Go to contents

Power of Korea Tender`s Unknown

Posted March. 18, 2003 23:01,   


"Would have been impossible without the harmonized determination among our players. I really appreciate what our players did today. Substitute players were full of confidence, and they did more than expected in the second quarter. That is why we won today," said Lee Sang-yoon, the coach of Korea Tender Prumi.

On Sunday, in the pro basketball playoff, Prumi took on and beat Samsung Thunders, and secured a ticket to the semifinal. As he told, the victory was a miracle worked out by the unknown.

Graduating from Sungkyunkwan University, Lee played in the Samsung club team. Then, he worked as an office manager for Samsung. In total, he served Samsung for 15 years. Although he joined Prumi as a member of the coaching staff in June, 2001, he took the helm as of this year. In this debut year, he led the team up to the semifinal.

The story is almost the same with its players.

Highest salary earner in the team, Chung Lok-young started his career with Dongyang in the 98-99 season. He secured his position as the point guard, but could not enjoy the spotlight due to Dongyang`s poorest team performance (32 losses in a row). Traded to Prumi for 2.5 million won (or approximately $20,000), he had to see more losing games than winning. This season, he steadily demonstrated his performance, ranked at 6th in assists and 5th in blocking. Thus, people began to heed him. At the end of this season, he becomes a free agent, and is sure to command a huge fortune.

Prumi had suffered a lot from lack of a "backup" guard. The shortfall was compensated for by Choi Min-gyu. Leading Prumi`s offense with Chung throughout the regular season, Choi also demonstrated himself yet again against Thunders. For 16 minutes, he fouled out Thunders Joo Hee-chung in the middle of the fourth quarter. Choi said, "Still, I felt a little shrunk on the court. Once the playoff got started, I became more confident. But I don`t know why."

Byun Chung-woon and Jin Kyung-suk are also emerging as "playoff stars". They contributed most significantly to Prumi`s winning against Thunders in the first two games, with their successful three pointers. Another success story is being made for them.

"Now, we will pour in whatever we have and march for the championship!"

The success story has just started for Prumi, which have been put outside the spotlight.

Sang-Ho Kim hyangsan@donga.com