At one point, they led by as many as 16 points, but their opponents were fierce. There was also anxiety as many of the main players got into foul trouble. However, Na Sung-ho, who hit a three-pointer in the final minutes, performed a confident ceremony on the court, enthusing the students at the home gym.
Dankook University’s Na Sung-ho started the 2023 KUSF University Basketball U-League game against Kunkuk University at Dankook University’s Cheonan Campus Gymnasium on Nov. 26 and played all 40 minutes without a substitution, finishing with 21 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks, including five three-pointers, to lead his team to victory.
With the 76-71 victory over KU, Dankook remained in sole possession of fourth place with a 6-4 record. The team also gained ground in the playoff race.
Na Sung-ho said, “It’s great to win a game that we prepared for so desperately. The manager and coach did a great job preparing us, and our players, who played the role of KU in practice, worked harder than KU, so we were able to prepare well for the game. Our height is lower than the other team, so we stayed up late at night to make sure we were organized, and I think that helped us a lot,” he said after the victory.
Dankook University, which played an all-out pressure defense from the beginning, showed some hesitation in the second half, but succeeded in physically harassing their opponents until the end.
“I think we are the top team in 스포츠토토 the league in terms of physical strength,” said Na Sung-ho. We didn’t have any physical burden, and our bench resources are not bad, so I think we can run the game until the end if we take turns,” said Na.
Despite their height disadvantage, KU dominated the rebounding battle. Despite being outrebounded by Freddie by 18 rebounds, they outrebounded KU 43-34 overall.
Na Sung-ho said, “Coach emphasized the importance of rebounding. We took care of boxing out, ran in from the outside, and actively rebounded together,” he said, analyzing why the team won the rebounding battle.
Na Sung-ho was the team’s top scorer on the night. He added points at crucial moments, and his wild celebrations lifted the team’s spirits.
“I actually don’t like the heat. It was hot in the gym, so I tried to make myself more tense, and the crowd was very supportive. The gym was a little hot today, but I think if we’re hot, they’re hot, so we have to deal with it.”
A 16-point lead seemed to solidify the victory, but KU rallied in the final quarter. Dankook lost all four of its starters except Na Sung-ho to foul trouble early in the fourth quarter, and Song Jae-hwan and Choi Kang-min fouled out with five fouls in the final minutes.
Na Sung-ho said, “I was a little embarrassed because everyone was in foul trouble except me, and this is something I have to personally reflect on. We were all defending together and I was the only one without fouls, which means I wasn’t active enough. I will watch today’s game again and reflect on where I should have fouled out, and next time I will try to distribute the players more.”
Dankook University head coach Seok Seung-ho said that with the victory, the team aims to challenge for third place in the regular season. Na Sung-ho echoed this sentiment.
“No matter which team we play, I think we will have a good result if we play the basketball we have prepared. Our teammates trust each other, so we will play well in the remaining schedules so that we can catch Chung-Ang University.”