The Underdog Revolt: OK Financial Group’s First Championship
Professional volleyball team OK Financial Group won its first cup since its inception. ‘Big rookie’ Shin Shin-jin, who scored 34 points on the day, was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP).
OK Financial Group won the 2023 Gumi Dodram Cup professional volleyball tournament at Park Jung-hee Gymnasium in Gumi on Wednesday, beating Samsung Fireworks 3-1 (25-23 22-25 25-23 25-20) in the final. Shin Shin-jin, who was drafted by OK Financial Group in the first round of last year’s rookie draft, led the victory and was named MVP.메이저놀이터
Neither team could take it easy, as they had made it to the finals the previous day with upsets over powerhouses with undefeated group stage records. Samsung Fire took down Korean Air, the tournament’s defending champion and last season’s ‘treble’ winner, while OK Financial Group defeated undefeated Japanese invitee Panasonic to reach the final.
It was an epic final. The two teams kept the tension high in the early stages of the match, taking turns scoring points as if they weren’t going to let the momentum slip away. The score remained close all the way to the decisive third set, where it was tied and reversed.
It was a battle of spears and shields. When Samsung Fire unleashed its signature fast-paced attacks, OK Financial Group responded with relentless blocking. After OK Financial Group won the first set with four successful blocks, Samsung Fire improved its offensive success rate and took the second set.
However, it was difficult to stop Shin’s momentum. Even when the rallies were long and they could lose focus, the team was able to pinpoint the gaps in the opponent’s defense with powerful back attacks. On her way to 34 points, she committed just five turnovers and boasted a staggering 72.3 percent offensive success rate, the highest offensive success rate among players with 30+ points in the tournament. Chae Hwan chipped in with 23 points. OK Financial Group won the third and fourth sets in straight sets thanks to the duo’s pair of kills to lift the trophy in front of 2,285 fans.
It was a great achievement for the new head coach just two months after his appointment. Since joining the team in June, OK Financial Group head coach Masashi Ogino has revamped the team’s blocking system, turning them from a lowly team into a powerhouse. The team’s strengths in defense, such as blocking and reception efficiency, have also helped them to establish their team colors.
“I didn’t even think about winning the tournament,” says a relieved Ogino. “I even told them not to call me ‘coach’. “He also told me not to call him ‘boss,'” Ogino said. “We are all having fun playing volleyball in a flat environment with no hierarchy.