Vietnamese cueist makes comeback to take down world number one

By Xuan Binh   March 3, 2023 | 01:16 am PT
Vietnamese cueist makes comeback to take down world number one
Bao Phuong Vinh at a billiard tournament in Vietnam in 2022. Photo courtesy of Bao Phuong Vinh
Bao Phuong Vinh made an amazing comeback against world's top billiard player Dick Jaspers at the group stage of Three-Cushion World Cup in Las Vegas Friday.

After losing to American player Javier Vera in the first game, Vinh was under must-win pressure in the next game with Jaspers. Before the break, Jaspers led Vinh 23-8. After the game resumed, Vinh shortened the gap to nine points, but Jaspers extended the lead again, 31-21, 34-25 then 36-31. In the crucial moment of the game, Vinh scored nine consecutive points to complete the comeback and won 40-36.

The victory over Jaspers created momentum for Vinh to win his remaining game of group A against Belgian player Peter Ceulemans with a score of 40-16 after 20 turns. In the other game, Jaspers defeated Vera but that was not enough for the world number one to advance. Vinh and Ceulemans topped group A and entered the round of 16.

The comeback of Bao Phuong Vinh against Dick Jaspers at the Three-Cushion World Cup in Las Vegas on March 2, 2023

This is the first time a Vietnamese player defeated Jaspers at World Cup, since Tran Quyet Chien’s victory at the World Cup of Pool in March 2022.

Vinh, 28, is 86th on world ranking while Jaspers, 58, has been on the top since December 2018.

The second Vietnamese player to make it past the group stage is Nguyen Duc Anh Chien, when he topped group D.

The remaining Vietnamese players in the group stage are Tran Quyet Chien and Dao Van Ly. Chien has won the first two games and nearly advanced, while Ly needs to defeat South Korea’s Cho Myung-woo in the last game to avoid elimination.

The Three-Cushion World Cup, taking place Feb. 26 to March 4 in Las Vegas, is the first billiards world competition in 2023. It contains four qualifiers, one group stage and one knockout phase. The group stage has 32 players divided into eight groups.

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