Rookie Kim Jong-yeon earns praise from Woori head coach Lee Sat-woo.
Busan BNK faced Asan Woori Bank in the opening game of the Woori WON 2023-2024 Women’s Professional Basketball League at Asan Yi Sunshin Gymnasium on Friday, losing 70-74 in a hard-fought game that went into overtime.
BNK has hovered at the bottom of the league for several years since its inception. But ahead of the 2021-2022 season, the team made a major change. Park Jung-jeong was hired as head coach and Kim Han-byul was brought in, and the effects were immediate. BNK made the playoffs for the first time since its inception.
Ahead of the 2022-2023 season, the team added Han Um-ji (180 cm, F). The starting lineup was further solidified. Add in the development of Ahn Hye-ji (165 cm, G) and Lee So-hee (170 cm, G), and BNK was in the championship game for the first time in its history.
BNK’s biggest strength is their starting lineup. However, BNK relies too heavily on its starters. Ahn Hye-ji played a total of 1,100 minutes and Lee So-hee played a total of 1,034 minutes. In contrast, the most played bench player for BNK last season was Kim Sion (175 cm, G), who left the team. BNK needs to fill the void left by Kim Sion while also developing its younger players.
“We need Shim Soo-hyun, Kim Jong-un, Kim Min-ah, and Kim Ji-eun to provide strength from the outside,” said BNK head coach Park Jung-jeong ahead of the opening match. At the No. 3 spot, Kim and Kim Ji-eun need to grow more. We will invest time in those areas. They will get better as the season goes on,” he said, emphasizing the growth of his players.
Indeed, BNK used an even mix of players in the opening game, with Kim (176 cm, F), the second overall pick in the first round of the 2023 WKBL Rookie Draft, standing out the most. Kim played 31 minutes and scored six points.
BNK started Da-jung Park in place of Han Um-ji, but both of her shots were off the rim. She played three minutes and attempted two shots. Park then brought in Kim Jong-un and Kim Min-ah, but neither player made much of an impact. In particular, Kim Jong-un became the target of the opponent’s offense.
The second quarter was a similar story. Ahn Hye-ji, Jin-an, and others did their part. However, the players off the bench did little. Han Um was the only one to score off the bench. With no points from the bench, BNK finished the first half with a score of 31-35. 토토사이트
In the third quarter, BNK scored just 13 points. It was Shim Soo-hyun who opened the scoring. In addition, Jinan and Lee So-hee scored to give BNK the lead for the first time. However, once again, BNK’s bench players did not come through. Relying on their starters, BNK ended the third quarter with a 44-46 lead.
In the third quarter, Kim Jong-un didn’t do much. He went scoreless. But the fourth quarter was different.
Kim made a three-pointer at 46-46. It was a valuable point. Then, at 52-56, he hit another valuable three-pointer to keep the lead alive. Kim Jong Un changed the course of the game. Starting with that basket, Jinan