The fiery KBL Rookie of the Year Daejeon, Yoo Ki-sang and Park Moo-bin have already become a team’s core resource

On top of that, the Korean team is expected to stage a fierce battle for the rookie of the year competition this season.

Although it has not yet passed the third round, which is half of the season, the competition for the KBL Best Rookie Award (New King) in the 2023-2024 season seems to be flowing to the “guard two-way battle” between LG Yoo Ki-sang (22) and Hyundai Mobis Park Moo-bin (22).

Both players were originally promising players who were nominated as rotary picks (ranked by lottery, not reverse order, and KBL ranked fourth). A graduate of Korea University, Park ranked second overall in the first round following Moon Jung-hyun (Suwon KT), who was a college student. Yoo Ki-sang from Yonsei University will then join the LG Twins as the third-ranked player.

Yoo Ki-sang, who has a reputation as the best shooter in the college league, has also played well in ankle injuries and continues this trend in the professional world. After making his debut against Hyundai Mobis on October 23 by playing 4 minutes and 25 seconds, he is steadily increasing his playing time and becoming a major resource. As of the 19th, he has appeared in 20 games and played an average of 22 minutes and 33 seconds, recording 7.9 points, 1.9 rebounds, 0.5 assists and 0.8 steals.

Yoo Ki-sang, who has a similar style as his team senior Lee Jae-do (32), has shown good performance in reading and two-to-two plays, and in particular, he has shown his talent in shooting with a success rate of 41.7% for three-point shooting. Another advantage is that he is rapidly integrating into LG’s strong defense system. He also approaches seniors in the same position first and asks questions.

As a result, Yoo Ki-sang is loved by his seniors. Yang Hong-seok (26), who moved to LG this season, said, “There’s no one who doesn’t like me. I want to go to the All-Star Game with Yoo Sang-sang.” Yoo ranked 12th in the All-Star voting, and will go to a feast of stars from the first season.

Park Moo-bin, who faces Yoo Ki-sang, has only played in five games this season, but the contents are excellent. After being sidelined due to an ankle injury at the beginning of the season, he scored nine points in 28 minutes and 46 seconds in a game against Seoul SK on the 7th and made his debut. After slowing down in the first two games, he played an active role with 19 points and four assists in the home game against LG on the 11th. Although the game was defeated, Hyundai Mobis, which found a way out after Park Moo-bin was put in, once succeeded in turning the tables.

As of Tuesday, Park has posted an average of 27 minutes and 36 seconds, recording 13.6 points, 3.2 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and 0.8 steals. Park’s strength is his fast breakthrough and sense of passing. Through this, the ball is spinning to vitalize the team. Apart from his performance, Park is rapidly adapting to the team in a short period of time.

Hyundai Mobis coach Cho Dong-hyun said, “As the ball rotates and leads, the speed of moving over increases. I think it will be a little better,” and talked about the “Park Moo-bin effect.” As the currently vacant Asian quarter position is scheduled to be filled soon, Hyundai Mobis’ guard team with Park Moo-bin is expected to become strong.

LG has continued to display stellar performance amid Yoo Ki-sang’s stellar performance. As of Wednesday, LG had 16 wins and 6 losses (winning rate of 0.727), ranking second in this season’s Wonju DB by 1.5 games. Although Hyundai Mobis has lost three consecutive games recently, there is still a possibility of spring basketball as it is one game away from sixth place (Director Ahn Yang) who is qualified for the playoffs.

Both Hyundai Mobis and LG teams produced three Rookie of the Year awards. Yang Dong-geun won the 2004-2005 season for Hyundai Mobis, and Lee Woo-suk won the honor in the 2021-2022 season and Ron Jay Avarientos last year won the honor for the second consecutive year. LG was awarded by Lee Hyun-min in the 2006-2007 season, Kim Jong-kyu in the 2013-2014 season, and Jung Sung-woo in the 2015-2016 season, respectively.

Since last season, LG and Hyundai Mobis have been attracting attention as competitions between coach Cho Sang-hyun, coach Cho Dong-hyun and twin brothers, respectively. On top of that, Yoo Ki-sang and Park Moo-bin, outstanding rookies, will appear, and a fiery competition will take place.

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