KB Sonbo falls to 11th straight defeat with loss to OK Financial Group
The KB Insurance Stars lost their final game of the second round and fell into an 11-game losing streak.
OK Financial Group Eatman defeated KB Sonbo 3:1 (25:21/25:15/18:25/25:22) in the final game of the second round of the 2023-2024 Dodram V League Men’s Division at Sangryoksu Gymnasium in Ansan on Monday. With the loss, KB Sonbo suffered its 11th consecutive defeat, while OK Financial Group moved up to third place. OK Financial Group’s Shin Jong-jin was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the game after scoring a career-high 19 points (65.5% attack success rate).
The first set was a back-and-forth affair, but Bumshil was the difference maker. Early in the first set, OK Financial Group jumped out to a 4-1 lead thanks to kills from Leonardo Leyva Martinez (registered name Leo) and Shin Shin-jin. KB Sonbo soon narrowed the gap as middle blocker Woo Sang-jo scored on a fastball, followed by his first block, and a strong back-attack by Andres Biyena (registered name Biyena) brought the score to 8-7. However, OK Financial Group turned the tide again at 17-14 thanks to Shin’s kills and Leo’s follow-up attack, and scored four points on blocks alone to take the first set 25-21. KB Sonbo finished the first set with six points from Hong Sang-hyuk, but their main gun, Bijena, had three errors and only five points (35.71% attacking success rate). KB Sonbo had seven errors in the first set, more than OK Financial Group (five).
Set 2 was easily won by OK Financial Group as KB Sonbo struggled with their offense. They jumped out to a 7-2 lead early in the set, with Leo scoring two points on service aces alone, and the lead grew to 18-9 as more fast breaks led to points. KB Sonbo’s offense was revitalized by Bijena’s seven kills, but they were unable to get any scoring support from other players, with Liu Hongmin going scoreless. OK Financial Group, on the other hand, had a balanced scoring effort from all players, with Song Hee-chae and Shin Shin-jin scoring six and four points, respectively. KB Sonbo finished the second set with a 15-25 score, committing seven errors, just like in the first set.
Facing defeat, KB Sonbo fought back in the third set. Bijena led the way with her signature back-attack, scoring nine points on her own. Choi Yo-han’s fastball shook the opponent’s reception, and Hwang Seung-bin’s block set the tone. Yoon Seo-jin, who made her first appearance as a high school rookie, converted her first serve into a point. OK Financial Group was down 15-20 after Leo’s attack error and Song Hee-chae’s serve error in quick succession, and eventually finished 18-25 without being able to overcome the gap.
However, there were no upsets. KB Sonbo, led by Bijena, took a 20-18 lead, but OK Financial Group reinforced its blocking resources and managed to fight back. When KB Sonbo’s attacks were directed at Bjorna in the final minutes, OK Financial Group only managed to score three points with their high blocking. After back-to-back errors by Hong Sang-hyuk and Bjorna led to a 22-20 lead, OK Financial Group took the fourth set 25-22 with kills from Leo and Song Hee-chae. Bijena led the team in scoring with 30 points on the day, but also had the most errors with 10.
With their 11th consecutive loss, KB Sonbo is now one game away from tying the franchise record for most consecutive losses (12 in a row in the 2019-2020 season). Speaking to reporters after the game, KB Sonbo head coach Hoo In-jung said, “We had a difficult game because we made some mistakes on offense. The other team was strong and their height was superior to ours, so we had a hard time,” he said. “The blocking was focused on Bijena, so even if the shorter Bijena player had jumping power, it was limited.”