First place in the first half of the year? Honestly, I didn’t think about it.” Captain Na Sung-beom’s gratitude to his colleagues

The Kia Tigers ended the first half of the season with No. 1 ranking after going through major and minor difficulties in the process of preparing for the season. Na Sung-bum, the captain of the team, expressed his gratitude to his teammates.유흥알바

When asked about the first place in the first half ahead of the 2024 Shinhan SOL Bank KBO All-Star Game held at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on the 6th, Na Sung-bum said, “I honestly didn’t think about it,” adding, “Both last year and the year before last year, the team was not in the top two or three, so we started with a question mark, and the players prepared well since the spring camp. Of course, I was lucky, but I think the fact that all the players banded together and tried to win led to the current result.”

As Kia entered the spring camp amid a vacuum of its head coach, it was in a chaotic mood compared to other teams. However, this did not necessarily mean that a large-scale free agent (FA) player who could be a factor in its performance could join the team.

However, Kia was not swayed. Veteran players, including Na Sung-bum and Yang Hyeon-jong, played good central roles, and Lee Bum-ho, who assumed the helm during the spring camp, also proactively communicated with the players to lead the team.

The results were better than expected. KIA, which had multiplied its wins from the beginning of the season, continued its strides by maintaining the lead for a long time. After briefly falling to second place on April 7, Kia regained its lead in five days and remained in the lead until the end of the first half, boycotting other teams including LG and Samsung. KIA posted 48 wins, two draws and 33 losses (0.593).

“The team has played many difficult matches and lost consecutive games. I thought my biggest crisis was when I came down from the top,” Na said. “I thought if we continue to do what we need to do, we can regain (the top spot). I bet all players did the same.”

The first half was a tough time not only for KIA but also for Na. He failed to join the regular season opening entry when he suffered a thigh injury during an exhibition game in March, and was unable to play for more than a month after the opening of the season. After recovering from the injury, he had difficulties such as hardly boosting his batting pace.

However, he is slowly looking for a sense of hitting starting last month, and contributed greatly to the team’s series sweep by hitting hard with 0.429 one homer and three RBIs in 14 at-bats against Daegu Samsung on the 2nd and 4th, the last three consecutive games in the first half.

“Honestly, I had a hard time in the beginning after returning home,” Na said. “It was tough, but the coaching staff including Lee Bum-ho and other players helped me. I didn’t give up until the end and prepared well,” Na said. “It’s not a good performance, but I think my performance has improved a lot compared to the beginning. I want to have a good performance until the end of the season.”

The goal is to win the title. “After entering the second half of the season, I will focus on every game to widen the gap,” Na said. “Rather than the number of homers or anything, my goal is to finish the season as No. 1. I hope there will be no injured players, and I hope all players achieve their goals in good health.”

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