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Coaches Back Own Players for MVP

Posted March. 28, 2006 08:25,   


Pro basketball champion Mobis and its coach Yu Jae-hak are pitted once again against Coach Ahn Jun-ho and Samsung. But this time, the contest is off the court. The two coaches are promoting their own players for the league MVP award.

Coach Yu faces a dilemma after winning the regular league trophy last week. What brought Mobis to the top was not a single outstanding basketball star, but their excellence in teamwork and defense.

With the team’s own Chris Williams securing the best foreign player award, Mobis hopes to top the moment by nominating another one of its own, Yang Dong-geun for the MVP award.

Yu admits that doing public relations work for one or two special players on his team is not something a coach likes to do. But Yu maintains that an MVP should be from a winning team. “Yang Dong-geun is a new face. In pro basketball, things seldom change. It will be refreshing to see a new guy winning a big award for a change,” said Yu.

Samsung coach Ahn Jun-ho realizes that his team isn’t the champion, but insists that Seo Jang-hun deserves the MVP title. “He’s what we expect in a champion. He overcame injury and displayed drive and passion,” said Ahn of Seo.

Samsung center Seo Jang-hun won an MVP award when he played for SK in 1999-2000. Among homegrown players, Seo ranked at the top in scoring (19.6 points per game), and took second place in rebounds (5.8). Yang ranked eighth in assists and 25th in scoring.

Statistics alone show that Seo has been dominant throughout the season. However, Yu insists that it’s about time team-players like Yang receive recognition. Sports journalists will vote on who they think deserves the coveted title. The winner of the MVP title will be announced today at COEX in Samseong-dong, Seoul.

Jong-Seok Kim kjs0123@donga.com