“Wake-up rookie award? Of course, we need to get it”

Changwon LG defeated Seoul SK 76-67 in the fifth round of the 2023-2024 professional basketball showdown at Jamsil Students’ Gymnasium on Saturday. LG posted its 26th win (17 losses) for this season, moving up to the third place.

LG, which had consecutive losses against SK, won the title just before the A-match break. It maintained the lead for 40 minutes and scored 20 fastballs, while tying the opponent’s fastballs to zero. It also had a slight advantage in rebounding (37-31).

The victory was created by all the team members, but the game cannot be left out of the rookie Yoo Ki-sang’s performance. Yoo Ki-sang became the team’s top scorer with 15 points and five rebounds. He flew a lot from the first quarter.

The nine points he recorded in the first quarter, especially his two three-point shots, became an important point to block his opponent’s pursuit. He responded with a three-point shot to SK Choi Won-hyuk’s baseline score and another one-on-one play by Jamil Warney. He also participated in the rebound well.

In the ensuing quarter, Oh Jae-hyun and Warney failed to score in succession, and when Oh Jae-hyun and Warney failed to score in succession, they scored a quick three-point shot, putting strong pressure on the opponent team in defense as well. With less than two minutes left before the end of the game, he scored a surprise three-point shot to secure SK’s operational time. In fact, it was a score that dampened the opponent’s will.

When asked about the possibility of winning the Rookie of the Year award, Cho Sang-hyun said after the game, “Of course I have to win it. I always lack in my eyes, but my defensive skills and invisible contributions are too high. He is doing a great job in that regard, believing in the defense and entrusting (Huh) Il-young. I picked him as the third, but I think he did a great job.”

Yoo Ki-sang, who recorded 7.8 points, 2.1 rebounds, 0.4 assists and 41.2 percent success rate in 22 minutes and 47 seconds this season, is considered a leading candidate for the Rookie of the Year along with Park Moo-bin of Hyundai Mobis and Moon Jung-hyun of KT. Currently, Yoo Ki-sang contributes 544.72, while Park Moo-bin contributes 450.74 and Moon Jung-hyun 420.57.

As Cho Sang-hyun mentioned, Yoo Ki-sang, who is shining in defense as well as scoring, is remarkable. Will he be able to maintain his current pace and win the Rookie of the Year award? His performance will continue after the A-match break.

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