OK Financial Group, a men’s professional volleyball team, ‘jumped’ two steps with the help of Leonardo Leiva Martinez (registered name Leo).
OK Financial Group, led by coach Seok Jin-wook, defeated KEPCO with a set score of 3-1 (25-22 13-25 25-18 25-22) in the Dodram 2022-2023 V-League home game held at Sangnoksu Gymnasium in Ansan, Gyeonggi-do on the 11th.
With this, OK Financial Group rose from 5th to 3rd place with 21 points (7 wins, 6 losses). On the other hand, KEPCO suffered three consecutive losses and fell to 5th place with 18 points (6 wins, 7 losses).
Leo, triple crown ‘true record’ with only one set
OK Financial Group took the lead with Leo’s ‘one-man show’. Leo scored a whopping 19 points in the first set alone and achieved the Triple Crown (3 or more serves, blocking, and back attacks). Thanks to Leo, OK Financial Group won the first set.
In particular, in a 21-21 tie situation, Leo made the home crowd go wild by blocking the back attack of KEPCO’s main gun Tais Dull Host (registered name Tais). Excluding Leo, Cha Ji-hwan, Jin Sang-heon, and Jeon Byung-seon only contributed one point each.
On the other hand, KEPCO counterattacked in the second set with the strikers scoring evenly. Overwhelming the opponent throughout the set, they won greatly, 25-13, and OK Financial Group called Leo to the bench and promised a third set.
Again in the 3rd set, OK Financial Group’s Cha Ji-hwan and Jeon Jin-seon’s attack revived, and Jin Sang-heon’s blocking broke out, so he first reached the 20-point high. Then, at the 24-18 set point, Shin Ho-jin’s back attack brought the third set.
In the 4th set, OK Financial Group took the lead thanks to Leo’s quick open attack and sub ace. However, as if they wanted to confirm victory quickly, the mistakes became frequent, and KEPCO broke into this gap and pursued it by one point with 22-23.
However, OK Financial Group, which reorganized its battle lines, won with a set score of 3-1, gaining 3 points, as Cha Ji-hwan blocked KEPCO striker Seo Jae-deok’s open attack following Leo’s back attack.
OK Financial Group brushed off sluggishness… Will it be different from last year?
The main character of this match was definitely Leo. Leo recorded 7 back attacks, 3 serves and 3 blocks in 1 set, and achieved the triple crown in 3 consecutive games following the Samsung Firefighting match on the 2nd and the Woori Card match on the 6th.
Furthermore, Leo achieved the triple crown, which is difficult to achieve even after playing in one game, with only one set. This is the second record since Mitcha Gasparini, a foreign player of Korean Air during the 2017-2018 season.
Leo led OK Financial Group to victory by scoring 36 points, the most among both teams. In particular, he performed the best in both records and content, scoring decisive points in each match. He is reminiscent of his heyday when he played for Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance from 2012 to 2015 and was voted the Most Valuable Player (MVP) for three consecutive seasons.
Thanks to Leo’s performance, OK Financial Group’s ranking is also rising. In the first round, he was sluggish with 2 wins and 2 losses, and fell to the bottom, but in the second round, he came back to life with 4 wins and 2 losses, matching the 50% win rate. And he won the match that opened the third round and succeeded in entering the top ranks.
OK Financial Group, 스포츠토토 which was pushed to 5th place last season and was not invited to ‘Spring Volleyball’, gave another opportunity by signing a one-year renewal contract with manager Seok Jin-wook. As such, they are playing every game with a desperate determination to produce satisfactory results this season.
Attention is focusing on whether OK Financial Group, which emerged as a new powerhouse after recovering from sluggishness at the beginning of the season, will shake the top rankings.