“He’s really good. He’s not on the French national team for nothing. I don’t think it’s time to take a break for Chuseok.”
The Korea 3×3 Basketball Organization (KXO) will host the ‘NH Bank FIBA 3×3 Hongcheon Challenger 2023’ on October 2 and 3 in Hongcheon, Gangwon Province. The event is the only 3×3 international tournament to be held in Korea this year and will feature 16 3×3 teams from around the world.
KXO, which hosted the ‘FIBA 3×3 Challenger’ twice in 2019 in Inje and Jeju, hosted the event again this year after the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting with the Hongcheon Challenger, KXO plans to hold 2-3 Challengers and 3×3 international tournaments in Korea every year to put Korean 3×3 on the international stage.
Based on the experience of 2019, KXO is accelerating its preparations for the Hongcheon Challenger and received an unexpected offer on the 17th. A team from Paris, France, contacted the team 10 days before the tournament and asked to stay in Korea.
Instead of returning to France after competing in the FIBA 3×3 Cebu World Tour 2023 in Cebu, Philippines, on the 25th and 26th, Paris wanted to fly to Korea to prepare for the Hongcheon Challenger.
This was a difficult decision for KXO, who had a short time to prepare for the tournament due to the Chuseok holiday. However, Paris also offered practice matches and joint training with Korean teams, and KXO accepted the offer as it was a good opportunity for Korean teams that lacked international experience.
Paris, which is preparing for next year’s Paris Olympics with all four players in their mid-20s, is a strong team with all of its players being current members of the French men’s 3×3 national team.
The first practice game between the Paris and Korean teams took place at the Seoul All That Basket on the 27th.
A total of eight players from Korea participated, including Inje of Skydown, Jeon Jung-min of Busan Clean Shot, and Jeon Jeong-min of Hongcheon Epin. Many more players wanted to participate, but since it was scheduled for a weekday afternoon, some players were unable to participate due to their main jobs.
The practice matches were one-sided. Paris showed two levels of skill against the Koreans and struggled against the sky-high stakes of being the best 3×3 team in the country.
The scrimmage, which lasted about two hours, allowed the Parisians to rest up and prepare for the Hongcheon Challenger, while the Koreans had to play the Hongcheon Challenger to gauge the quality of the international teams.
Park Min-soo, who struggled with Paris’ defense at the beginning of the practice match, said, “The level is high. Their wingspans were long, so the range I could be blocked was wider than I thought. This was a good preparation for the Hongcheon Challenger.”바카라
Han Jung-cheol of Busan Clean Shot, who traveled from Busan for the practice match against Paris, said, “It’s fun to experience something I don’t do easily. It’s fun to have fun, but the level was higher than I expected, so I thought I should be more prepared. On the other hand, I thought that 3×3 would be competitive only if I went out and played on the world stage,” he said, explaining his feelings.
Jeon Jeong-min, who was the only player from Hongcheon Epin to participate in the practice match against Paris, said, “She’s really good. In fact, I was just excited to go to the Hongcheon Challenger, but after playing a practice match with Paris today, I had to face reality. If I don’t want to be embarrassed, Chuseok is not the time to take a break,” he said, adding that regardless of his performance, he will continue to practice during Chuseok to minimize embarrassment on the Hongcheon Challenger court.
KXO calculated the cumulative standings of the KXO League since the beginning of the year and granted qualification for the Hongcheon Challenger to Skydown Inje and Hongcheon Epin (who went directly to the main draw), Hansolemicon, Hanwool E&C, and Busan Clean Shot (who went to the qualifying draw).
With the exception of Skydown Inje and Hansolemicon, most of the teams have only one 3×3 international tournament under their belt. The Hongcheon Challenger will also be televised live on KBS N Sports, so teams will have to work hard to avoid national embarrassment.
It is difficult to expect good results in the Hongcheon Challenger by cramming. However, as KXO prepares for various overseas projects starting in 2024, we hope that the Hongcheon Challenger can be a springboard for change for KXO League teams, as well as for the growth of KXO and KXO League teams.