MACAU — Ricardo Ratliffe isn’t the only connection of Philippine basketball in Ulsan Hyundai Mobis Phoebus, his club team playing in the Asia League Terrific 12 here at the Studio City.
Yoo Jae Hak, the old mentor of the Korean national basketball team, is also calling the shots for Ratlliffe’s club team here and he shared his memorable recollections of Pinoy brand of play. He was the coach of the national team in the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship when Korea lost its semifinals match against Gilas Pilpinas, which earned a ticket back to the world stage after 40 years and made its way to face Iran in the gold medal.
That was perhaps the only lost experienced by the Koreans in recent memory as Yoo’s team would bounce back and beat the Philippines in the FIBA World Cup and the Asian Games a year later, adding these victories inflicted on the Pinoys, who were beaten by their rivals in many international tournaments, on the list of their success.
There, the Korean curse was continuously established all the way to the recent Asian Games this year.
Yoo is no longer the coach of the Korean national squad as Hur Jae, one of the best players ever the country has produced, had taken over the helm of its basketball program.
But Yoo shared his views as to why the Philippines has had little success beating Korea through the years.
“We played differently. The Philippines plays a lot of isolation plays and relied mostly on one-on-one, just like what they’ve seen in the NBA,” said Yoo thru his interpreter. “On the other hand, we’ve been relying more on team play, execution and we used our ball movement more and our outside shooting.”
Yoo, however, saw improvements on the way the Filipinos play in international competitions, but advised the current coach, Yeng Guiao, to veer away from isolation plays.
Photo from Hoopnut