Marei answered head coach Cho Sang-hyun’s call perfectly to lead his team to victory.
Changwon LG lost 71-85 in the first round of the 2023-2024 Jungkwanjang Professional Basketball League against Anyang Jungkwanjang at Anyang Gymnasium on Wednesday. The team shot just 35 percent (27-of-78) from the field, making just six of 23 three-pointers. Their frustrating play on offense throughout the game contributed to the loss.
Another contributing factor was the poor performance of 1-option foreign player Asem Marei (31, 202.1 cm). Marei recorded a double-double with 14 points and 15 rebounds, but he only made seven of his 19 attempts from two-point range. He shot a dismal 37% from the field. He was also sensitive to refereeing calls and missed a series of easy shots from under the basket.
LG and Jeong Kwan-jang met again five days later on the 17th at the same venue. Before the game, LG coach Cho Sang-hyun said, “Marei needs to play well under the basket. We need him to shoot about 60% from the field, so we can play a better game. Also, we missed a lot of easy shots derived from Marei, so our offense became stagnant. I asked the players to use motion offense more,” he said, urging Marrei to improve. 캡틴토토 도메인
After his ego was bruised five days earlier, Marrei didn’t get suspended twice. He dominated the paint, finishing with 21 points, 17 rebounds and six assists in 31 minutes and 43 seconds. He made 10 of 15 free throws, answering the call of head coach Cho Sang-hyun perfectly. He shot a whopping 67% from the field. Five of his 17 rebounds were valuable offensive rebounds.
LG, led by Marei, dominated the height battle from the start and held Jeong Kwan-jang to just one rebound in the first quarter. They continued their momentum in the second quarter and increased their lead. They led in rebounds 21-5 in the first half. LG stabilized in the second half and cruised to a 106-77 victory despite the absence of Dante Cunningham due to back pain.
It was a perfect revenge against Chung Kwan-jang after five days of dominance under the basket and a reminder of why he is the dominant player under the basket. LG’s defense will always be strong with Marei on the floor.