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Ko Pin-Chung wins Ruyi Cup in Taiwan

发布时间:2019-01-06 22:12 出处:TOP147HK 香港收藏本页 发表评论
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     The inaugural “JuZhiXingHui-RuYi 9-Ball Cup”, originally scheduled to be played in December this year that offers one of the highest prizes (NT$522,000/US$17,000/HK$132,000 in total) in recent years, kicked off early in January at the XiMenDing Hulk Billiards Club in Taiwan.  64 players gathered today (Sunday) after 4 days of qualifiers to compete for the ultimate title.

 
     The final match was a replication of the 2018 US Open final, except that this time Ko Pi-Yi  came out to be the winner.  The ex-CBSA International 9-Ball champion had his revengence over Chang Jung-Lin in a heart-pounding hill-hill (13-13) decider, pocketing a handsome first prize of NT$150,000.
 

Chang Jung-Lin & Ko Pin-Yi


     The tournament has made a big noise in Taiwan; “Just Billiards” is invited to livestream the event.  Each qualifier took in only 128 players.  Full registration were recorded for all of the qualifiers, with the first day witnessing almost 60 pool-lovers unable to register, while over 100 missed the tournament despite the committee’s decision to increase 16 additional spots on the day, a scene that have not been seen in a long time.

Lin Ta-Li recorded the highest score difference (13-0) during the day

 
     Out of the 64 players, two ladies were offered wildcards for direct entry into stage 2.  Three-times Amway Cup winner Rita Chou (Taiwan) and CBSA semi-finalist Jiang Teng (China) participated in the double-elimination stage.  Chou made it through but eventually lost to the unstoppable Chang Jung-Lin.  However, Jiang lost two straight sets and was eliminated, but is enjoying her time in Taiwan as a visitor.  Wong Yan, a Hong Kong young player that came through from qualifiers, finished the tournament with 1 win and 2 losses.

Players Signing Ceremony

 
     During the intervals, JuZhiXingHui signed sponsorships with female player Ho Hsin-Ju, as well as Kevin Cheng and Wu Kun-Lin, the two ex-semifinalists of the World Championships.


Ho Hsin-Ju Kevin Cheng Wu Kun-Lin

 
     The single-elimination stage started off with 32 players.  China Open champion Ko Pin-Yi lost to Wu Kun-Lin, but his brother Ko Pin-Chung made it to the semifinal, up against ex-CBSA champion Hsieh Chia-Chen.  In the other semifinal, the almighty Chang Jung-Lin played against pro-am Taiwanese player Chang Pei-Wei.

Hsieh Chia-Chen (left) finished off 3rd place

 
     Ko Pin-Chung, having to give a 2-rack handicap to his opponent, had a good start winning the lag and then 3 racks in a row before Hsieh scored his first.  Ko then extended his lead to 11-4 and eventually won the match 14-5 to book the hot seat.  On the adjacent table, Chang Pei-Wei broke in the last rack but failed to comply with the 3-point rule, the US Open champion then cleared the table to set up the final with Ko.

Chang Pei-Wei (right) finished off in joint 3rd place

 
FINAL MATCH

     Ko and Chang, both graded 14, reproduced the US Open final here in Taiwan.  Ko won the lag but then scratched when jumping the 2, giving Chang the first lead.  Nevertheless, Ko won the next four to lead the game 4-1.  The two scored one more each, before Chang called for a timeout.
 
     Chang won the next 3 racks after returning from the changing room to narrow down the margin to one, but then failed to utilise a chance, allowing Ko to extend his lead again to 8-5.  Chang kicked a lucky 2-ball and went on to win the next rack; it was Ko’s turn to call timeout.
 
     This time, it was Ko who performed better after the break, reaching double-digit score before his opponent.  Chang got away with his
 illegal break in the 22nd but scratched in the next, meaning that Ko has reached the hill.  With 4 championship points in hand, Pin-Chung missed a relatively easy 4-ball, allowing Chang to catch his breath again. 

     With a little luck, Chang went on to win the next two racks and trimmed down the defecit to 1 only.  Chang
’s break and run brought the climax of the tournament, the hill-hill decider!!

     Chang had a chance with his break but missed the 6-ball, Ko capitalised the opportunity, clearing the remaining balls for the championship!!


 
     The last ball of the tournament sunk at 4:20am.


(Samuel Lai)
 

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