Woori Bank players need to help Kim Dan-bi.
Asan Woori Bank won 74-70 against Busan BNK in the opening game of the Woori Bank Woori WON 2023-2024 Women’s Professional Basketball League on Friday at Asan Yi Sun-sin Gymnasium. It was a hard-fought game that went into overtime.
The 2022-2023 season belonged to Woori Bank. With Kim Dan-bi (180 cm, F), the team emerged as a strong title contender before the season started, and they got a big win against BNK in the opening game. Halfway through the season, they were already a force to be reckoned with in the league. They finished the regular season in first place with 25 wins and 5 losses.
Woori Bank’s momentum continued in the playoffs. Woori won both the best-of-four playoffs and the championship game. Woori won the ‘Playoffs Undefeated’ title.
However, Woori Bank did not have a normal offseason. Kim Jong-un (179 cm, F), who became a free agent, left the team. The main players, Park Ji-hyun (183 cm, G) and Kim Dan-bi (183 cm, G), did not get enough rest due to their national team call-ups. In addition, several players, including Park Hye-jin (178 cm, G), were unable to participate in offseason training due to injuries.
“Winning is great, but there is an aftermath. I feel that a lot. When something good happens, something bad seems to come. (Laughs) We have to adjust as we go through the season. We have to hold on until (Park) Hye-jin comes back,” he said.
Woori Bank’s biggest challenge is to fill the gap left by Park Hye-jin and Kim Jong-un. “We have to hold on until (Park) Hye-jin comes back. When Hye-jin comes in, we can control (Kim) Dan-bi. They are the leaders of our team, and with one of them out, the pressure will be on Danbi. However, Danbi didn’t have a full offseason because she was called up to the national team. He’s not in the best shape right now,” he said.
And so the opening match began. Kim Dan-bi had many roles in the offense. She was in charge of defending ace Kim Han-byul (178 cm, F). She also had to handle the ball and score her own points. Despite being out of shape, Kim managed to fulfill all of these roles. She was even a fixer in the clutch. She scored 14 points in the fourth quarter alone. Her final line was 32 points, 17 rebounds, 10 assists, two blocked shots, and one steal. It was a perfect game.
Alongside Kim Dan-bi, Park Ji-hyun, the mainstay of the team, did her job as always. She used her speed to lead the transition offense after getting a rebound. She also grabbed 14 rebounds for a double-double.
Yoo Seung-hee (175 cm, G), a newcomer to the team this offseason, also did her best. It wasn’t spectacular. She only scored five points. However, she was able to help Ahn Hye-ji (160 cm, G) and Lee So-hee (165 cm, G) on defense. She also actively participated in the rebounding battle. As a result, she grabbed six rebounds and sometimes even helped assemble plays with Park Ji-hyun. He was a key contributor to the victory. 토토사이트
Choi Yi-sam (180 cm, F) and Noh Hyun-ji (176 cm, F) also played well.