Oh I guess we have to face the inevitable.
Gilas Pilipinas will take on Korea and the winner will advance to the semifinal round.
So Korea drubbed Japan, 81 to 68. Oh Se Keun, Lee Jong Hyun and Kim Sun Hyung to the shock of no one… paved the way for the Korean victory. These three unleashed 31 of the team’s 68 attempts… making 18 in the process.
Oh is an undersized center with a neat set of offensive arsenal. He is listed at 232 pounds – virtually the same weight as Japeth Aguilar and Christian Standhardinger. June Mar Fajardo is at least 40 pounds heavier than Oh but the Korean is at least 30 pounds heavier than Raymond Almazan. While Oh may be a decent free throw shooter, he never extends his range to the 3-point zone. He can also play defense, can ably protect the paint, and he could play physical if needed.
Powerade-Team Pilipinas and Korea completed Group A which also comprised of Japan and Sri Lanka in the 2009 FIBA Asia Championship held in Tianjin, China. Oh Se Keun is the lone member of the current Korean squad to be part of that team while from our end, it’s Gabe Norwood and Japeth Aguilar. During the group stages, Korea defeated Team Pilipinas, 69 to 56. Oh had 11 points, 5 rebounds, and a blocked shot in 22 minutes. Korea would then repeat against Team Pilipinas in the battle for seventh place in which Oh finished as the team’s hero with a game-high 31 points, 10 rebounds, 2 blocks, 11-of-18 from the field, and 9-of-11 from the line. The score of that game was 82 to 80. Aside from Norwood and Aguilar, PBA MVPs James Yap, Asi Taulava, Willie Miller, Jayjay Helterbrand, and Arwind Santos were rendered helpless on Oh’s onslaught.
Korea and the Philippines would cross paths anew in the 2011 FIBA Asia Championship in Wuhan. Korea would then beat the now-called Smart-Gilas, 70 to 68, no thanks to Cho Sung Min. Aguilar is part of the Rajko Toroman-squad but never saw action in the battle. Oh played 30 minutes but he struggled in the contest with nine points and nine rebounds of 4-of-14 shooting. Kim Jong Kyu is also part of the squad.
In 2013, Kim Sun Hyung, Kim Jong Kyu, and Lee Jong Hyun made up for the absence of Oh. The team also had the likes of Cho Sung Min, Kim Joo Sung, Yang Dong Geun, Kim Min Goo, and Lee Seung Jun. Gilas Pilipinas prevailed over the squad though, 86 to 79. Jayson Castro had 17 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists with Marc Pingris finishing with 16 points and 10 rebounds and Jimmy Alapag nailing four triples. Castro, Norwood, Aguilar, and Fajardo are the 2017 holdovers.
Recently, Korea and Gilas Pilipinas fought at the 2017 Jones Cup where the latter lost in humiliating fashion. Gilas lost the game firing 26 shots and hitting the target just once. Jio Jalalon got the lone triple with Standhardinger, Matthew Wright, RR Pogoy, and Carl Bryan Cruz also looking for redemption. Again Oh Se Keun led the way for the Koreans with 14 points.
Oh Se Keun is the player we need to mark on the inside but Kim Sun Hyung is the veteran deadshot. Ung Heo is another player we need to stop while disabling Park Chan Hee is a must. I will have Norwood hound Kim Sun Hyung and I would have Chot Reyes use Castro to force open the Korean inside. Oh, Lee Jong Hyun, and Kim Jong Kyu are the designated frontliners and they aren’t as dominant back then when Korea had the likes of Seo Jang Hoon and Ha Seung Jin. The probable X-Factors for Korea are Jeon Jun Beom and Lee Seoung Hyun but I doubt if Korea can operate well with Oh acting like a mere decoy.
If this is the game we get to have June Mar Fajardo, then I am all up for it. With that said, Gilas Pilipinas needs to have the scoring presence of Castro. As much as we have our other guns exploding, it’s time for our main man to take off his offensive cuffs.