Coach Yamamoto: “I am convinced that a good defense will create a good offense.”
In the semifinals of the Women’s Winter Cup, Kyoto Seika Gakuen faces Tokai University Fukuoka. When they succeeded with a 17-0 run in the first quarter, they won 70-47 at 40 minutes with a fast break defensive rebound, and won 70-47, advancing to the final for the second year in a row.
Coach Yamamoto Tsunayoshi, who led the team to a clear victory, looks back on the game in this way. “We had to think of Tokai University’s Fukuoka countermeasures in a hurry, so we left everything up to the players, but they responded well. I told them to catch loose balls. The most important thing is to stop conceding goals, which puts the most pressure on the opponent. I am convinced that a good defense will create a good offense.”
As coach Yamamoto says, from the first quarter, Tokai University Fukuoka’s main pillar, Fal Aminata, was not allowed to be denied, and Izoje Uche, who recorded two blocked shots, showed strict defense. And Uchae didn’t give the initiative until the end because he ran into a conversion and scored a goal. Woo Chae, who scored 13 points, said, “I definitely don’t want to lose. I didn’t want to feel frustrated, so I was able to keep working hard until the end.”
Kyoto Seika had a big lead in transition, but they also outplayed the half court offense. Yuka Yagi says, “I had a feeling I was going to score because I matched other international students,” as well as the Uche-oriented interior. He led the offense by recording a game high 17 as up.
Yagi showed his presence when it came to scoring, but his words after the game were all about defense. “At the meeting yesterday, it was said that the initial defense is important. Everyone was aware of that, and I was able to do that on the court. It was good that we were able to hold on to the points we conceded.”
Even Yagi, who has become the team’s leading scorer, puts defense first, and Kyoto Seika has allowed an average of 47.5 points after four games, boasting one of the most solid defenses in the tournament. As coach Yamamoto says, the team, which has taken the initiative to defend, returned to the final last year after drinking tears of frustration. Yagi, who lost his dream by 4 points last year, expressed his decision for tomorrow as follows. “I’m happy to be back on this stage, and I’m grateful to a lot of people.