Byun Joon-hyung (27, 185.3 cm) is focusing on winning while playing for the Sangmu.
The team won 88-84 against Changwon LG in the 2023-2024 KBL D-League on Nov. 21 at Icheon LG Champions Park.
Han Seung-hee and Park Jin-cheol dominated the floor as usual, combining for 49 points and 23 rebounds. But apart from that, the course and outcome of the game was quite different. Commerce’s overall performance against LG’s promised defense was subdued compared to their winning streak.
On top of that, Byun Joon-hyung, who is supposed to carry the ball, assemble the play, and set up the offense, struggled in the first half, making just two of his nine field goal attempts.
Still, Commerce was Commerce. After regrouping for 12 minutes at halftime, they made life difficult for LG in the third quarter with a 180-degree turnaround with Byun Joon-hyung at the helm. In particular, Byun Joon-hyung was more aggressive on offense than in previous games, hunting for points and capitalizing on his teammates’ opportunities.
Thanks to Byun’s performance, the team gained momentum and was able to turn a 17-point deficit into an overtime victory.
After the game, Byun said, “It’s not that we didn’t play basketball, it’s just that our shots weren’t falling. If our shots had gone in, the first half would have gone well. The players were on vacation, so we didn’t have enough time to adjust, and we didn’t have enough training.” He reflected.
On the day, Byun Jun-hyung played 43 minutes and 10 seconds, putting up 18 points, six rebounds, nine assists, and four steals in an all-around performance. The 43 minutes and 10 seconds is the most minutes Byun has played since joining the team.
“The coach said he would substitute me, but I announced my intention to play. I wasn’t feeling well, but I thought I would feel bad for my teammates if I went overtime and signed for a substitute.”
In addition, Byun Joon-hyung talked about his life in commerce, saying, “I’m adjusting well, but I’ve gained a lot of weight. I can only eat instant food. I can’t do much within the unit. I think I’ve gained weight because I relieve stress by eating, but I don’t have to worry too much because I’ll lose it all before the season starts,” he laughed.
As mentioned earlier, Sangmu almost ended a winning streak that had been going on since December 22nd. Until that day against LG Electronics, the team had won 11 straight games.
“We should have played hard from the start,” Byun said. Steph Curry recently broke the record for consecutive three-pointers made at 268 games. Just like that record, our shots don’t always go in. We just need to do better next time,” he said.
Finally, Byun Joon-hyung shared his goals for the team.
“I want to stay healthy and not get injured,” he said, “and I want to win a championship with the team. Currently, I’m only focusing on the team. In the future, if I return to Jungkwanjang, I will do my best to perform as well as I can.”