‘Awakened’ Park Ji-hyun dominates on court…”Relief more than joy, more focus”

Asan Woori Bank guard Park Ji-hyun has made a memorable turnaround in his career. The coach praised him for being “awakened,” and the team evened up the best-of-three playoff series (best-of-five). In fact, he repeatedly emphasized that he would “stay focused.”

Park Ji-hyun played 40 full minutes in the second round of the Woori Bank Woori WON 2023-24 Women’s Professional Basketball PO against Samsung Life in Yongin at Asan Yi Sunshin Gymnasium on Wednesday, recording a triple-double of 27 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists to lead the team to a 70-57 victory. Woori Bank, which had lost Game 1 56-60 at home just two days earlier, evened the series with a one-woman show.

Park recorded the first triple-double of her PO career. He also broke the PO record for most points and assists in a single game. What makes this record even more noteworthy is his unprecedented performance in Game 1.

In the first round of the POs against Samsung Life, Park was heavily guarded by his opponent, scoring just six points and picking up five fouls. It was a shocking performance from an ace who averaged over 17 points in the regular season. “I was so embarrassed,” said coach Lee Sat-woo.

Park also got off to a shaky start, missing his first two free throws. But the worries were unfounded. He opened with a three-pointer and then responded with his trademark breakaway scores and assists whenever Samsung Life began to pull away. In the second quarter, he accounted for all 18 of his team’s points with 11 points and three assists. In the third quarter, he continued to lead the offense with his running basketball, and in the fourth quarter, he added a three-pointer and a block to keep Samsung Sinsaeng alive. Park’s fingertips were literally all over the court throughout the game.

Speaking to the media after the victory, Park said, “I was under pressure after losing the first game. I had to overcome the pressure, and it paid off. I think I was more relieved that I won than happy that I won.”

Park Ji-hyun cited pressure as the reason for his poor performance in the first round. “It’s not that I was inexperienced or inexperienced, but I think I just cared too much about the pressure,” he said, adding, “I was so sorry to stand in front of the fans after the first game. I couldn’t keep believing in myself. Instead, I decided to trust the people around me who believed 토토 in me. I talked to my sisters a lot, and I kept watching basketball videos to keep myself mentally prepared,” she recalled.

In some ways, this game could be considered one of Park’s best, but he says, “I had the mindset to show what I had trained for. I think it was a good result because I didn’t break down with the players,” he said. Despite the fact that it was his first PO1 triple-double, “I was surprised because I didn’t do it last season, but I think it was just a moment. I’ll focus more on the upcoming games,” he said.

The POs of the second and third-place teams in the regular season were tied 1-1. Woori Bank and Samsung Life will play the third game of the PO on April 14 at Yongin Indoor Gymnasium.

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