In professional basketball, where the 2022-2023 regular season ended, the birth of the first foreign rookie king is likely.
Candidates for this season’s rookie award include Ronjay Avarientos of Ulsan Hyundai Mobis, Lens Abando of Anyang KGC Ginseng Corporation, and Shin Dong-hyuk of Seoul Samsung. Among them, the most notable name is Avarientos from the Philippines.
As the Asian quota was expanded to the Philippines from this season, a large number of Filipino players advanced into professional basketball. Unlike existing foreign players, they can play with equal qualifications as Korean players without restrictions on playing time. On the contrary, it is a system to expand exchanges between Asian leagues while allowing Korean players to enjoy the same qualifications in their respective countries.
Avarientos caused a sensation with ‘Chunsam’
It was a great success that Hyundai Mobis nominated Avarientos. Although he is not tall at 181cm, Avarientos, who has a unique Filipino basketball rhythm, excellent personal skills, outside shooting, and passing ability, played an active role as a ‘field commander’ who coordinated Hyundai Mobis’ attacks without any adaptation period.
He played in 50 games this season and averaged 13.4 points, 4.8 assists, 1.4 steals and 2.9 rebounds per game, the most by a rookie. Hyundai Mobis fans sent their affection to Avarientos, even giving him the affectionate nickname ‘Chunsam’.
Even before the start of the season, Avarientos’ performance was decisive in the background of Hyundai Mobis, which was evaluated as mid-ranking and could not guarantee advance to the postseason, broke expectations and rose to 4th place in the regular season.
Avarientos, like other Filipino players, was initially criticized for being flashy in his individual skills and failing to integrate into team play. He even received a scolding from manager Jo Dong-hyun after trying to force a shot in the match.
However, as he played the game, he quickly got in sync with his fellow players and improved his shooting accuracy to become Hyundai Mobis’ leading player.
Expecting ‘unanimous consensus’ beyond the first foreign rookie of the year
In particular, in the match against Seoul Samsung on the 21st, he collided with an opponent and suffered a serious injury, but immediately showed a strong fighting spirit by putting on a protective mask and scoring 18 points in the match against Ginseng Corporation on the 24th.
If Avarientos wins the rookie award, he becomes the first foreign rookie in professional basketball history. Avarientos goes further and expects a ‘unanimous’ award.
Abando, who is also from the Philippines and is a competitor for the Rookie of the Year, contributed to Ginseng Corporation’s regular season championship, but his personal record was 9 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1 assist in 38 appearances, falling behind Avarientos. Shin Dong-hyuk, who set out to protect his native pride, also failed to show his presence with 5.6 points and 1.6 rebounds in 53 games. 바카라사이트
The player who received the rookie award with the highest vote rate so far is Kim Seung-hyun in the 2001-2002 season. He won the Rookie of the Year title with an overwhelming 98.7% of the votes, receiving 76 votes, one short of the total of 77 votes at the time.
It is noteworthy whether Avarientos will make a new history of unanimity beyond the first foreign rookie king.