SJ Vellangel (177 cm, G) has set himself several challenges.
Summer 2022. KOGAS started to strengthen its roster. Lee Dae-Sung (190cm, G)먹튀검증 was acquired via trade, and Jung Hyo-Keun (200cm, F) returned from injury. In addition, several free agents (FAs) donned the KOGAS jersey.
KOGAS brought in several domestic players. However, they continued to be aggressive. For the first time in the KBL, they signed a Filipino player. Point guard SJ Belangel (177 cm, G). They hoped for his pressure defence and stable game assembly.
However, the 2022-2023 season was not a good one for the KOGAS players. They didn’t even make the playoffs, let alone the championship. They finished ninth with 18 wins and 36 losses. It was a disappointing finish for the fans.
Vangel”s performance was also unsatisfactory. In 52 games, he averaged 7.0 points, 2.0 assists, and 1.9 rebounds in 18:48 minutes. He didn’t contribute much behind the scenes either. He was criticised for not adapting to the KBL and KOGAS.
“I started my rookie season as a professional player in Korea. There were many ups and downs, but it was an experience that helped me mature as a professional player. I was able to learn about the Korean culture and the culture of my team,” he said, reflecting on his first season in Korea.
Meanwhile, KOGAS also recently held the ‘Summer Love Healthy Food Sharing Event’. Healthy grocery kits were distributed to 300 underprivileged people, and Vangel made kimchi for the first time in his life.
“I love learning new things and trying new things,” he says. Making kimchi was a great experience. “I love learning new things and challenging myself, and making kimchi was a great experience,” he says of his time with the team.
On the court, Vellangel would also have new experiences. With the departure of Lee Dae-sung and Jung Hyo-geun, two of the team’s key players, he will have to play more minutes than before. There are also high expectations from acting head coach Kang Hyuk.
“Under the new coach, we are adapting to a new system with new players. We have to find our chemistry and adapt to new things. For me personally, I need to work on my body with the players and work on my weaknesses during the off-season,” he said, noting what he needs to change from the previous season.
“My shot selection was not good, and as a leader on the court, I did not show stability. My shooting percentage wasn’t good either, so I need to work on those things and get ready for next season,” he added.
“I want the team to accumulate as many wins as possible, and to do that, we have to make every game count. I personally need to work harder than before. If we can execute the offensive and defensive moves that the team dictates, we can go to the playoffs. If we do that, we can aim for the championship,” he said.
The championship ring went to Filipino player and friend of Belangel, Lens Abando (188cm, F) of the Anyang KGC Ginseng Corporation. He became the first Filipino player in the KBL to win the title. It meant a lot to both Abando and Belangel.
“As a friend and a teammate, I would like to congratulate him first, because he is the first Filipino to win a KBL title, so I am proud of him. I want to do the same next time,” he said of Abando’s win. At the same time, he secretly expressed his desire to be at the top.