Bert van Manen has joined the Kozoom family


Published by frits bakker

© © Paul Brekelmans
Bert van Manen: the quality of play has never been higher than it is today

BORDEAUX - Kozoom is pleased to announce their new team member: Dutch author and billiard player Bert van Manen. In the past few years, he has published about 150 columns about the 3-cushion sport, as well as a book: "The Blomdahl Era", which has been well received. His columns have been translated and republished on the Web in Spanish, Portugese, German, Greek, Korean and Turkish.

Van Manen (24-8-1957) played 3-cushion at a pretty decent level in the late nineties, when he reached the 23d spot on the UMB ranking. He gave Torbjörn Blomdahl a hard time once, losing in a tight 5th set in the Antwerp World Cup. Mind you, in those days you could still get somewhere with a 1.1 average. Today, you could never survive any World Cup qualification if you did not play at least two or three tenths better. These days, he plays 3-cushion for the love of the game only. A recent 40 - 22 in 20 inning win over Dick Jaspers showed that he may be in the autumn of his active career, but he can still hit a ball with some accuracy.

Both Dutch and Korean Kozoom have used van Manen as a commentator since 2012, and he will continue to sit next to me (Frits Bakker) or William Oh, and try to shed some light on the thoughts that go through players' heads.

Van Manen: ,,I have been a Kozoom supporter for years, it is THE place to be for billiard players, and one of the great new instruments we have to lift up the game of billiards. We should not be negative about the state our sport is in. Yes, twenty years ago there were the network TV broadcasts of BWA tournaments in Paris, Berlin and Tokyo. Yes, there was more prize money then. We should of course make every effort to bring sponsorship back in. But on the bright side: the internet has done wonders for billiards. Think about the availability of results, think about live streaming (nowhere better than on Kozoom), think about MyWebsport and live online score boards in billiard rooms. YouTube videos have spread so much 3-cushion knowledge around the world, it has made an entire generation of players better.''

,,My Dutch countrymen often sound pessimistic about the state of the game, but let's face it, the Netherlands are just a dot on the map. Billiards is doing so well in Colombia, Turkey, Korea and Vietnam! The quality of play has never been higher than it is today, and I am confident that the current generation of European top players will be succeeded by an equally brilliant generation of (mostly) Asian players, and they will continue to keep us fascinated with this heartbreakingly beautiful game.''

Van Manen's biweekly column will appear on Kozoom from now on, but his Facebook podium 'Bert's Billiard Page' will still be available. Also, there will soon be a new Kozoom feature, where Bert will use short clips from top player matches to explain their decisions and comment on defensive play, position play and percentage play.