“If we work harder, we can be on par with Japan”

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After finishing as runners-up at the Asian Professional Baseball Championship (APBC) 2023, South Korea’s head coach Ryu Jung-il said he believes the team can play on par with Japan if they work a little harder.

“I think the gap between Japanese baseball and Korean baseball is widening (at the moment),” Ryu said at a press conference following the team’s 3-4 come-from-behind loss in the APBC final at the Tokyo Dome in Japan on Monday.

“Japanese pitchers have the same 150 kilometers per hour velocity, but the end of the ball is different from ours. Hitters also have the sophistication to cut (the ball) instead of just striking out,” he analyzed.

“When I return to Korea, I will analyze Japanese baseball a little more to find out how to play,” he said, adding, “I will do my best to play better in the Premier 12 (next year).”

“It was a bit disappointing to lose, but it was a tournament that allowed the players to mature to the next level,” Ryu said, adding, “I want to applaud the players from both teams.”

After the final, Liu said he emphasized to the team to “prepare for the future.

“I asked them as a baseball person,” he said, “I once went to SoftBank’s (Nippon Professional Baseball) Miyazaki camp, and even though it was February 1, the pitchers were throwing more than 140 kilometers per hour and the hitters were just hitting home runs.” “I asked them (the players) not to rest in December, but to build their bodies so that they can do it right away when they enter the February (spring) camp.” 토토

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