate substitution when Park felt the pain in her hamstring. Park was able to run around for more than a minute after feeling the pain before being replaced in North Korea’s favor. The South Korean bench should have been strongly criticized if the problem had become serious during the game.

Coach Chung Sun-min’s incomprehensible management of Park Ji-su. How is this different from North Korea’s? Photo courtesy of the Korean Olympic Committee
It’s easy to see from these shots that Chung didn’t have a plan B for when Park was out. He should have prepared different defensive tactics, patterns, and other ways to buy time for Park to rest. There was plenty of time to prepare for this, but Chung didn’t make any gestures in the two scenes, whether it was due to foul trouble or a sore hamstring.스포츠토토

There is no need to compare with North Korea. Roh Sook-young and Park Jin-ah also played the full 40 minutes, but they don’t have anyone to replace them. Plus, North Korea is a place where there is overwhelmingly more to understand than there is to understand. There is no reason or need to hold Park Ji-Soo to the same standard as Roh Sook-Young and Park Jin-A.

If Park’s hamstring problem is worse than it seems, South Korea’s chances of winning a bronze medal, let alone a gold medal, are greatly diminished. Park’s influence on the team is huge. No matter how good a player is, if he is poorly managed, he will fall apart. South Korea, and the way Chung managed his team against North Korea, was no different.

Even if Park Ji-soo’s hamstring problem isn’t as big as it seems, Chung’s management of his players against North Korea was problematic enough.

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