Asian Games: South Korea takes bronze consolation in men’s basketball

Stefanno Reinard Sulaiman | The Jakarta Post | Jakarta

Jakarta   /  Sat, September 1, 2018  /  04:04 pm

South Korea's Choi Jun-yong (left) and Ricardo Preston Ratliffe (right) fight for the ball with Iran's Hamed Ehdadi (center) in the men's basketball semifinal match during the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta on Aug. 30. South Korea secured bronze medal after winning third place by defeating Chinese Taipei 89-81 on Saturday.(AFP/Lillian Suwanrumpha)

South Korea managed to remedy its latest loss to Iran in Thursday's semis by securing bronze medal at the 2018 Asian Games after winning third place by defeating Chinese Taipei 89-81 in Istora Senayan, Jakarta on Saturday. 

Their victory was secured by the outstanding performance of its naturalized player, Ricardo Ratliffe, who by the end of the match had scored 37 points, beyond his average in the tournament of around 29 points per match. 

Speaking after the bronze match, South Korea’s head coach Hur Jae said he was proud of the team's achievement, although lots of evaluation was waiting back home. 

“We were aiming for gold, but we fought a good fight. Therefore I want to thank all the [South Korean] players in this moment. There were some challenges in the tournament, but I am glad the players could get through it,” he said. 

The 52-year-old coach said the result in the Asiad would be a crucial factor in the team's evaluation for the upcoming qualifying round of the 2019 International Basketball Federation (FIBA) World Cup in China. 

Ratliffe, who joined the team earlier this year, said that the Asiad was a good experience for him as it was a different environment for him. “There are ups and downs, but at least we can get a bronze medal,” he said briefly. 

Equally proud, Chinese Taipei head coach Charles Parker of the US said that he was upbeat with his team's achievement of getting into the semifinal and would take the result as a positive outcome for the country’s basketball future. (dic)