2011.12.2 Weekend PicksJudo
*2011 KRA Korea World Cup
*Halla Gymnasium, Jeju
*Friday to Saturday, 12 p.m.
Korea’s only international judo tournament starts with some 350 judoka from 30 countries.
The tournament is approved by the International Judo Federation and will count for 100 points towards the world rankings. This is also the last international event of the year, so many European countries are participating to evaluate top athletes in preparations for the 2012 London Olympics.
Fifty-six judoka (28 men and 28 women) will represent Korea in the tournament. Two-time defending champion Kim Jae-bum and current world No. 2 Wang Ki-chun are considered favorites to win in their weight classes. The 2008 Olympic gold medalist Choi Min-ho will also take part after upgrading his weight class to 66 kilograms (145 pounds).
*Seoul Dream Six (5-5) at Suwon Kepco 45 (7-3)
*Suwon Gymnasium, Gyeonggi
*Saturday, 2 p.m.
The Dream Six, currently fifth in the league, is hoping to upset second-placed Kepco.
Choi Hong-suk and Kim Jung-hwan lead the Dream Six’s attack, while center Shin Young-suk has impressed with powerful serves and blocks. But the Dream Six hopes its foreign attacker, Ryan Jay Owens, will step up his game. The American joined the team on Nov. 20 but has only scored 13 points in the last two matches.
Kepco has Croatian international Andjelko Cuk, who is the third leading scorer this season, and Seo Jae-duk, who is currently the top blocker this round. In fact, the team currently leads in blocks with 3.16 per set.
Kepco won its first encounter with the Dream Six in the first round, beating them 3-1 on the road.
*Anyang Korea Ginseng Corporation (14-5) at Incheon ET Land Elephants (9-10)
*Samsan World Gymnasium, Incheon
*Friday, 7 p.m.
KGC, currently second in the league, will try to extend its six-game winning streak against the sixth-placed Elephants.
Twin towers Rodney White and Oh Se-keun lead KGC’s attack from inside the paint, while guards Kim Tae-sool and Park Chan-hee work from the perimeter. The team is also first in steals.
The Elephants have three-point machine Moon Tae-jong, but have struggled with offense, averaging just 73.8 points per game, the second worst in the league. The team is also last in blocks and free-throw percentage. However, the Elephants have won the previous two games against KGC, both on home court.