Defending world champion Bao Phuong Vinh defeated Colombia’s Daniel Morales in 26 turns in the round of 16 of the 2023 Three-Cushion World Cup in Egypt on Friday.
Ranked ninth in the world, Vinh was favored over Morales, a Colombian player ranked 169th. Their form in the 2023 Three-Cushion World Cup is also different, with the Vietnamese player averaging 1.604 points per turn compared to Morales’ 1.148 points.
The round of 16 match between the two highlighted this difference.
Vinh quickly took an 8-2 lead. Morales, the lowest-ranked player in the round of 16, surprisingly reversed the situation and came back to lead 21-16. However, the world championship winner showed his skills with a nine-point series to then lead 37-29. Vinh maintained the lead until the end of the match and achieved an average of 1.923 points per turn.
In the quarterfinals, Vinh will face South Korea’s Kim Jun-tae. Kim previously reached the semifinals of the Three-Cushion World Cup in Las Vegas and Ho Chi Minh City this year, while Vinh has never reached this stage before. The South Korean player is currently ranked 13th in the world and eliminated Vietnam’s number one player Tran Quyet Chien in the group stage. Kim’s average score this year is 1.670 points per turn, slightly higher than Vinh’s.
The Three-Cushion World Cup in Egypt is the sixth and final world cup of this year, taking place from Dec. 3 to 9.
Vinh, 28, is Vietnam’s first Three-Cushion World Championship winner, a feat that he achieved in just over a year of international competition. At the two previous Three-Cushion World Cup tournaments, he was eliminated in the group stage.
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