South Korea will be guided by a veteran leader when they compete in the upcoming window of the FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers later this month in Quezon City.
Kim Sun-hyung, a mainstay of the Korean national team in the past decade, has been called up to the squad that will also feature naturalized center Ra Gun-a, Lee Seoung-hyun, Jeon Seoung-hyen, and Yang Hong-seok.
Also making a comeback to the team are: Kim Jong-kyu, Heo Hoon, and Heo Ung.
Kim, who last featured in the FIBA World Cup 2019, is looking forward to playing for Korea again, especially in a crucial qualifying window where they are scheduled to play four times in five days.
Already marked on his calendar are their two games against the Philippines on February 24 and 28 at the Araneta Coliseum -- the latest chapters in the rivalry between the two squads.
Kim was not part of the Korean squad that absorbed two close losses to Gilas Pilipinas in the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers in June 2021, but he told the FIBA website that he was well aware of what happened in those games.
"I actually watched the two games [where we were] beaten by the Philippines in 2021," he said.
A young Philippine team that featured no professional players stunned South Korea twice. On June 16, SJ Belangel netted a three-pointer at the buzzer to lift Gilas to an 81-78 triumph; four days later, they hacked out an 82-77 win to sweep the window.
"Now it's time for revenge," the 33-year-old Kim said of their upcoming games against Gilas Pilipinas. "I am ready and confident about beating them in the two games."
Kim has played against the Philippines several times, including their classic game in the semifinals of the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship when Jimmy Alapag's clutch three-pointer secured the upset victory for Gilas Pilipinas.
Aside from their two matches against the Philippines, Korea will also play New Zealand on February 25 and India on February 27.
The qualifying window will be held in a "bubble" in Quezon City in accordance with health and safety protocols.