The Master-wook 3×3 Basketball Team (hereinafter referred to as Master-wook) will take part in the first FIBA 3×3 Challenger after its establishment.메이저놀이터
Master Wook (Lee Dong-yoon, Kim Jeong-nyeon, Yoon Seong-soo, Jung Sung-jo), who ambitiously challenged the 3×3 men’s league division by launching a 3×3 basketball team with CEO Kim Ki-wook in January and recruiting Kim Jeong-nyeon, the No. I left for Malaysia on the morning of the 9th to participate in the ‘FIBA 3×3 World Hoops Penang Challenger 2023’.
Master Wook, who participated in the FIBA 3×3 Ulaanbaatar Super Quest 2023 last April, this time challenges the Challenger (Level 9), which is one level higher than the Super Quest (Level 8). FIBA 3×3 is divided into a total of 10 levels, World Tour is the highest level 10, and Challenger is the same level 9 higher level competition as the World Cup and Asia Cup. In the meantime, in Korea, in 2019, the Heavenly Inje has participated in the Yichang Challenger in China, and Master Wook, as a domestic team, has participated in the overseas challenger in four years since the Heavenly Inje.
Although he failed to advance to the main draw, which he aimed for in the first international competition he participated in, Master Wook, who has accumulated valuable experience, is aiming to catch ‘two rabbits’ in terms of not only accumulating experience points but also grades by showing a more advanced appearance in this competition.
One good thing is that, unlike the Ulaanbaatar Super Quest, the tournament started in the main draw rather than the qualifying draw in which lower ranked teams competed. The 12 teams went directly to the finals, where the 12 teams were divided into 4 groups of 3 teams, and the 1st and 2nd places in each group played from the main draw to advance to the quarterfinals.
Master Wook, who went directly to the main draw in this challenger, is organized in Group B and competes with Saitama Alphas EXE (Japan) and No. 1 in the Qualifying Draw. In the main draw, where 12 teams compete, the top 11 teams have confirmed their participation, and Master Wook must place at least 2nd in the group against Saitama and 1st place in the Qualifying Draw to advance to the quarterfinals.
One more interesting point here is the grouping result. Is it a joke of fate? Master Wook faced Saitama and Puitan in the Ulaanbaatar Challenger Qualifying Draw two months ago, and the possibility of being in the same group as the two teams has increased in this tournament.
With Saitama already in Group B, the remaining spot in Main Draw Group B is highly likely to be occupied by Putian (China), who starts the tournament from the Quilling Draw. If Putian advances to the main draw, it is expected that a kind of ‘déjà vu’ will unfold in which the same group as the Ulaanbaatar Quest is organized.
Master-wook captain Lee Dong-yoon accepted the results of the group formation and said, “I don’t know if there is a precedent like this (laughs). It seems like a joke of fate,” but “I think it worked out rather well. I think it’s better to play against teams we’ve played before. It’s also an opportunity to avenge the loss we suffered last time in Mongolia. It’s clear that we’re still underdogs, but we’ll fight better this time based on the valuable experience we’ve gained in Mongolia.” expressed his determination.
As Master Wook, in order to go beyond the main draw and look at the quarterfinals, he must overcome the wall of ‘Japan’. Saitama, the second main draw opponent, must be a tough opponent for Master Wook. Previously, in the Ulaanbaatar Super Quest, Master Wook lost to Saitama 17-21.
Saitama has 2 out of 4 players from the Japan 3×3 national team. Centering around Tomoya Ochiai (195cm, 32 years old) and Ryuto Yasuoka (188cm, 28 years old), who competed in the FIBA 3×3 World Cup that closed last week, Serbian Petar Sukkur (195cm, 23 years old) and Danilo Matovic ( 203cm, 24 years old) added to the team. With a slightly different composition from the previous Ulaanbaatar Super Quest, double shooter Ryuto Yasuoka and 203cm big man Danilo Matovic are new players.
Above all, for Master-Wook, who suffered a bitter come-from-behind defeat by being hit by the outer cannon several times in the Ulaanbaatar Super Quest, blocking the two-point shot seems to be the watershed of the game.
Moreover, except for Ryuto, Saitama consists of the other three players taller than 190cm. On the other hand, it is safe to say that the tallest Master-wook is Jeong Seong-jo at 191cm, and there is virtually no player in the big man position. The defense is also defensive, but in attack, it seems that attacking the opponent’s defense with speed, and the outer shot derived from this will be the absolute condition for victory.
Lee Dong-yoon said, “I still dream of the match where we were defeated by Saitama in Mongolia. It worked out so well in the beginning that there were some aspects of being vigilant, and we were physically lacking compared to our opponents.” I felt the need to do it, and I focused on those parts in practice,” he said, saying he would not repeat the same mistake.
As there is no direct flight to Penang, Malaysia, where the tournament will be held, Master-Wook Master, who travels for a long time of 15 hours including one stopover, said that he would play a good game by maintaining good condition regardless of the travel time.
Finally, Lee Dong-yoon said, “Currently, my goal is to advance to the quarterfinals. I know that if you reach the top 5, you will receive a prize money.” Every time we play, there are people who support us. Their enthusiastic support and harsh reprimands are a great source of strength. We also have to achieve good results in order to live up to these expectations and advance to the next level. It is the first time we have participated since the founding. As this is a challenger competition, I will try to play a game that I am not ashamed of, with the mindset of representing Korea.”