‘Failed 21 times → won after 4 years’, Sakai “I want to go back to Japan and eat home-cooked meals”

“When I go back to Japan, I want to cook delicious rice and feed it to them.”

After a lonely fight in a foreign land, I finally reached the top. However, Ayako Sakai (46, Japan, Hana Card) remembered not herself but her family.메이저놀이터

Sakai defeated Minah Kim (NH Nonghyup Card) with a set score of 4-2 (8-11, 11-10, 4-) in the finals of the 2023-2024 PBA Tour ‘SY LPBA Championship’ held at ‘Goyang KINTEX PBA Stadium’ in Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do on the 4th. 11, 11-0, 11-8, 11-6) achieved a major comeback victory.

This is a remarkable feat achieved four years after her professional debut. Along with the championship trophy, he also won a valuable prize of 30 million won.

Sakai, who joined the ranks of LPBA’s 13th winners, was named the third Japanese player to win the LPBA, following Orie Hida (SK Rent-a-Car) and Natsumi Higashiuchi (Welcome Savings Bank).

Although Saka entered the LPBA in 2019 with the launch of the professional team, he has not seen the light of day. He participated in 21 competitions and reached the quarterfinals four times, but had trouble getting any higher, to the point where it seemed like that was his limit.

The momentum of this competition was extraordinary. After winning a fierce battle against arguably the strongest Han Ji-eun (SY) in the round of 64, she advanced to the finals with consecutive comeback wins against Lim Jeong-sook (Crown Haitai) in the round of 16, Kim Bomi (NH Nonghyup Card) in the quarter-finals, and Park Da-som in the semi-finals. .

This time too, it didn’t start well. She started off by giving her first set to Minah Kim. Even in the second set, she was in danger as she was pushed to set point. However, like her previous matches, her intense concentration turned the tide. After scoring 2 runs in 10 innings, a comeback led to a lucky score, bringing the game back to square one.

Although she lost the 3rd set to Kim Min-ah again, Sakai went ahead and won 11-0 by successfully hitting bank shots, her specialty, twice in the 4th set. brought it

The champion shot was also a bank shot. A long game lasting 6 sets and 17 innings unfolded, and both seemed to be losing concentration as the game dragged on. However, Sakai scored one run in the 16th inning, when he was ahead 8-6, and then ended the game with a bank shot.

In the final alone, she succeeded in 9 bank shots, defeating Minah Kim (4). The bank shot rate (ratio of bank shots to total scores) was 32.1%, which was higher than the competition average (28.5%). She hit 48 bank shots in 6 games in this tournament alone, earning her the nickname ‘Queen of Bank Shots.’

After the game, Sakai left a short comment in Korean, saying “Thank you,” and said, “I am so happy to win. First of all, I really wanted to win the final game. I was able to win because there were many people cheering me on.” He added, “I am a member of the Hana Card team this season. “I came here and received a lot of support from my teammates. I also think we were able to win today because they came to the stadium and cheered us on in person,” he said.

Sakai (left) is taking a commemorative photo with fellow Japanese colleague Orie Hida. /Photo=PBA Tour
This is a great achievement that was achieved because we endured difficult moments. In particular, Sakai said that it was really difficult when she was separated from her family and quarantined in the aftermath of the novel coronavirus infection (Corona 19). However, “The LPBA Tour is the only women’s tournament. It is a tournament like no other in the world. It has really great competitiveness. The playing environment is also great. The referees are also equipped with the best referees.” “More than anything, the level of players is rising, and winning is key.” “It’s getting harder and harder. It’s the best environment for me to grow,” he explained.

She is Saka, who also joined the team league during the long season and continues to play the league in her loneliness as she rarely has time to see her family. Of course, the first thing that came to mind when she won was her family. “The first thing that came to mind was my husband and two children who support me in Japan,” she said. “In addition, I thought of the many people who support me in Japan. I am also grateful to my Hana Card team colleagues and officials. And Orie Hida not only today but also yesterday. He also came and cheered me on, and I felt very reassured.”

I am very grateful to her husband and two children. She said, “During my career as a player in Korea, my husband looked after the children and supported me diligently while doing his own work. All I can say is thank you. When I return to Japan, I want to give him a big hug.” I am also very grateful to my two children who watched the game on YouTube for a long time and cheered me on, telling me to stay strong. When I return to Japan, I want to cook delicious meals and feed them.

The ‘Well Bang Top Ranking’ (prize prize of 2 million won), which is given to the player who recorded the highest average in one game of the competition, was awarded to Throng Piavi (Cambodia, Blue One Resort), who scored 2.273 against Park Soo-hyang in the round of 64.

Meanwhile, the PBA will begin the men’s PBA round of 128 starting on the 5th. After the round of 128 will be held for two days starting on the 5th, the competition will begin in earnest with the opening ceremony at 3 p.m. on the 7th. The final, which will determine the winner of the prize money of 100 million won, will be held at 9 PM on the 11th.

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