South Korea coach Cho Sanghyun said there was nothing his players can do to stop SJ Belangel from hitting a buzzer-beating three that gave Gilas Pilipinas a dramatic 81-78 win in their FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers match.
Belangel ended the Philippines’ eight-year drought against the South Koreans when he scored an off-balanced three off big man Seounghyun Lee to cap off a thrilling game held Wednesday, June 16 at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center in Pampanga.
Cho later described Belangel’s winner as a “lucky shot.”
“We actually planned out a switch from that last two seconds so that there’s no space for a second shot,” Cho said through a translator during the virtual post-match press conference. “But it was a lucky shot. So there was nothing we had to do to fix it.
“But on second thought, maybe we could have done a trap. But overall, it was a lucky shot. There was no way of defending it,” added the former South Korean national team player.
The defeat came after South Korea led by as many as 17 points in the first half and even led by five going into the final two minutes.
Instead, South Korea remained winless in eight tries when facing the Philippines on the latter’s home floor.
South Korea, which fell to second in Group A with a 2-1 record, will have a quick turnaround Thursday, June 17 with a game against Indonesia before facing Thailand two days later.
Gilas and South Korea will meet again Sunday, June 20 to wrap up their campaign in the continental qualifiers.