Kim Dan-bi (Asan Woori Bank) showed the dignity of last season’s MVP. From the opening game of the women’s professional basketball (WKBL) in the new season, she played a triple-double and played a role as a troubleshooter.
Kim Dan-bi achieved a triple-double with 32 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists in the official opening game of the WKBL 2023-2024 season against Busan BNK at Asan Lee Soon-shin Gymnasium in Chungcheongnam-do on the 5th. Thanks to Kim Dan-bi’s performance, Woori Bank won the game 74 to 70 after a close game in overtime. Kim Dan-bi added three block shots on the day to set a personal record of 500.
Veteran Kim Dan-bi shone even more at a time of crisis. He struggled with 14 points alone in the fourth quarter alone, when he was heavily chased by BNK. Woori Bank coach Wi Sung-woo even called for active attacks from the rest of the players during the operation, saying, “Don’t rely on Kim Dan-bi’s score alone.”
The two teams tied at 64-64 until the fourth quarter, failing to determine the outcome. Eventually, Kim Dan-bi cheered up again. He made a seasoned attack that took advantage of the fact that the opponent’s defense was concentrated on him.
Kim Dan-bi heated up the court with two decisive assists to help teammates Na Yoon-jung and Ko A-ra’s three-point shots in overtime. He looked like an MVP who was not rusty at all. Guard Park Ji-hyun contributed to the victory by scoring a double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds.
The opening match drew attention as a “return match” between Woori Bank and BNK, which clashed in the championship game last season. Woori Bank, the “defending champion” who is aiming for the 11th top in his career, still proved to be the favorite. Veteran forward Kim Jong-un moved to Bucheon Hana One Q, and guard Park Hye-jin showed strong performance even though she is recovering from injury.
BNK has been in a jinx of losing the opening game for the last five consecutive seasons. Coach Park Jung-eun of BNK sought to win, saying, “I will not settle for last season’s performance and play hot basketball,” but failed to achieve my goal. Jinan (22 points), Ahn Hye-ji (15 points), and Lee So-hee (14 points) played evenly for BNK, but it was not enough to cross Woori Bank’s wall.