Heo Hoon of the professional basketball team Suwon KT, who completed his military service on March 15, said he is looking forward to facing Lee Jung-hyun (Sono).
Speaking to reporters shortly after his discharge, Heo Hoon said, “Jung Hyun-i has become amazingly good. It would be fun to play against him,” he said.
The prospect of a matchup between Heo Hoon and Lee Jung-hyun has drawn the attention of fans, who are asking the question of who is the best guard in Korea.
Heo was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the regular season in 2019-2020 and has continued to improve since then, earning a starting spot on the national team.
Lee Jung-hyun, in his third season as a professional, has also been impressive this season. He’s averaging 21 points and 6.1 assists, leading all Korean players in scoring and assists.
It was Heo Hoon who smiled in the matchup that actually took place on May 5.
In the 2023-2024 regular season home game against Sono at KT Arena in Suwon, Gyeonggi-do, Heo poured in 22 points in 28 minutes to lead KT to an 86-81 victory.
Playing steady and without committing a single mistake, Heo was the go-to guy in every game. Down 82-81 with 54 seconds left in the game, he quickly drove underneath the basket and scored a valuable layup.
On the other hand, Lee Jung-hyun, who struggled with four mistakes in the first quarter alone, had a below-average performance with just 12 points and three assists.
He even hung his head in shame after missing a mid-range shot with 54 seconds left in the game, when the team needed a game-winner.
Heo Hoon, in particular, scored a series of important points in front of Lee Jung-hyun, which really broke his opponent’s spirit.
Six minutes before the end of the second quarter, Heo Hoon drove to the basket and drew a free throw, unperturbed by Lee’s pressure, and over seven minutes before the end of the third quarter, he overcame Lee’s defense in transition to score and draw a free throw.
About a minute later, Heo grabbed another rebound and accelerated to beat Kim Jin-yoo’s defense, and he also beat Lee Jung-hyun for a layup.
Hehun, who has played eight games since being drafted, is averaging 17.1 points and 4.4 assists in just 27 minutes per game.
“Jung-hyun was playing so well that the whole team was trying to figure out how to stop him through video analysis, and they also have a good big man in Chinanu Onuaku, so it was tough,” Heo said in the postgame press conference. “Defense is a five-man game. I think we did a good job defending him today.”
“Jung Hyun-i was a little sluggish today, so I believe he will do better in the next game,” he added. 파워볼