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’23 points despite matchup with Prim,’ Ha says, “Bass played well”

Ha Yun-ki linked up with Paris Bass to lead the way against the Hyundai Mobis.

Suwon KT extended its winning streak to five games with a 77-61 away victory over Ulsan Hyundai Mobis in the 2023-2024 regular season at Ulsan Dongcheon Gymnasium on Wednesday. The team is doubly happy to have swept the two-game series against the tough Hyundai Mobis, which they faced back-to-back at home and away. With a 6-3 record, KT moved into a tie for second place with 스포츠토토 Anyang Chungkwanjang.

Down 52-46 at the start of the fourth quarter, KT scored 10 straight points following a three-pointer by Jung Sung-woo to quickly extend the lead to 65-48. It was a game-changing moment.

KT shot just 3 of 24 from three-point range on the night, but they headed back to Suwon feeling good about their performance thanks to Bass (24 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists) and Ha Yoon-ki (23 points, 6 rebounds).

After the win, Ha Yoon-ki said, “In the beginning, we panicked because they put a small player on Bass. We were able to win because we were able to focus on rebounding and loose balls together,” he said, adding, “I want to thank Bass for playing so well.” He also credited Bass with the win.

“When we were playing as a team, I played a two-man game with Bass, Jung Sung-woo, and Choi Chang-jin, and I scored a lot of points because they looked at my offense or my offense. My brothers did a good job of seeing my chances,” he said, reflecting on his play, adding, “The chemistry (with Bass) is really good. When we go for the pick, they focus on him and I get a chance. “When I go for the pick, they focus on him and I get a chance,” he said, explaining his chemistry with Bass.

Opponents often rely on Korean players to defend Bass. Instead, Ha is matched up with a foreign player.

“When I defend (foreign players), if I’m ahead, my teammates, including Bass, help me pass the ball back. I don’t mind the struggle,” he said, adding, “When I’m attacking, the foreigner’s feet are slower, so I have a chance when I play 2-on-2, so I don’t mind the matchup.” Ha Yoon-ki responded similarly to his matchup with Gage Prim.

It’s rare to play the same team twice in the regular season.

“I thought Hyundai Mobis would have analyzed us more thoroughly,” said Ha Yoon-ki. “I thought the game would be decided by loose balls and rebounds. We started with the basics to set the tone,” he said, explaining how they prepared for the game.

KT lost the final rebounding battle by one, 39-40, but was outrebounded 10-15 in the first quarter. Especially after offensive rebounds, they gave up a lot of points. They made up for it in the second quarter.

“In the first quarter, everyone was focused on getting rebounds, but we were unlucky with where the ball fell,” Ha said. In the second quarter, it fell in our favor.”

KT and Hyundai Mobis have many young KU players.

“Lee Woo-seok has been with the national team, Shin Min-seok and Kim Tae-wan are there,” said Ha Yoon-ki. “I’m very nervous before the game, but having so many players (from Korea University) helps me relax, and it’s fun to see them, even though they are enemies, they know each other well.”

Dedrick Lawson and Lee Jung-hyun are in a heated first-round MVP race. Ha is also averaging 19.6 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 63.0 percent (68-of-108) shooting from the field. KT head coach Song Young-jin considers Ha Yoon-ki to be a first-round MVP candidate.

“Lawson, Kang Sang-jae, and Lee Jung-hyun did well in terms of their individual skills, but I didn’t think about it because I was just a receiver,” he said, adding, “I’ll work harder in the next round and try to win (the round MVP).”

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