Three Vietnamese cueists vie in PBA 3-cushion carom tourney

By Dang Khoa   December 29, 2020 | 10:25 pm PT
Three Vietnamese cueists vie in PBA 3-cushion carom tourney
Ngo Dinh Nai (top), Nguyen Huynh Phuong Linh (bottom) and Ma Minh Cam. Photo courtesy of the cueists' Facebook pages.
Cuiests Ngo Dinh Nai, Nguyen Huynh Phuong Linh and Ma Minh Cam will compete in PBA Tour 3rd NH Nonghyup Card Championship in South Korea.

The tournament, set for Dec. 31 to Jan. 4 next year in Seoul, will see Vietnamese cueists face nine Korean contestants, competing for the cash prize of 100 million won ($91,250).

According to the tournament format, 128 cueists will be put in teams of four and play two bouts with each round lasting 45 minutes. Each player will start out with 50 points and could earn up to three points per scoring shot, while their rivals have one point deducted. A player with zero point at any point in time of the match would be officially disqualified and forced to exit the survival round.

Nai will take on Park Kwang-Yeol, Jang Sung-Won and Seo Sam-il. Linh will face Mun Seong-Won, Kim Dong-Suk, Yoon Kyun-Ho while Cam vies with Ku Ja-Bok, Kim In-Ho and Choi Jung-Ha.

Cam has been in the country since July to participate in Professional Billiards Association (PBA) events, while Nai and Linh recently completed their 14-day quarantine after arriving in South Korea on Dec. 12.

Nai and Linh are the latest Vietnamese cueists to join PBA, a new world billiards body established in 2019, following in Cam’s footsteps earlier this year.

Since PBA operates independently from World Union of Billiards (UMB), players who join will be banned from all UMB competitions. This means Nai cannot participate in the national championship, SEA Games, Asian championship, and world championship.

Nai won the 3-cushion tournament UMB Virtual One Carom Challenge in September. He is placed 25th in the latest UMB world ranking. UMB named Linh in 225th spot in its world ranking in November.

Nai has had to leave both the Ho Chi Minh City billiards and Vietnamese national teams, and will not receive benefits associated with playing abroad or a salary.

However, PBA is offering many events with attractive bonuses to attract famous players away from UMB.

Meanwhile, PBA Team League plans to add one more team, Green Force Club, for the 2021 season. The newly formed team has successfully recruited Linh and regional players like Kim Hyun-Woo, Oh Tae-Jun, Kim Min-A and Jun Ae-Rin.

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