Duong Quoc Hoang scored an intense comeback against defending world champion Shane van Boening in round 16 of the World Pool Championship on Saturday night.
It was a thrilling chase between Hoang and Boening, and there was a time when everyone thought that the defending world champion would claim the win when leading 9-6. However, Hoang leveled 9-9 and then won two of the remaining three rounds to win 11-10 and eliminate Boening.
“You will never find a more dramatic round than this one,” a commentator for sports channel Matchroom said about the last round.
When the score was 10-10, Hoang chose a different approach as he tried to get the ball into a difficult position and gave his opponent the choice to hit or leave it there. Hoang continued to do so until Boening made a mistake and left a clear angle for him.
Hoang had a chance to finish the game as he put the number three ball into the hole, which seemed to be a failed attempt at first, but it eventually went in one second later after shaking the angles. The spectators were in awe as Boening was standing up and ready to take his turn and then was disappointed when he saw the ball going into the pocket. He was happy for that mere second.
A screenshot of Shane van Boening’s reaction after knowing that he has no chance left in the match with Duong Quoc Hoang.
“Life is on the edge. You flew thousands of miles to chase your dream, but failed because of one millimeter,” the commentator said.
That was the turning point of the last round. After that thrilling moment with the number three ball, Hoang easily put the remaining five balls down the hole to clear the table and wrap the game up. The spectators applauded him.
“The brave Vietnamese man has won, while the defending champion had to leave the tournament,” the commentator added.
Hoang went first in this game and quickly led 4-1, then 6-4. Boening showed why he’s the defending champion by leading back 9-6. But Hoang kept his cool to make it 9-9, then the rest was history.
The 35-year-old is the third Vietnamese cueist in history to reach the quarterfinals of the World Pool Championship, after Luong Chi Dung in 2006 and Do The Kien in 2019. Unfortunately, Hoang couldn’t go further as in the quarterfinal on Sunday morning he lost to Taiwan’s Wu Kun Lin 4-11 and ended his journey. The Taiwanese player was accurate in most of his hits, which didn’t give Hoang many chances.
For advancing to the quarterfinals, Hoang earned $10,000 in prize money.
The World Pool Championship, or World 9-ball Championship, is an annual pro tournament that has been held since 1990. It’s sanctioned by the World Pool-Billiard Association and is organized by Matchroom Sport. This year’s championship takes place from February 1 to 5 in Kielce, Poland with 128 cueists playing for a prize pool of $325,000.
Hoang is the only Vietnamese cueist in the world’s top 100. He first made headlines at the Beijing Open in 2018 when he defeated Scottish star player Jayson Shaw 9-0.
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