The Asian quarter has significantly impacted the professional volleyball game, with an Asian volleyball star landing.
The Dodram 2023-2024 V-League, the first professional volleyball league to introduce an Asian quota to recruit Asian players, is set to kick off.
The men’s and women’s opening matches will be held on March 14 at 2 p.m. between Korean Air and Hyundai Capital at Gyeyang Gymnasium in Incheon and 4 p.m. between Korea Expressway Corporation and Heungkuk Life at Gimcheon Indoor Stadium.
According to the Korea Volleyball Federation, the regular league will feature 252 matches, 126 for men and 126 for women, over six rounds until March 17 next year. The postseason will be held from March 20 to 27 if the semifinals are held. The championship will then be held from March 28 to April 6 in a best-of-five series.
For the first time in the V-League, players from six countries – Japan, Taiwan, Mongolia, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines – will take to the court through the Asian quota system.
The men’s competition is highlighted by Mongolian duo Eddie (Samsung Fire) and Bayarsaihan (OK Financial Group), who moved to Korea in 2017 and graduated from Sungkyunkwan University and Inha University, respectively. 온라인카지노 Both players made it to the V-League six years after arriving in Korea. Eddie reunited with his former coach Kim Sang-woo at Sungkyunkwan University in the pro team.
Taiwanese national team middle blocker Chai Fei-Chang, who was called up by Hyundai Capital, was just voted the best middle blocker in his home league for the 2022-2023 season. Fellow Taiwanese international outside hitter Liu Hung-min (KB Insurance) has also played in Taiwan, as well as Japan and Thailand.
Libero Ryohei Iga (KEPCO), who played for the Panasonic Panthers in Japan’s V-League until last season, Japanese international outside hitter Issei Otake (Woori Card), who has won two league titles and a runner-up finish with the Panasonic Panthers, and Philippine international outside hitter Marc Espejo (Korean Air), who has represented the Philippines since being called up to the national team in 2015 at the age of 18.
On the women’s side, Park Jung-ah and Chung Dae-young, who were key players in last season’s Korea Expressway Corporation championship, have moved to Pepper Savings Bank and GS Caltex, respectively. Hwang Min-kyung has moved to IBK and Kim Soo-ji to Heungkuk Life.
The performance of foreign coaches is also noteworthy. OK Financial Group’s Massa Ogino in the men’s game and Pepper Savings Bank’s Cho Trinzi in the women’s game will be making their first regular season debuts since their arrival.
It will be interesting to see how the veterans, who are the all-time leaders in their respective categories, will continue to perform.
On the women’s side, Hyundai E&C’s Yang Hyo-jin has 1,451 blocked shots and is on the verge of reaching 1,500 career blocked shots. Korea Expressway Corporation’s Lee Myeong-ok has 15,995 career blocks and is just five away from reaching 16,000 career blocks.
On the men’s side, KEPCO’s Shin Young-seok is closing in on 1200 career blocking points with 1146. Korean Air’s Han, with 17,751 career set wins, is closing in on the 18,000 career set wins mark.
It will be interesting to see if OK Financial Group’s Leo and Hyundai E&C’s Yang Hyo-jin, who have been named Most Valuable Player (MVP) seven times each, can win their eighth MVP award. It will also be interesting to see how many more games Hyundai Capital’s Yeo Oh-hyun, who has played in 603 regular-season matches in her career, will play in.