Ogino furious despite win: “Players let their guard down, still inexperienced in volleyball”

OK Financial Group head coach Masashi Ogino was furious after the team’s first-round playoff win. He criticized his players for being lax after taking the first two sets.

OK Financial Group won the first set of the Dodram V League Men’s Playoffs (best-of-three) against Woori Card 3-2 (25-20 25-17 22-25 21-25 15-11) in the first round of the 2023-24 season at Jangchung Gymnasium in Seoul on Wednesday.

This gives OK an 88.9% chance of advancing to the championship match. In the history of postseason playoffs, the team that wins the first match in the men’s competition has advanced to the championship 16 of 18 times (88.88%).

After a one-day break, OK will play the second leg of the playoffs on Feb. 25 at Ansan Sangroksu Gymnasium in Anbangin. The winner of the playoffs will play Korean Air for the championship.

OK was led by Leo’s 29 points and Shin’s 24 points on 70 percent shooting. Song Hee-chae added 13 points and Bayarsaihan 11 points.

Coach Ogino, on the other hand, was not happy after the match. After winning the first two sets, the team was forced into a five-set battle due to complacency from their players.

When asked how he felt about playing two full sets in a row after the semifinals against Hyundai Capital, he said, “It was a result of the players,” adding, “They were lax, they don’t know the fear of volleyball, and I will talk to them strongly about that.”

“From the third set onward, we were lax,” Ogino said, “I saw different expressions on the players’ faces. It’s not the first time we’ve been in this situation, it’s happened three or four times. Even when we called time at 0-2 in the third set, it was not good. OK players are inexperienced in that area.”

Luckily, OK was able to overcome the crisis with the help of their native Apojit Shinjin. “Leo’s success rate wasn’t high, so I instructed (setter) Kwak Myung-woo to 토토 give it to someone other than Leo,” Ogino said. Fortunately, Song Hee-chae did a good job defending, and Shin Shin-jin did a good job attacking.”

One player who made Ogino smile was second-year pro Apojit Sinjin.

“I advised him when he made his first attacking mistake, and he corrected it immediately,” he said, adding, “He’s a great player who responds to instructions. It must have been a lot of pressure, but he did a great job,” he said, giving a thumbs-up.

Ogino was also confident about fitness concerns: “It’s fine,” he laughed in Korean, before adding, “We practice harder than we play. I have faith that the players will be well conditioned for the 7 p.m. game tomorrow.”

“Have we changed?” he asked the press, before adding, “We have to be better than last year. The players are working really hard,” he said.

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