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Korea revving up preparations for FIBA Asia Cup

SEOUL (FIBA Asia Cup 2017) - Korea may have fallen short at the EABA Championship 2017, but coach Hur Jae is ramping up their training to improve their chances at the FIBA Asia Cup 2017.

Korea were defeated by Chinese Taipei, 77-64, in the Final of the EABA Championship earlier this month, losing the title they have held for three straight editions of the tournament. It has been two weeks since, and Hur, together with the Korea Basketball Association, has named a new 15-man pool from which he will probably get the final 12 players for the continental competition in Beirut, Lebanon.

15 Jongkyu Kim (KOR) - Korea v Chinese Taipei, 2016 FIBA Asia Challenge (IRI), Tehran(Islamic Republic of Iran), Quarter-Finals, 16 September 2016
Whereas Korea utilized a very young and raw squad in the EABA tourney, Hur has handpicked more seasoned players for the latest iteration of the national team, which will first see action at the William Jones Cup 2017 in Taipei that starts on 15 July.

Foremost among these veterans is floor general Kim SunHyung, who led the team in their FIBA Asia Challenge 2016 campaign, where they finished 2nd place. Oh SeKeun and Yang HeeJong - both from current KBL champions Anyang KGC and experienced national team players - were also called up. The last time they played for the national squad was in the Asian Games 2014. Two rising stars in the KBL - Heo Ung and Lee SeungHyun - were also named to the pool and will take a leave from their training in the armed forces.

One thing they also lacked in the EABA Championship was more size, and that's where Kim JongKyu comes in. JongKyu has played for Korea regularly since his senior team debut in 2011, and his presence up front in tandem with Lee JongHyun should prove to be formidable.

One player Hur was hoping would be available was 2.03m center Ricardo Ratliffe, but the KBA just could not complete the process to have the American-born big man finally play for Korea as a naturalized player. He would have complemented Korea's vaunted speed and shooting with a lot of muscle and heft in the paint.

Hur's 15-man pool will begin their training camp this weekend before hopping to Taipei in a couple of weeks for the William Jones Cup. In the FIBA Asia Cup, Korea are in the same group as Kazakhstan, New Zealand and hosts Lebanon.

Source: http://www.fiba.com/asiacup/2017/news/korea-revving-up-preparations-for-fiba-asia-cup

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