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Japan’s Sagamihara leads the way to Taiwan…5-0 in 5 games to take Korea’s 3×3 stage

Japan’s Sagamihara was the winner of the FIBA 3×3 Kaohsiung Challenger 2024 ticket.

In the final of the ‘NH Bank 2024 KXO League Round 6’ at the special court of Wuhancheon Sports Park in Budae-gun, Chungcheongnam-do, on March 30, Sagamihara, which boasted a solid defense, defeated Hallul E&C, which was missing Bang Sung-yoon due to injury, 21-6 to win its first KXO League title.

KXO, which is working to internationalize Korean 3×3 by hosting two FIBA 3×3 Challengers this year, hosting a training camp for the French men’s national 3×3 team, competing in the Orléans Challenger in France, and securing a ticket to the Kaohsiung Challenger in Taiwan, invited Japan’s Sagamihara 스포츠토토사이트 and Shinagawa to the sixth round of the KXO League.

The move was made in consideration of the difficulty of Korean 3×3 teams to participate in overseas competitions. Sagamihara and Shinagawa will remain with KXO until the seventh round of the KXO League in August.

The winner of the sixth round of the KXO League will qualify for the FIBA 3×3 Kaohsiung Challenger 2024 in Kaohsiung, Taiwan in September. Unsurprisingly, the competition was fierce, and the participation of Japanese teams led to some high quality matches.

Sagamihara, who reached the final with a dramatic buzzer-beater against Shinagawa in the quarterfinals, were confident, while Hanwool E&C were not so lucky. Hanwool E&C, who faced Cosmo in the quarterfinals, lost Bang Sung-yoon to a calf injury. Hanwool E&C faced Sagamihara with only three players, Lee Seung-bae, Ryu Kyung-sik, and Lee Jae-hong.

With Bosnia and Herzegovina’s No. 1 ranked player Alexander Petrovic (199 centimeters) and Serbia’s Uros Kanic (207 centimeters), Sagamihara’s strength was solid. Hanwool E&C, who were down to three players due to the absence of Bang Sung-yoon, came out with a strategy to win the game from the outside, but they struggled against Sagamihara as their outside shots failed to fall.

Sagamihara quickly took a 5-1 lead after Alexander Petrovic hit a trio of two-pointers. As Hanwool E&C continued to miss shots from the perimeter, Sagamihara extended the lead to 7-1 after captain Yuta Kusano hit a two-pointer.

With the win from the perimeter, Sagamihara went on a 9-2 run, finding 6-foot-10 big man Uros Kanichi in the paint zone.

Sagamihara, who reached double-digit points in the first four minutes of the game, completed the 10-point lead with a three-pointer from Alexander Petrovic against a Hanwool E&C team that tired too early.

With a 10-point lead at the midway point of the game, Sagamihara was able to relax and easily take advantage of a tired Hanwool E&C defense, and Yuta Kusano hit a game-tying two-pointer with 1:22 left in the game to clinch the KXO League Round 6 victory.

Hanwool E&C, whose 21-20 win over Shinagawa in the preliminary round was their only victory over a Japanese team this round, had to settle for the runner-up spot due to the injury absence of Bang Sung-yoon and the bad luck of not hitting a single two-pointer in the final.

Sagamihara, which includes a European player, is a mid-table team in Japan, but they made a strong impression on the Korean 3×3 scene in just two days with their solid organization and serious approach to 3×3.

Sagamihara, who won the KXO League Round 6 title to qualify for the FIBA 3×3 Kaohsiung Challenger 2024 in September, and Shinagawa, who finished fourth in Round 6, will compete in the KXO League Round 7 in August against other Korean 3×3 teams.

Sagamihara’s captain and owner Yuta Kusano was named MVP of the sixth round of the NHK Bank 2024 KXO League, which featured the first-ever Japanese teams.

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