KEPCO’s Kwon Young-min “I’m sorry to hear about Choi Tae-woong…I hope he returns soon”

KEPCO head coach Kwon Young-min expressed his sadness at the news of former Hyundai Capital coach Choi Tae-woong’s suspension and hoped he would return to the court soon.

KEPCO swept OK Financial Group in straight sets 3-0 (25-21 25-19 25-15) in the third round of the Dodram 2023-24 V-League Men’s Division at Sangryoksu Gymnasium in Ansan, South Korea on Nov. 21.

After a seven-game winning streak, KEPCO turned things around with a win in three games.

With 27 points (9-8), KEPCO remained in fourth place, but closed the gap on third-place Korean Air (31) to four points and threatened the teams above them.

“We could have been in a difficult situation in the middle of the first set when our reception was shaky, but thanks to Im Sung-jin’s points, we were able to turn it around,” said Kwon after the match. “Luckily, we were able to win easily because our opponents Leo and Lee Min-kyu were out.”

KEPCO dominated OK Financial Group in the height battle. With a blocking ratio of 13-1, they effectively shut down their opponent’s offense.

“OK Financial Group used to have a high percentage of Leo, but recently they have been focusing on domestic players, so it worked well to stop them,” Kwon explained.

Prior to the game between KEPCO and OK Financial Group, Hyundai Capital announced that it had fired head coach Choi Tae-woong due to poor performance.

Kwon, who played with Choi in the V-League, was surprised to hear the news.

Choi was a speculator during Samsung Fire’s heyday. Kwon is the commander of Hyundai Capital’s midfield and was considered a top rival.

When the Fire signed Park Chul-woo (now KEPCO) as a free agent in 2010, Hyundai named Choi as a compensation player, giving the team two of the best setters in the V-League.

After five seasons together at Hyundai Capital, Choi and Kwon parted ways before the 2015-16 season when Kwon left for KB Insurance. Choi took the helm of Hyundai Capital that season, becoming the first coach in the V-League to go directly from player to head coach.

“He’s a favorite senior and I learned a lot from him, but I feel sorry for him as a coach,” Choi said, adding, “I hope he rests a bit and goes to coach another team soon.”

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