The 2nd Annual XTM Korea vs. Europe 3-Cushion Championship featured 3-Cushion super star Semih “The Magic Man” Sayginer captaining his European team of Italy’s Stefano Pelinga and Turkish Woman’s Champion Neslihan Gurel. The Korean Team was captained by Korea #1 Kyung Rul Kim with Shin Young “Godzilla” Park and The Black Widow Jeanette Lee. The first team to win five matches would be crowned the champions for this Dragon Promotions event airing on XTM in Korea.
The first match started with scotch doubles pairing Kim and Park against Sayginer and Pelinga. The Europeans started out with the lead at 2-0, but the Koreans came back quickly to tie at 2-2. Park later made another point to take the lead but then Pelinga and Sayginer re-took the lead at 4-3. But that would be it for Europe as Korea commanded the next several points to win the match at 8-4. But Sayginer came back in the very next match with Gurel in the mixed doubles and the two Turkish players created great chemistry against Park and Lee. With Semih’s expert coaching, Gurel made several crucial points to help defeat the Korean team 8-6. Score now sat at 1-1 for Korea and Europe.
The next match was the 3-on-3, with each player alternating shots. The Koreans were too strong in their order though Europe gave their best, they still succumbed 8-5 putting Korea back in charge 2-1. Next in the lineup was the singles which pitted Park against Sayginer. Last year’s King of Carom had Park against Sayginer in the finals but Park losing soundly to the Turk. This time would be no different as Sayginer made a 5 and then 8 point run to win quickly at 15-2 and tie the matches again at 2-2. The next match was highly anticipated with World Trickshot Champion Pelinga against fellow Women’s World Trickshot Champion Jeanette Lee. Pelinga on paper seemed the favorite, but Lee kept control of the match and won 12-9 to prevent Europe from taking the lead 3-2. Kim would face Gurel next and of course was heavily favored even with Sayginer coaching Gurel. Kim would win fast at 15-2 and put Korea on the hill at 4-2.
“If Pelinga would have beaten Jeanette, and then even with Gurel still taking the loss and Europe taking the 3-on 3 loss, the match would be closer at 4-3. But then the Captains match was next and then if Semih beat Kim, it would be hill hill at 4-4 and then they would play the finale 3-on-3 match. The score is deceiving because it could have easily gone that way .” said General Manager of Dragon Promotions Myung Jin Kim.
Another 3-on-3 was scheduled and this would eventually be the finale. Thought Europe put up a good fight, the more experienced Korean team were too good on this day and would win 8-4 to win the Korea vs. Europe event again for the second year in a row.
Korea vs Europe 3-Cushion Challenge was sponsored by XTM, Sopooong Department Store, Tony Moly Cosmetics, and Ra Beauty Salons. Official equipment sponsors are Simonis Cloth http://www.iwansimonis.com/, Vigma Balls www.vigma.com , Hollywood Tables, Poison Cues www.poisonbilliards.co.kr , and Predator Cues www.predatorcues.co.kr