KB Insurance and Pepper Savings Bank are most likely to be the lowest ranking (7th) in the men’s and women’s V-League this season, respectively. Although they made a lot of reinforcement ahead of the opening of the season, investment did not come to fruition.
KB Insurance and Pepper Savings Bank ranked sixth and seventh last season, respectively. Both KB Insurance, a “traditional Korean team,” and Pepper Savings Bank decided that they needed a foothold to reverse the situation. They aimed to advance to the “spring volleyball” this season and aggressively started strengthening their power off-season.
KB Insurance has turned Koreans from Apogit Spiker (right) into middle blocker (center). When setter Hwang Taek-ui left his post as a member of the Korean Armed Forces Sports Unit (Sangmu), he handed over outside heater (left) Han Sung-jung to Woori Card and brought setter Hwang Seung-bin. As he only ranked second in the regular league and second in the championship game in the 2021-2022 season, he waited for the opening of this season with optimism.
Pepper Savings Bank also made bold investments to create a rosy future. It hired Yasmin, a proven foreign player, and also brought in outside hitters Park Jung-ah and Chae Sun-ah as free agents. It was his will to wipe out the humiliation of losing 17 consecutive seasons and staying at the bottom for two consecutive seasons since the foundation of the 2021-2022 season.
However, KB Insurance and Pepper Savings Bank have high expectations for their performance this season. For KB Insurance, Hwang Seung-bin failed to fill Hwang Taek-ui’s post, and Hwang Kyung-min, who left the post as an FA, was also absent for a long time due to injury. They also failed to address their high dependence on Villena (Spain). Koreans’ successful conversion into a middle blocker is a source of comfort.
Pepper Savings Bank is also not feeling the effect of recruiting FA. Yasmeen, who was concerned about his waist injury, played the season in good health, but his teammates failed to support him. Only the dark history of 17 consecutive seasons remains. Successive losses are still in progress.
Still, the season is not over yet. KB Insurance and Pepper Savings Bank still have five to six rounds to go. KB Insurance (17 points, 4 wins and 20 losses) and Pepper Savings Bank (7 points, 2 wins and 22 losses) are far from sixth-ranked Hyundai Capital (32 points, 9 wins and 15 losses) and Korea Expressway Corporation (25 points, 8 wins and 16 losses), respectively, but they need to accumulate as many points as possible during the remaining period. In the process, the team should make up for its shortcomings and prepare for next season