Korean Air’s “native” apogee spiker (right) Lim Dong-hyuk (25) scored 30+ points for the third time this season. He came off the bench to play a “game-changing” role in the team’s victory.
Lim scored 32 points and shot 67.44 percent from the floor to lead Korean Air to a 3-1 (31-29, 23-25, 25-23, 25-19) set victory over KB Insurance Company in the fifth round of the 2023-24 Dodram V League Men’s Division at Gyeyang Gymnasium in Incheon on Sunday.
Lim gave way to foreign player Murad Khan in the starting lineup. However, he came in when Korean Air was down 7-11 in the first set and scored three straight points without committing an error to turn the tide. He then added a point in a deuce contest and served a service ace at 30-29 to end the set that lasted over 30 minutes. 12 points in the first set alone.
Lim continued to be a solid scorer for the team. He made light work of one blocker. In the decisive third set, he calmly attacked the ball as it crossed the net at 16-16 and scored a point on a back-attack at 22-20. Korean Air took the third set 25-23.
Lim’s performance continued in the fourth set. He scored points at 10-8 and 15-12 to reach 30 points. It was the third time in the 2023-24 regular season that Korean Air surpassed the 30-point mark, following a 42-point outburst against KB Sonbojae on Dec. 10 last year and 31 points against Hyundai Capital on Dec. 30 last month.
Lim scored two more points before and after the 20-point mark, and Korean Air cruised to the fourth set victory. “When the deuce is long, the 안전놀이터 team’s stamina drops,” said Lim after the match, referring to the service ace that ended the first set. I always attack with a lot of heart, but in that situation, it was even more so.” As for her ceremony after clinching the first set, she said, “I think Bijena, the foreign player, has a big performance against us (Korean Air). I don’t know if the other players were conscious of it, but I did it more for the momentum.”
Lim has been the ace in the hole when foreign player Murad’s offense hasn’t been as sharp as expected. “Every game, I go on the court with the mindset of ‘I’m the ace,’ and I focus on supporting the scoring. I give meaning to my contribution to the team.”
Korean Air, which has won the title for the last three consecutive seasons, will be looking to win its first four consecutive titles this season. Although they are in second place behind Woori Card, they have the ‘championship experience’ of the past three seasons, an asset that other teams do not have.
“In the past three seasons, we overcame the ups and downs and won the title as a team,” said Lim Dong-hyuk. This season is also a tough journey, but we’re trying to enjoy it with a positive attitude,” he laughs.