Park Jin-ah, a ‘giant center’ who fights even 1v5, showed her ‘value’ by blocking Park Ji-soo

Before the game against North Korea, I was most curious about Park Jin-ah (20), a 6-foot-5 center. She had scored 51 points in the previous game against Chinese Taipei, so I was both curious and excited.

In reality, she was even better than I thought. The last game can be summarized as a five-on-five battle between Park and the Korean national team. Their pace was very good, especially from the first quarter.

On the other hand, our players were a little frustrated at the beginning. We started well. Park Ji-soo (Cheongju KB) put in a good pass to make it 2-0. But after that, we didn’t score much. Of course, we didn’t have any outside shots, but it was mainly because we were relying on Park Ji-soo and didn’t create many chances on the inside, so we had to be dragged around a lot by North Korea. You could see the team panicking at the occasional three-point shot by the North Korean player in front of them, player number 7 (Lee Eun Jung). But even so, the key was Park Jin-ah. Our players double-teamed her a lot in one-count situations, when she had a wingman on the ball side, and vice versa.

Even in that situation, Park Jin-ah’s play was compliant. In the first quarter, we also saw her passing the ball out well. None of the North Korean players’ shots went in, except for Park Jin-ah, but if those shots had gone in, our team would have struggled even more. In the second quarter, we also had some early difficulties. The outside shots weren’t falling, and the game became frustrating at times because Park was so heavily relied on in both defense and offense.

The introduction of Lee Hae-ran (Samsung Life Insurance, Yongin) changed the course of the game in the second quarter. With 3:27 left in the second quarter and a 10-point deficit, he came in and scored an end-one, and the game changed from there. Kudos to coach Jung Sun-min for taking a chance on Lee.

Lee So-hee (Busan BNK), the league’s best three-point shooter last season, also made a surprise appearance. At the end of the second quarter, Lee hit a three-pointer from the top of the key. She also made several fast breaks. This was thanks to the rotational defense that kept Park Jin-ah in check. We finished the first half with the fastbreaks coming from the defense, and we used them well to create a chasing situation. That’s what made the second half comeback possible.

Our team kept the momentum going in the second half. Park Ji-soo continued to be active in the offense and defense, and we had a lot of fast breaks. In addition, we started to make some outside shots in the second half, which really set the tone.

At this point, I have to give credit to veteran Lee Kyung-eun (Incheon Shinhan Bank). She was able to set up the offense and hit some 3-pointers from there, which allowed Team Korea to build a solid double-digit lead midway through the third quarter. In the end, I think the momentum we set up at the end of the second quarter was the key to our team being able to play the way we wanted to play in the second half.

-MVP: Park Ji-soo
There were a lot of players who played well, but the MVP has to go to Park Ji-soo. Park Jin-ah, the player she was matched up against, is not just a tall 2.5m5cm player. Her defense and instantaneous speed are also good. I watched her go back and forth from one end of the court to the other, a distance of 28 meters. At first glance, she looks slow, but she has good instantaneous speed and is very aggressive in the paint zone.

Against such a player, Park Ji-soo showed good things on offense and defense. Once again, Park Ji-Soo’s value stood out. It’s clear that Park had a world-class performance yesterday. I’d also like to point out that he played nearly 37 minutes without a break, and even though he was substituted in the last three minutes with a thigh problem, he played well for a long time.

Of course, there is also Kim Dan-bi, who showed seasoned play and balance. Park Ji-hyun (Asan Woori Bank) also did a good job. Kang Yiul’s outside shot came late in the game, but there is definitely something to take away from yesterday’s game. If we played like we did against China and Japan in the first two quarters, we would have gone into halftime with a 15-20 point deficit. And we would have had a lot of turnovers trying to turn it around in the second half. The difference in our performance from the first half to the second half was obvious.

Against a good team, we need to make sure that we have that kind of performance in the first half. That’s the key. Even if Park Ji-soo can’t find his offensive rhythm, it will be important for him to play well on defense, and how the players develop the fast break and bring the rhythm and pace of the game to us.

-Players to Watch: Park Jin-ah
I’m cautiously optimistic about Park Jin-ah, but I’m also disappointed.

First, if basketball was really organized in Korea, I think her strength would have been better, and she would have been better prepared physically in a good system.

Second, you can tell a lot about a player’s mental strength by the way they play. Sports is a mental game, and that’s what stood out to me when I watched Park Jin-ah as a basketball player, not just as a North Korean player. Our team harassed him quite a bit with traps and double teams. From the very first possession, they were trying to get to him and take the ball away from him, but he was able to manage the situation and not break down even once. 스포츠토토

Third, her touch on the ball was quite good. Late in the game, she was able to bump into opponents and get under the basket for layups and hook shots. Dae, who is a long player, also had quite a bit of shooting skill. Even Park Ji-soo seemed to have a hard time stopping Park Jin-ah by herself. With a double team and Park shaking, Park was able to block and shoot. In a one-on-one physical battle, she was a bit outmatched.

At the beginning of this review, I mentioned that Park Jin-ah fought one-on-one with our national team. I thought our other guards like Roh Sook-young, who has a lot of national team experience, would do a good job, but they didn’t on the 29th. Park Jin-ah filled the void all by herself. Both offensively and defensively.

That’s why it’s even more disappointing. If Park Jin-ah had a more structured education from a young age, I think she would have been able to go beyond Asia and challenge the WNBA (American Women’s Professional Basketball Association) long ago.

If I had to compare Park’s style, I’d say she’s similar to Damiris Dantas, who I used to coach in the past. Her speed is better, but her cleverness under the basket is reminiscent of Dantas. Park is an excellent center who already has that ability.