Ryohei Iga’s composure, which had always been calm, was shaken by a single word. He let out a shy laugh and shook his head.
The 2023 Korea Volleyball Federation (KOVO) Men’s Asian Quarter Draft was held on the 27th at the Jeju Sun Hotel Ballroom Hall. KEPCO was lucky to be assigned second place in the random lottery in which all clubs put 10 marbles equally. .
Iga, who played an active role in Panasonic Pansus in Japan’s V.League, received a lot of attention when the list of applicants for the Asian Quarter was released. Even in the two-day practice game in Jeju, Lee Ga continued to raise her value. He demonstrated not only stable receiving and defensive abilities, but also bold and aggressive call play, proving that not everyone is the starting player in the Japanese league. Head coach Kwon Young-min, who had been thinking about reinforcing the libero, wanted Lee Ga throughout the tryout, and finally succeeded in embracing Lee Ga. Coach Kwon Young-min’s expression was very bright.
The bright expression was the same as the one who was selected by KEPCO. Iga, who visited the interview room with a subtle smile, said, “I was looking forward to playing volleyball in Korea, and I was proud to be called by my name.” Regarding the timing of joining KEPCO, he announced that he would join quickly, saying, “There is no problem from July 1 (the date of joining under the contract).”
Issey Otake (Japan, Woori Card) and Liu Hung-min (Taiwan, KB Insurance), who used to play together for the Panasonic Panthers, will have to face Iga on the court from next season. With a meaningful smile, Lee Ga said, “Everyone is like friends. But크크크벳 when the match starts, they are enemies. After I win, I will be friendly with you after the game is over.”
Indeed, I wondered if Lee himself would have felt the KEPCO’s interest in him and whether or not he was nominated. Iga revealed that he hadn’t expected it, saying, “(During the tryouts), I felt a little bit of interest from Korean Air, but I didn’t feel it about other teams.” In addition, Iga said, “I heard a lot about KEPCO from Takahiko Imamura, who was my teammate at Panasonic. He is good at volleyball and I heard that it is a strong team,” he also told what he knew about KEPCO.
Iga, who will take on the first challenge in the V-League from the upcoming season, said, “First of all, I want to do my best in all games. I also want to show stable play without ups and downs. I have experience winning in Japan, but not recently. The last championship was about 4-5 years ago. I really want to win in Korea,” he said in a calm but confident voice.
At the end of the interview, the reporters told Lee Ga, “You look good. There is one player (Lim Seong-jin) as good-looking as you in KEPCO. I think the two of them will be loved by the fans a lot,” he said half-jokingly and half-seriously. When the interpreter conveyed the story of the reporters to Iga along with the word “ikemen (Japanese slang for a handsome and popular man),” Iga, who had remained calm throughout the interview, lowered his head and could not hide his embarrassment. With a shy smile, he gave a humorous answer, “I can’t win against Lim Seong-jin.”
Lee, who desperately wanted to enter the V-League, and KEPCO, who desperately wanted him, finally joined hands. What kind of story will they write together? KEPCO’s next season draws more attention.