Confident from close loss, Cha Min-seok is looking to make a name for himself as a No. 1 draft pick

Cha Min-seok (200 cm, F) is looking to make a name for himself as a No. 1 draft pick.

Seoul Samsung defeated Busan KCC 96-87 in a regular-season game of the 2023-2024 Korean Basketball Association on Thursday at Jamsil Indoor Gymnasium.

Samsung won its final home game of the season and improved to 14-39 on the season.

Unlike their meeting four days earlier, Samsung put pressure on KCC from the first quarter. Kofi Coburn (210 cm, C) made powerful baskets and rebounds in the post, while Lee Jung-hyun (190 cm, G) 메이저 토토사이트 scored crucial points in the clutch to keep KCC at bay.

In addition to their performances, another key factor in Samsung‘s victory was the play of Cha Min-seok.

Cha started the game and played the big man role in the absence of Lee Won-seok. Cha was active in the first quarter, grabbing offensive rebounds and exploiting gaps in KCC’s defense against Coburn. He then capitalized on the offensive opportunity by taking a pass from Lee Jung-hyun and draining a bold three-pointer from a 45-degree angle on the left side.

Cha Min-seok stayed on the bench at the beginning of the second quarter to rest and was replaced by Yoon Sung-won with 6:46 left in the second quarter. Cha Min-seok was not intimidated by the matchup with Lee Seung-hyun (197 cm, F) and Jung Chang-young (193 cm, G). He was able to post up on his own and attack the basket, even drawing foul free throws against Jung.

After playing 13 minutes in the second quarter to get his game feel, Cha Min-seok showed his true colors in the third quarter. At the 7:53 mark of the third quarter, Coburn deflected a double-team defense with a pocket pass to Cha Min-seok, who made an easy layup. Cha Min-seok then kept the game close with a bold fadeaway shot against Lee Seung-hyun’s marker.

Samsung gained momentum as Cha Min-seok continued his strong play in the post. Samsung stayed close with KCC until the middle of the fourth quarter and was able to take advantage of Ragan-ah’s five-foul foul with just over three minutes left in the fourth quarter to pull away.

Cha Min-seok played 23 minutes and 13 seconds on the night, scoring 12 points and grabbing seven rebounds to help his team secure the win.

“No matter who the matchup is, (Cha) should have grabbed 10 rebounds,” said Samsung head coach Kim Hyo-beom about Cha’s performance. The expectation for Min-seok and (Lee) Won-seok is 10 rebounds. There were a lot of rebounds that went right by us and we missed a lot. He had 12 points and seven rebounds tonight. It was good for a first-round pick after a long time,” he said, demanding improvement.

Cha Min-seok was selected by Samsung as the No. 1 pick in the 2020 rookie draft after graduating from Jesupogo. He was highly anticipated as the No. 1 pick, but he didn’t see much court time due to injuries, slumps, and a change in coaches. This season, however, Cha Min-seok has been working under the guidance of acting head coach Kim Hyo-beom, and along with teammate Lee Won-seok, he has been a big man for Samsung.

His hard work is reflected in his stats. In 21 games this season, Cha has averaged 6.4 points and 4.3 rebounds per game, his best numbers since his debut.

With his improvement, Cha is proving to fans why he was a first-round pick.

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