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KOREA WINS TITLE IN REMATCH

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By Kolby Chang

Guam's Joe Blas finds an opening in the lane and makes the easy layup. (photo by Joey Blas)

Guam’s Joe Blas finds an opening in the lane and makes the easy layup. (photo by Joey Blas)

Korea University bested the Guam men’s national basketball team 87-81 to win the 2013 Friendship Basketball Tournament Saturday night at the Father Duenas Memorial School Phoenix Center.

Team Guam was on top for a majority of the game but they were unable to fend off a late rally by Korea and struggled against the visitor’s zone defense.

“Their zone is extremely wide because of the length of their arms so they’re were able to recover pretty quickly,” Guam coach EJ Calvo said when asked how the late game breakdown occurred.

Down by eight points going into the half, Korea’s shooters caught fire in the pivotal third quarter and lit up the scoreboard with some timely three pointers that kept the Guam from regaining the lead.

“In a very short spurt we missed a couple of shots and they answered by pushing the ball, going down to their big man, that’s a great big man, and he was kicking it out and everyone on that team can shoot threes,” Calvo said.

Korea’s Sang Jae Kang gave his team their first lead of the game in the third quarter after he drove straight to the hoop for a layup that made the score 40-39. It was a back and forth battle from that point and each team took turns dishing it out. Guam’s Vince Estella answered with a leaner off the glass and Will Stinnett followed up with a strong drive plus the foul to put the home team up 44-40.

Stinnett later stole an inbound pass and hit the layup to make it 53-48. Kang would later respond by draining a triple and Seong Gon Moon hit a short jumper on a fastbreak to put Korea in front 53-56. Earvin Jose’s three pointer at the buzzer knotted it at 61.

Guam's JP Cruz pulls up for the jumper and makes the basket. (photo by Joey Blas)

Guam’s JP Cruz pulls up for the jumper and makes the basket. (photo by Joey Blas)

In the fourth quarter Ji Hoo Kim buried several three pointers that put his team up 66-63. Kim would eventually foul out of the game but his shooting touch from downtown gave the Korean offense a boost.

With less than five minutes remaining Guam recaptured the lead off a Joe Blas trey, but Korean big man Jong Hy Un Lee showed some nice footwork in the paint by shaking off his defender and bagging a turnaround jumper to tie it at 74. Seong Mo Choi’s layup off a Guam turnover put Korea up 79-77 with about two minutes to go.

Korea continued working the ball around on offense and forced the Guam team to foul. With time winding down Korea simply made their free throws and milked the clock until the final buzzer. Choi’s game-high 36 points paced the team while Lee added 25 points and pulled down eight rebounds. Stinnett scored 25 points for Guam and Blas had 13 points and four steals.

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

http://www.akguam.com/ou/tamuning-scion/

Guam's William Stinnett takes the loose ball down court for the easy bucket. (photo by Joey Blas)

Guam’s William Stinnett takes the loose ball down court for the easy bucket. (photo by Joey Blas)

Guam's Vince Estella pulls up and drains the jumper behind the free throw line. (photo by Joey Blas)

Guam’s Vince Estella pulls up and drains the jumper behind the free throw line. (photo by Joey Blas)

Guam's William Stinnett gets the rebound and puts up 2 points for team Guam. (photo by Joey Blas)

Guam’s William Stinnett gets the rebound and puts up 2 points for team Guam. (photo by Joey Blas)

Player Of The Game Korea University's Ji-Hoo Kim.

Player Of The Game Korea University’s Ji-Hoo Kim.

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