KCC coach’s confidence in ‘master’ Jeon Chang-jin “Will it end in Game 4 or Game 5? We won’t lose even if we go”

KBL coach Jeon Chang-jin’s confidence was high.

Busan KCC won 102-90 in the third round of the 2023-24 Korean Basketball League quarterfinals playoffs against Wonju DB at Busan Sajik Gymnasium on Monday, leaving them just one win away from the championship game.

KCC head coach Jeon Chang-jin said after the game, “We focused on active defense through the rotation of forward resources such as (Dedrick) Lawson, (Choi) Jun-yong, and (Lee) Seung-hyun. DB is a tough team to beat, but today we were able to win because the players widened the gap,” he said.

“Not losing the rebounding battle was a key factor in the win. We’ve played DB nine times and we’re about to play them for the 10th time. We know each other’s tactics and strategies. In the end, we just need to emphasize the importance of rebounding more,” he added.

It was a welcome return for Alize Johnson, who was questionable before the game. He had six points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals in 13 minutes and six seconds. He didn’t look 100 percent, but it was a big boost just to give Lagana some rest.

“He said he wanted to play. He was only rehabbing until this morning, but he wanted to play for about five minutes, so I put him in. (La) Gun-ah was having a hard time at one point, so I asked him to play, and he was fine. From our point of view, it’s good to have one more player who can play.”

KCC will advance to the championship game with a win in the fourth round on Nov. 21 in Busan. It will be the first time in three years since the 2020-21 season that they will be back in the championship game. However, if they lose, Game 5 will be held in Wonju. A situation that could be unfavorable for KCC.

“At DB, (Lee Sun) Albano and (Didrik) Lawson have a lot of playing time,” said Jeon. Even if we lose Game 4, I don’t think we’ll lose again in Game 5. That’s why we emphasize rotation.” “Of course, from my point of view, I want Game 4 to end like Game 3. We’re rotating so that we can play until the end of the fourth quarter. In Game 3, things worked out well. Lawson, Albano, they didn’t make shots at the end. Our rotation and our defense worked well,” he said.

Choi Jun-yong also had a good game, with 25 points, two 안전놀이터 rebounds, and three assists in 26 minutes and eight seconds of action. It was a 180-degree turnaround from his 2-point, 3-rebound, 7-assist performance in Game 2.

Coach Jeon Chang-jin said, “Jun-yong can be a better player if he doesn’t have the desire to win the game for himself. When he’s selfless, he’s very hard to stop. We’ve been talking a lot about that, whether it’s making nice passes or shooting in tough situations. He has a high mid-range jumper percentage. So there are a lot of end-one situations. He’s also a good fast break player. What I hope is that Junyong can improve his form and that the team can make good decisions when it matters. Then not only will he be better, but we will be better.”

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