Taiwanese basketball circles were shocked at the news that Chung Kwon-suk, who led Taiwan NT to the fifth place in 2009 FIBA Asia Championship, passed away after battling kidney cancer.
Chung reportedly passed away at the age of 67 on Thursday in South Korea.
A South Korean legendary coach, Chung earned his reputation as the head coach who led South Korea to Asian title in the 1997 FIBA Asia Championship, its first Asian title since 1969, with a win over China and the first berth in the World Championship in 1998.
The hard-working head coach had a close connection with Taiwanese basketball, briefly coaching Dacin Tigers in the professional league Chinese Basketball Alliance (CBA) in 1999.
After the league folded in 2000, Chung was hired by the CTBA as the technical consultant for Taiwan U18 NT and helped the team to win the bronze medal that year.
With Taiwan NT kept backsliding in Asian basketball in the 2000s, dropping to as miserable as the 11th place in 2003, Chung was hired by the CTBA in 2007 as the first foreign head coach in Taiwanese senior men’s NT history.
The decision paid dividends as Chung led Taiwan NT to the sixth place in 2007 and the fifth place in 2009, its best finish in 10 years since finishing for the 4th place in 1999.
The most notable victory in the 2009 championship in Tianjin, China, was a win over South Korea, Chung’s motherland.
Chung was known for his emphasis on defense and his leadership that make players want to play for him. Taiwan NT’s defense, in particular its zone defense, under Chung was the best I’ve seen for years.
Many Taiwanese players paid tribute to the coach and said that Chung will be missed.
(Photos: CTBA, Apple Daily)