The contingent of Korean amateurs are overshadowing the successes of the Korean pros as they are holding more than their own on their home turf against the international competitors. Day 2 of the 5th Annual XTM Asia 10-Ball Championships continues with the elimination rounds where half the field will exit out today. The event continues at the Hamilton Hotel in Itaewon,Seoul produced by Dragon Promotions.
Korean amateur Kyeong Lim Choy faced the toughest match of his life against 2008 World Cup Champion Rodney Morris (USA). The legendary Morris seemed out of sorts still from his long trip from America, and had a hard time grasping the quick speed and tightness of the Min Tables. Choy took full advantage of Morris’s mistakes and made it to the hill first 8-6. Choy seemed to feel the pressure of winning and missed a near straight in 8-ball with an easy 10-ball waiting for him next. Morris would win that game and then again took another win when Choy missed another easy shot to run out the next. In the final game, Morris broke with a chance to run out starting with an easy 1-5 combo but failed to hold the 1-ball for position. Playing safe, Morris came back to the game making a spectacular position shot to land dead perfect for a 3-10 combo for the match win. Unfortunately he missed and left Choy an open table. Choy visibly nervous, held onto his heart to run out for the 9-8 win.
“Rodney didn’t play well, but this amateur player played a solid match against him.” commented Mika Immonen. Immonen later easily defeated top Japanese pro Hisataka Kamihashi 9-4 in commanding fashion to advance to the quarter finals.
Fellow Korean amateur Hwang Yhong kept his streak alive with another daring win. The day before Yhong turn heads by defeating #5 seed Hayato Hijikata of Japan. Today Yhong took on Filipino young gun Renemar David of Bugsy Promotions, the same management group of stars Ronnie Alcano and Dennis Orcullo. David took an early lead 3-0, but Yhong came back with great offensive shooting to lead 6-4. David then took advantage of Yhong’s mistakes to make it 6-5 and then made a superb razor thin cut shot on the 9-ball and left a perfect 10-ball shot to tie the match at 6-6. Unfortunately for the young Filipino, Yhong didn’t falter and held on for three straight games to win 9-6.
Not all the favorites were fairing too bad as #2 seed Heon Ho Kim (KOR -Charlie Williams) bounced back from two very close matches with a 9-1 drubbing of Hong Kong’s Lee Chenman(#7 seed). #9 seed Jech Limen (PHI) fell to Japan’s Kamihashi 9-7 and then Kamihashi in turn was chanceless against mighty Mika Immonen 8-0 before succumbing 9-4.
#4 seed Thorsten Hohmann(GER) and #6 seed Rodrigo Geronimo (PHI) engaged in an intense battle to advance to the quarter finals. The match went back and forth with each taking minor leads. Hohmann caught the last breath of air to reach the hill 8-6 but missed a chance to close out the match and Geronimo took the next two games to make the match 8-8. The final game went like an Olympic marathon with Hohmann winning the strategic battle for an open run. Hohmann unfortunately landed wrong on the 8-ball and missed a difficult cut shot and left Geronimo a early Christmas present for the win.
Korean women’s amateur Jung Eun Kim upsetted European Bronze medalist and Turkish Champion Neslihan Gurel 7-4. #4 seed Kaori Ebe afterwards defeated Kim 7-5 in a close battle. Junko Mitsuoka defeated fellow Japanese Chihiro Kawahara to advance to the semi-finals. #1 seed Gui Young Lee (KOR) will re-match with Ebe (JPN) in the televised semi-finals.
The XTM Asia 10-Ball Championships is produced by Dragon Promotions and played on Min Tables Professional Edition with Simonis Cloth and Aramith Balls. Official Cue is Poison Cues Poisonbilliards.co.kr and Predator Cues Predatorcues.co.kr . Final day will have six matches airing on XTM and XPORTS.
For more info goto Dragonpromotions.kr and Dragonpromotions.com