Vietnamese billiards player misses World Cup semifinals

By Xuan Binh   December 8, 2023 | 11:31 pm PT
Vietnamese billiards player misses World Cup semifinals
Bao Phuong Vinh during a three-cushion tournament in HCMC in September 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong
Defending world champion Bao Phuong Vinh failed to make the semifinals after losing to South Korea’s Kim Jun-tae after 23 turns in the quarterfinals at the Three-Cushion World Cup in Egypt.

Vietnam were out of players at the Cup in Sharm El Sheikh once Tran Thanh Luc was eliminated in the round of 16 and Vinh was beaten in the quarterfinals on Friday night. The defeat shut down Vinh’s goal of winning both the World Championship and World Cup in the same year.

In the quarterfinal, Vinh was four places above Kim in the world ranking, but the South Korean simply played better. The two players were neck and neck until Kim scored 11 points in a row to lead 22-11. From that point on, Vinh failed to maintain form and allowed his opponent to widen the gap.

In 13 turns, Vinh only scored five points, while Kim scored 32. With a big gap on the scoreboard, the only pressure Vinh was able to put on his opponent was improving his performance slightly at the end of the match.

Vinh ended up losing 22-50 with an average of only 0.956 points per turn, his poorest performance in this tournament.

Earlier on Friday, Thanh Luc faced 17-year-old prodigy Burak Hashas of Turkey in the round of 16. At one point, Luc let Hashas lead 45-33, but gradually closed the gap to 44-49. However, there was no comeback for Luc, as Hashas scored the victory point in the 36th turn to win 50-44.

The 2023 Three-Cushion World Cup has six events this year with two Vietnamese players reaching the semifinals at the event in Porto, Portugal.

Tran Quyet Chien emerged as the champion, while Chiem Hong Thai secured third place.

In Egypt, both Chien and Thai were eliminated in the group stage.

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