Ramirez adjusting to new system, can ‘new face’ Shin Jong-jin-Choi Jun-hyuk be a prodigy?

South Korea’s men’s national volleyball team made its first international appearance with a new combination. Apojit Shin (OK Financial Group), a 2001-born outside hitter who earned his first senior national team call-up, and 203-centimeter middle blocker Choi Jun-hyuk (Inha University), the only collegiate player on the squad, also made successful debuts.

Korea opened its Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Challenge Cup Group C campaign with a 3-0 (25-11, 25-16, 25-9) victory over Indonesia on Feb. 2 at Isa Sports City 토토사이트 추천 in Manama, Bahrain.

Korea started the match with setter Hwang Taek-ui (Armed Forces Athletic Corps), outside hitter Apojit Shin, outside hitters Kim Ji-han (Woori Card) and Lim Sung-jin (KEPCO), middle blockers Choi Joon-hyuk and Lee Sang-hyun (Woori Card), and libero Park Kyung-min (Hyundai Capital).

The team then used a double switch with setter Han Tae-joon (Woori Card) and outside hitter Lee Woo-jin (Monza).

Kim Ji-han scored a team-high 16 points, while Shin Seong-jin added 13 points. Choi Jun-hyuk also chipped in with 10 points.

Compared to last year’s squad, the team lost key attackers Jung Ji-seok (Korean Air) and Heo Soo-bong (Hyundai Capital) and middle blocker Kim Min-jae (Korean Air) to injuries, but the “new faces” are taking the court in new combinations.

Shin is a 187-centimeter left-handed outside hitter. He turned pro in 2022 with OK Financial Group, and in 2023-24, he helped the team to a runner-up finish in the championship match as a pair with Leonardo Leyva Martinez (Cuba) at the outside hitter position.

Shin was named to the national team at last year’s Universiade. This year, he was called up by new head coach Isanae Ramirez and wore the colors again. The team’s offense stabilized in the early stages of the match against Indonesia, but the team’s offense improved as the game wore on. Following Kim Ji-han “99z” Kim and Lim Sung-jin, Shin was the centerpiece of the offense and helped the team win the match.

Another ‘new face’, Choi Joon-hyuk, was also impressive, as the oldest player on the team was able to block and play fast breaks against Indonesia.

South Korea had been struggling in the center battle. Coach Ramirez has called for a strengthening of the center. Can Choi Jun-hyuk be the next big thing for Korea’s men’s volleyball?

In addition to Shin Shin-jin and Choi Joon-hyuk, the ‘new faces’ Han Tae-joon and Lee Woo-jin, who came on as substitutes, also made their presence felt. Lee Woo-jin unleashed an onslaught from the left and right flanks, while Han Tae-joon also utilized the fastball.

Indonesia fielded two teams in the tournament. It was composed entirely of young players with an average age of 18. South Korea’s average age is 24. According to Middle Eastern media outlet GDN, Indonesia’s main squad was absent from the Indonesian league, the Proliga, to participate.

Ramires was aware of this: “In times like this, it’s easy for players to lose focus. Our goal was to play our system and keep our minds strong to work hard for the next play,” he said. “We know that Indonesia is working hard to prepare for the U20 Asian Championship. They gave their best, and we gave our best.”

Against Indonesia, South Korea used a variety of attacks. It was exactly what Ramires wanted to see. He wanted to utilize the center and attack from various positions to improve the efficiency of the attack.

The players convened at the Jincheon Athletes’ Village on May 3 and trained to attack from various positions, not just one, depending on where the setter holds the ball. “Especially the pipe attack,” he said, “There is no time to rest. You have to make quick decisions in the moment,” he said.

The back row attack is no longer limited to the center. Like the women’s national volleyball team, the team has also refined its back row attacking positions.

South Korea will play the second match of the group stage on Wednesday night against “favorites” Qatar. The average age of Qatar’s 14-player roster is 30 years old. This is a team that has been playing together for a long time. They were runners-up in last year’s FIVB Challenger Cup. Ramirez is wary of Qatar’s wealth of experience.

China and Qatar are the favorites to win this year’s AVC Challenge Cup, while China qualified to host this year’s FIVB Challenger Cup. The winner of the AVC Challenge Cup will qualify for the FIVB Challenger Cup. Qatar is also a favorite to win the title.

A total of 12 teams participated in the tournament. The teams are divided into groups A through D. The competition is fierce. Only the top two teams in each group will advance to the quarterfinals.

South Korea, who finished third in the tournament last year, is also focused on accumulating ranking points. They moved up one spot to 27th in the FIVB World Rankings after their win over Indonesia the previous day. In Asia, it will be interesting to see if Qatar, ranked 21st in the world after Japan (4th) and Iran (16th), can follow Ramirez’s game plan.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *