For Korean Basketball, China and Iran will be the toughest opponents for South Korea in its Asian Games title defense in men’s basketball. This is what the team’s head coach said Wednesday.

“We believe China and Iran will be really strong, and we’ll have to bear down on defense”. said Hur Jae after the national team defeated the Korean Basketball League (KBL) club KT Sonicboom 91-79 in a practice game in Suwon, some 45 kilometers south of Seoul.

South Korea defeated Iran for the gold medal at the previous Asian Games four years ago in Incheon. This is about 40 kilometers west of the capital city.  South Korea rallied from a five-point deficit with two minutes remaining for a thrilling 79-77 win, earning its first Asiad gold in men’s hoops since 2002.

Korean Basketball Team Wants More

At the Jakarta-Palembaing Asian Games, South Korea will try to win a second straight gold in men’s basketball for the first time.  Hur said it will take plenty of mental fortitude to get the job done.

South Korea will open the tournament against Indonesia on Aug. 14, and then face Mongolia on Aug. 16.  But the third game isn’t until Aug. 22, and Hur said he was concerned that there aren’t facilities to put in some extra work. This is after the official training hours, aside from designated venues.

The national team will have a practice game against another KBL team, LG Sakers. This will be on Friday, and then depart for Jakarta on Sunday.