Asan Woori Bank, last season’s Korean women’s professional basketball unified champion, has reached the finals of the Park Shinja Cup international tournament to kick off the new season and will battle a Japanese team for the title.
Woori Bank defeated Japan’s Aeneos Sunflowers 74-71 in the semifinals of the tournament at Cheongju Gymnasium in Chungcheongbuk-do on Feb. 2.
Woori Bank, which has won the Japanese W-League for 11 consecutive years, reached the final of the Park Shinjah Cup after last year’s tournament, which was organized as a summer league to give up-and-coming players a chance.
Established in 2015, the Park Shin-ja Cup, named after the legendary Korean women’s basketball player Park Shin-ja, was held as a tournament to discover off-season prospects until last year, but this year it was reorganized into an international tournament format where even first-team players could compete.
Overseas clubs also joined the tournament and the prize money was increased from 10 million won to 30 million won.
Woori Bank will play Japan’s Toyota Antelopes, which defeated Cheongju KB in the semifinals earlier in the day, in the final from 4:30 p.m. on March 3.
For Woori, Park Ji-hyun led the way with 18 points, eight rebounds, six assists and four steals, Kim Dan-bi had 18 points, eight rebounds and five assists, and Choi Yi-sam recorded a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Na Yoon-jeong added 13 points.
For Eneos, former WNBA player Ramu Tokashiki led the way with 20 points and nine rebounds.
Leading 37-30 at the end of the first half, Woori Bank surrendered a 56-54 lead in the third quarter before taking the lead with a three-pointer from Saori Miyazaki to start the fourth quarter, which was answered by a three-pointer from Danbi Kim.
Eneos tied the game at 69-69 on Moeko Nagaoka’s two-pointer with 2:21 left, but Woori Bank then scored four straight points on Choi Yi-sam’s mid-range shot and Kim Dan-bi’s free throws to take the lead for good.
KB, which lost 68-70 in the semifinals to last season’s Japanese W-League runner-up Toyota, will meet Aeneos in the third-place game (2 p.m., Game 3).
Park Ji-soo led the offense with 29 points and 11 rebounds and Kang Yi-seul had 15 points.
KB led 51-45 after three quarters, but lost the lead in a seesaw game in the fourth quarter, when their opponent Yamamoto Mai (15 points) made crucial outside shots.
With KB leading 68-67 with 12.4 seconds left in regulation, Yamamoto’s three-pointer proved to be the game-winner for Toyota. KB then had Park Ji-soo drive to the basket on its final possession, but the shot missed. 카지노사이트