Game Icon3-Cushion

Fantastic Asia, powerless Europe in Continental Cup


Published by frits bakker

© © Kozoom Studio
The joy in the Asian box after the huge victory over Europe in the Continental Cup

SEOUL - The clash between the top teams in three cushion from Asia and Europe has ended in an unexpectedly big and mind blowing victory for the Koreans and Vietnamese over the team from Europe: 600-451, a 149 points difference. The much younger and less seasoned Asians knocked down the European three cushion elite on their home ground in the Continental Cup. The joy in the 'red camp' was intense after three days of supremacy and domination, which was expressed in 19 wins in 24 matches and a huge difference on average: 2,083 against 1,565. The box of Asians was the setting for three days of smiling players, who constantly inspired each other with high fives. The European box, with great champions like Dick Jaspers, Eddy Merckx, Marco Zanetti and Dani Sánchez, usually showed a bleak look of misunderstanding and deception.

How could it be that the 'blue train' of the Europeans dominated the scoop in this continental match with a huge victory, 600-483 last year close to Bordeaux? And that the roles now, in a hotel in Seoul, were totally reversed? Where did that Asian flair and invincible attitude suddenly come from after the timid performance in the first meeting? How could it be that the team led by the Vietnamese players Tran, Ngo and Nguyen and the Koreans by the young, 22-year-old Myung-Woo Cho felt so strong now. And that feared and great winners like Eddy Merckx (three losses in three games), Dick Jaspers (1 win, 2 losses), Marco Zanetti (1 win, 2 losses) and Semih Sayginer (3 losses) were so vulnerable in this prestige competition between the two continents that reign the world of three cushion?

Torbjörn Blomdahl, not in the line-up because of his position on the rankings and Frédéric Caudron (suspension due to PBA) undoubtedly were missing. Jérémy Bury had with 2, 9 and 11 points in three matches and far below 1 average maybe his worst billiard weekend in the last ten years. Sayginer and Tasdemir were flagged with a 25-4 loss, Bury with 25-2 and Jaspers in the final round with 25-7. That brought Europe's backlog in the last session to unprecedented highs. Only Dani Sánchez was a European winner in the last round with big margin over Heo: 49-25.

Myung-Woo Cho was the undisputed best in three days with three wins over Sánchez, Sayginer and Bury and 2.777 on average. It was more than granted to him, the always smiling young man, certainly also by the opponents, whom he said farewell in the blue box with a cheerful high-five after his last match. The strong Vietnamese threesome Dinh Nai Ngo, Quyet Chien Tran and Nguyen Quoc Nguyen were setting the pace in the team and remained unbeaten, like Myung-Woo Cho and Sung-Won Choi among the Koreans. Five players won only one game for Europe: Jaspers, Sánchez, Zanetti, Coklu and Tasdemir.

Nguyen Quoc Nguyen, from the winning team: ''We play very good at the Hollywood tables and had a strong start, which immediately gave us a nice lead. The Europeans came from the World Cup in Egypt, so they were a little bit tired. We are Asians, we were not tired at all. We are celebrating the victory now with the Vietnamese players.''

Dick Jaspers and Marco Zanetti, the team leaders in the Europe team, searched for an explanation for the big loss afterwards.
Jaspers: ''The Asians were really very good all the way. And if you play well, you sometimes force a bit of luck. We were facing the backlog and saw it grow, so there was more pressure. Asia could play more and more relaxed. We really tried our best, but this was not our weekend.''

Zanetti: ''A good start seems very important in this unusual game. The Asian team took the lead from the start and were having the good stars on their side. But I also have to recognise that they were simply better, keeping a better focus and managed better position play than the Europeans. What we had in Bordeaux last year, this time it was for the Asians. The same dynamics.''


Final ranking 1st match in Europe:

600-483 (Europe winner with 117 points).
Second match in Seoul: 600-451 (Asia winner, 149 points).
Score after 1 day: 200-135 (65 points)
Score after day 2: 400-292 (108 points)
Score after day 3: 600-451 (149).

The individual scores:

1 Myung-Woo Cho 6-2,777-10
2 Nguyen Quoc Nguyen 6-2,272-15
3 Quyet Chien Tran 6-2,205-14
4 Dinh Nai Ngo 6-2,083-11
5 Sung-Won Choi 6-1,785-11
6 HaengJik Kim 4-1,829-8
7 Jae-Ho Cho 2-1,500-8
8 Jung-Han Heo 2-1,363-8


1 Dick Jaspers 2-2,133-13
2 Dani Sánchez 2-1,976-10
3 Marco Zanetti 2-1,642-7
4 Murat Naci Coklu 2-1,237-10
5 Tayfun Tasdemir 2-1,200-5
6 Eddy Merckx 0-1,545-10
7 Semih Sayginer 0-1,560-
8 Jérémy Bury 0-0,785-4.

The focus in the final part in the Asian box with in front the two star players Myung-Woo Cho and Nguyen Quoc Nguyen

Myung-Woo Cho, the best of all in the clash

Nguyen Quoc Nguyen one of three Vietnamese stars

Dani Sánchez, the only European winner on the final day.