Seoul SK is home to all of last season’s Most Valuable Players (MVPs) in professional basketball.
With regular season MVP Kim Sun-hyung and foreign player MVP Jamil Warney holding down the fort, playoff (PO) MVP Oh Se-geun joined the team ahead of this season.
SK is considered to be the team closest to winning the title, but their early season performance was not promising.
With a win-loss record of 4-4 and a 5-percent winning percentage, SK has won three straight games, starting with the game against Daegu KOGAS on April 16, to move up to third place (7-4).
After posting 20 points and 11 rebounds in the previous game on the road against Suwon KT on Nov. 18, Oh followed it up with 15 points and eight rebounds at home against Seoul Samsung on Nov. 20.
With Warney exploding for 31 points and 16 rebounds, SK defeated Samsung 82-75 to extend their home winning streak to nine games.
“I think we’re only halfway there,” said Oh when asked after the game how far the team has come compared to pre-season expectations.
“It’s not linear yet, I’m not in perfect shape, and (Ahn) Young-joon just joined us,” he said, adding, “We also need Gomez Del Riano to join us. If we all join, we will be a scarier team in the third and fourth rounds.”
Most of all, Oh welcomed the return of Ahn Young-jun after his military service.
At mid-190 centimeters, Ahn’s height and mobility, combined with his ability to penetrate and shoot from outside, and his ability to defend guards and big men at the same time, made his return a big deal for SK.
“Young Jun-i is a player who can play multiple positions. He’s a big help to the team in offense and defense, so he’s a big help to me.” “If we work together more, we’ll be a stronger team than we are now.”
Head coach Jeon Hee-chul believes that Ahn’s shooting ability draws defenses to him, creating space for big men like Oh Se-geun to play.
“I’ve been feeling better since the last game. I feel confident that we will continue to play well,” he said, adding, “The schedule has been tight lately, but we can’t use it as an excuse.”
He used to have one of the most precise outside shots of any Korean big man, but his field goal percentage has dropped to 38.6 percent this season. However, he has recovered in the last two games.
“I’m in the process of getting my shooting touch. After the second round, I think my shooting and physical condition will improve in the second half of the third round.” “The schedule was tight, but I kept practicing despite that. I’ve been practicing (my shot) a lot because I have this idea that you can’t not practice.”