Women’s volleyball’s first foreign setter appeared…’Thai National University’ Phonpun IBK

The Asian Quarter Draft was held for the first time since the inception of women’s professional volleyball.

IBK Industrial Bank obtained the first choice in the 2023 Korea Volleyball Federation (KOVO) Women’s Asian Quarter Draft held on the 21st and nominated setter Ponpun Gedpard (Thailand).

In this draft, in which players participated non-face-to-face, the seven women’s clubs decided with equal probability, unlike the rookie and foreign drafts, which determined the nomination ranking with differential probability. This is because of concerns that the power imbalance between clubs may become too severe if differential probability is applied until the Asian quarter.

IBK Industrial Bank coach Kim Ho-cheol, who won the ‘lucky’ of the first nomination as a result of randomly putting 10 balls from each of the 7 clubs in the lottery machine, nominated Ponpun without hesitation. Phonpun is the first foreign player to play as a setter in the V-League women’s division.안전놀이터 

Phonpun, the ‘biggest fish’ that led Thailand and defeated Korea 

Phonpun, who is currently the main setter for the Thai national team, was selected as the biggest player in the Asian Quarter Draft. Phonpun, whose strength is fast and sensuous toss, is also the main player who led Thailand to defeat Korea 3-0 in the set score in the Volleyball Nations League (VNL) of the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) last year.

Hyundai E&C, who received the second place nomination, nominated outside heater Wipawi Sitong (Thailand). Hwang Min-kyung recently left for IBK Industrial Bank in the free agent (FA) market, and Go Ye-rim is inevitable to leave for a long time due to knee surgery, so it is a choice to fill their void.

Also, the ‘defending champion’ Korea Expressway Corporation, where main striker Park Jeong-ah left after obtaining FA qualification, also obtained the 4th place nomination and nominated Apposite Spiker Tanacha Suksot (Thailand).

The 5th ranked Pepper Savings Bank nominated 182cm tall middle blocker MJ Phillips (Philippines) to reinforce the weak point, the central height, and the 6th ranked GS Caltex nominated outside hitter Medi Yoku (Indonesia). 

Heungkuk Life Insurance, who received the 7th pick last, selected Reina Tokoku (Japan), who can handle both outside heater and apositive spiker.

Clubs deprived of FA players, reinforce their strength with the Asian Quarter 

The Asian quota targets players from a total of 10 countries, including 4 East Asian countries (Japan, Mongolia, Taiwan, Hong Kong) and 6 Southeast Asian countries (Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Myanmar), apart from foreign players signed by each club. It is a new system that selects one more person each.

As the salary of domestic top players soared and the power imbalance between clubs worsened, it was introduced with the goal of raising the competitiveness of professional volleyball by bringing Asian players with excellent performance at a reasonable annual salary. 

Players selected in the Asian Quarter Draft will receive an annual salary of 100,000 dollars (approximately 130 million won) in lump sum, which is excluded from the total compensation (salary cap) of domestic players. Also, there is no limit on the number of renewals.

Meanwhile, the men’s Asia Quarter Draft will be held on the 25th, and players from Taiwan, Indonesia, and Japan have applied for participation. 

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