Changwon LG head coach Cho Sang-hyun was all smiles after the victory in the first game of his team’s road to the championship game. He gave credit to his players.

LG defeated KT 78-70 in Game 1 of the best-of-five (PO-5) quarterfinal playoffs of the 2023-24 Korean Basketball Association (KBA) at Changwon Gymnasium at 7 p.m. on Saturday. With the victory in the first game, 스포츠토토존 LG gained an advantageous position to advance to the championship game.

After the game, head coach Cho Sang-hyun said, “I’m really grateful to the players for giving me my first PO win. After the regular season, I told them that I met good players, played well, and was happy to play basketball.” “As you saw in today’s game, we were disorganized at the end, but I think we won with our defense because we held KT’s offense to 70 points. When it was down to 10 points in the middle, we overcame it with defense and fast breaks. In the second half, we made the same defensive changes when Eric and Bass came in, and I think the players adjusted and it paid off.”

It was the first win for head coach Cho Sang-hyun, who had previously lost three games in the PO, and it was a special one for him as well. “It’s my second year playing with good players. Last year, we collapsed without Marei, but this time we got our first win with Marei and domestic players. We will continue to prepare with the players and try to write a good history.”

LG, who had a two-week break, didn’t get off to a good start. “Before the meeting, we talked about the possibility of a bad start because we were playing after two weeks of rest,” said Cho Sang-hyun, “but we said we would only lose by five or six points. I thought it was okay if it went up to 10 points. The momentum was in our favor in the first half, so I thought it was okay.”

The court for the first game between the two teams resembled a battlefield. Coach Cho Sang-hyun, who was wary of his players’ “excitement” before the match, also reacted strongly to the referee’s decision. He said, “I expected the players to be sensitive to the calls because of their passion after watching the quarterfinal PO. I asked the players to keep their cool, but I thought there would be a time when I would react to the call. (The sensitivity) is also to protect the players,” he explained.

LG, which is known for its defense, also paired Heo Hoon and Paris Bass well on this day. “Hoon and Bass scored almost 50 points or more in the semifinals, and I think we did a good job of keeping them in the 20s, which is why we had a 70-point game,” Cho said.

“It’s going to be tough,” Cho said of Dante Cunningham, “He arrived on Friday (last week), tested on Saturday and had one day of practice on Sunday. If he can just play two or three minutes a quarter like he did today, he’ll get better. We just need him to fight for rebounds on defense.”

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