“I think it will be a turning point this season… I hope we can grow even more,” says Shinhan Bank head coach Gunadan Gunadan on spring basketball hopes

“I think this will be the most important turning point of the season. I hope this will be a turning point for Lee Da-yeon to grow.”

Incheon Shinhan Bank Esbud head coach Koo Nathan said after keeping the playoffs alive in a close game.

Shinhan Bank, led by Koo, defeated Bucheon Hana OneQ 59-57 in their home game of the Woori Bank Woori WON 2023-2024 Women’s Professional Basketball League regular season at 텍사스홀덤 Dowon Gymnasium in Incheon on Thursday.

With the win, No. 5 Shinhan Bank snapped a four-game losing streak against Hana OneQ that began on Feb. 23 last year, improving its season record to 5-15 and closing the gap on No. 4 Hana OneQ (7-13) to two games, keeping its hopes of qualifying for spring basketball alive.

It was not an easy game. Unable to contain the play of Kim Jong-un, Uhm Seo-i, and Yang In-young, Shinhan Bank fell behind Hana OneQ in the first half. At the end of the second quarter, the score was 27-32.

However, they didn’t give up. In the third quarter, Lee Da-yeon, who came onto the court, was on fire, and Kim Sonia played her ace role well. Near the end of the game, they were chased by Kim Anna and Kim Sion, who hit back-to-back three-pointers, but it didn’t matter as they faced victory.

After the match, Coach Gunadan said, “It feels great to come from behind. The girls pulled together in a tough situation, and I’m a little disappointed with the finish because it could have been over (at the end),” he smiled.

Along with Kim Sonia (14 points, 9 rebounds), Goo Seul (9 points), and Kang Gye-ri (8 points, 6 assists), Lee Da-yeon was the star of the game. Entering the game in the third quarter, Lee made a defensive mistake that led to a three-pointer by Jeong Yerim, but he played the “game-changer” role well, scoring nine points, including one three-pointer.

Coach Koo said, “Lee Da-yeon’s strength is her offense. In the third quarter, the flow was not going too well. Kim Sonia was in foul trouble,” he said, adding, “I thought (Lee) should be the one to do it offensively.”

“As soon as (Lee) came in, we gave up three points that we shouldn’t have. That’s one of her weaknesses. If she makes a mistake and doesn’t score, she probably thinks she won’t get a chance. I think a player has to have that feeling,” he said. “She fought hard, and the players believed in her, so I think it was a natural turnaround. The team has to start believing in each other. It takes a moment for the younger players to get all the players to believe in them. I hope today will be a chance for Lee Da-yeon to grow.” He applauded her.

Koo continued, “The players must have felt so good today. Even Kim Ah-rim (who was injured) was supposed to play today, but the results of her medical examination were not good. “I think it’s the most important turning point of the season,” he said, “and I hope they can handle the second half well. I hope they can handle the second half well.”

In conclusion, Coach Gunadan said, “I don’t see the playoffs yet. Hana OneQ‘s Kim Jong-kyu and Shin Ji-hyun were not at 100%, and it would have been difficult if they were at their best,” he said, adding, “We need to be more eager. I feel like we have to prepare a lot for every match. I think it will be really tight even if it goes to the sixth round,” he said before leaving the court.

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