South Korea quickly moved on from the heartbreak it suffered less than 24 hours ago by venting its ire on Indonesia, 104-81, in the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers Thursday at the AUF Sports and Cultural Center in Pampanga.
The cagers from East Asia picked themselves up from the agonizing, last-second 78-81 defeat in the hands of rivals Gilas Pilipinas through a dominant showing from start to finish on their way to the tournament proper.
Korea (3-1), who placed third in the last Asian championships, is just the latest team to qualify for the August meet to be held in Jakarta, Indonesia.
“Though we have qualified for the next stage, I still see a lot of improvements to be done,” said head coach Cho Sanghyun. “The quality of the games is still disappointing at this point but we still have time to improve.”
Naturalized center Ricardo Ratliffe led the Koreans with 23 points, including two of his side’s five three-pointers in the first quarter alone that saw them open the match with 12 unanswered points to kickstart the one-sided affair.
The 6-foot-8 bruiser also collected seven rebounds, three assists, and a steal in the 30 minutes and 52 seconds he saw action.
Lee Hyunjung made 21 points spiked by four triples, on top of nine boards, two assists, two blocks, and a steal in over 21 minutes.
“It was a tough loss [versus Gilas] ’cause they made a tough shot. Our captain, Dash (Lee Dae-sung), and Ricardo said let’s forget about it and just enjoy and get prepared for the next game. And that worked pretty well,” said Lee.
Kim Nakhyeon and Lee Seonghyun supplied 14 and 10 markers, respectively, as all but one scored at least two in the rousing victory.
Meanwhile, Lester Prosper led Indonesia with 25 points and 12 rebounds in a losing effort. Abraham Grahita made 16 points, while Hardianus Lakudu added 12 as the Southeast Asians dropped to 1-2 in the tilt.
The Indonesians actually showed some life in the third canto when it knocked to within eight behind Lakudu’s floater, but Korea was just too much as it responded with an 8-2 run to re-establish a 16-point lead.
Korea will have the luxury of respite before going back into action Saturday, June 19, to face another ASEAN team in Thailand at 6:00 p.m.
South Korea 104 – Ra 23, Lee HJ 21, Kim 14, Yeo 12, Lee SH 10, Byeon 7, Jeon 6, Yang 3, Moon 3, Ha 3, Lee DS 2, Kang 0.
Indonesia 81 – Prosper 25, Grahita 16, Lakudu 12, Wisnu 7, Goantara 7, Kosasih 6, Saputra 3, Sitorus 2, Teja 2, Kokodiputra 1, Dhyaksa 0.
Quarterscores: 27-12, 52-35, 77-58, 104-81.