Ronjay Avarientos (181cm, G) was extremely sluggish.
Ulsan Hyundai Mobis lost to Seoul Samsung 68-78 in the 2022-2023 SKT A-Dot Professional Basketball regular league held at Ulsan Dongchun Gymnasium on the 19th. They tied for 2nd place with Changwon LG with 13 wins and 9 losses. 2.5 games away from No. 1 Anyang KGC Ginseng Corporation (16 wins, 7 losses).
A total of six KBL clubs, including Daegu Korea Gas Corporation, have recruited Filipino players. Filipino players replaced the strength that was difficult to fill with domestic and foreign players.
Ulsan Hyundai Mobis also brought a Filipino player. The player Hyundai Mobis recruited was Ronjay Avarientos. Avarientos also appeared in the evaluation match with the Korean men’s national basketball team in June. He captured the heart of Hyundai Mobis manager Jo Dong-hyun with his quick ball delivery, aggressive play, and explosive shooting.
Even after Avarientos joined, Hyundai Mobis manager Cho Dong-hyun did not hold back his praise. Hyundai Mobis coach Cho Dong-hyun said, “(Seo) Myung-jin and (Kim) Dong-jun took the lead, but RJ can fill the two players’ insecurities. He highly praised the potential of Avarientos, saying, “With a quick attack transition, pass sense, and shooting, he can give strength to the team color and outside scoring.”
Avarientos is showing his worth in the regular league. No matter how his opponent turns out, Avarientos plays his own. He is averaging 14.0 points, 5.0 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game.
Avarientos’ weight in the team has grown. Also, as the game went on, Avarientos’ confidence grew. All the command towers facing Avarientos were uncomfortable with Avarientos, saying, “It is difficult to stop Avarientos one-on-one.”
However, Avarientos’ strengths were also clear. Gambling shooting selection and weak defense did. In particular, because of unnecessary shooting in the match, there were many times when the game was missed. Avarientos thought of that too.
And it hit the Samsung game. From the start, he faced Kim Gwang-cheol (184cm, G)’s strong pressure defense. didn’t get very involved. He took advantage of the pressure and got a foul. Also, using the defense focused on himself, he created a 4:4 composition with the rest of the players. Court balance was more important.
Avarientos especially stayed away from big man Jin. At the same time, Jang Jae-seok (202cm, C) and Gage Prim 메이저놀이터 (205cm, C) widened the attack space. Both players relentlessly attacked the Samsung Paint Zone. The two players combined for 21 points in the first quarter alone, and Hyundai Mobis finished the first quarter with a score of 24-20.
Hyundai Mobis couldn’t just look under the goal. It was also recognized that Samsung’s defense was focused on the paint zone. So Avarientos needed a shot. However, Avarientos did not get a shot opportunity due to Kim Kwang-cheol’s pressure.
He shot from far away from the 3-point line or threw a quick shot at one point. However, he failed to score a single 3 until the second quarter. Hyundai Mobis’ outer firepower also declined. Hyundai Mobis, whose outer firepower fell, was reversed 39-42.
Avarientos reported the first goal in the first minute of the third quarter. However, the movement was stiff. Another strength, passing sense, was not visible. He retired to the bench 4 minutes and 9 seconds into the third quarter.
Kim Dong-jun (175cm, G) was replaced. A guard who is good at playing with speed, such as developing quick attacks and breaking through. But scoring is lacking. Cho Dong-hyun, director of Hyundai Mobis, also recognized this. 2 minutes and 35 seconds before the end of the third quarter, Avarientos-Kim Dong-jun used the combination.
Kim Dong-jun eased the burden on Avarientos with two 3-pointers and a fast break. Avarientos focused on his skills as a ball handler. He helped Seo Myung-jin (189cm, G) make a 3-point shot with a kick-out pass following the breakthrough. Hyundai Mobis, who had been pushed by 56-63, narrowed the distance to Samsung by 59-63.
Avarientos’ firepower didn’t explode, but Lee Woo-seok (196cm, G) and Seo Myung-jin shook the Samsung defense instead. However, when the starting point of the attack was blocked, Hyundai Mobis also exposed its limits.
Hyundai Mobis, who failed to create a turning point, allowed Lee Jung-hyun (189cm, G) to score the decisive 3 points 2 minutes and 32 seconds before the end of the game. I couldn’t recover the difficult flow. Avarientos ended the Samsung game with a sluggish performance that stopped at 2 points (2 points: 1/4, 3 points: 0/5).