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Japanese lady Orie Hida joins PBA, UMB world top crumbles


Published by frits bakker

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Japanese player Orie Hida (45) leaves the UMB to join the PBA cyclus for ladies

TOKYO - The Japanese four-time world champion in three cushion billiards Orie Hida has announced to join the PBA cyclus starting from the coming season. She follows Sruong Pheavy, another world class player who switched to the professional Korean organisation last year. Orie Hida (45) was the world champion in three cushion billiards in 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2017, making her the most successful player in women's billiards together with Therese Klompenhouwer from Holland. Before Klompenhouwer's breakthrough, Orie Hida was the leading lady of women's billiards in the world.

The Japanese, who works five days a week in her country, wants to raise her level after a long career at the world top with the PBA. She wants to practice more as a professional player. The women's tournaments, in the same period as the PBA men's events, have almost the entire world top women's field under contract now after the arrival of Orie Hida. The cycle was dominated in 2020 by the youthful Korean Mi-rae Lee, the former pool player Ga-young Kim and the winner of the final tournament this year: Se-yeon Kim. Two other Japanese ladies, Hayashi and Higashiushi, and Cambodian Sruong Pheavy a few months ago also made the switch.

The UMB has confirmed the transfer of Orie Hida through its president Mr. Farouk Barki. Instead of the Japanese champion, Turkish Gülsen Degener has now been invited to the UMB tournaments in July.

The only player with a World champion palmares, Therese Klompenhouwer, the figurehead of the UMB with four world titles and eight European titles, has been approached by PBA before, but remains loyal to the UMB. The Dutch lady can understand the transition of her big rival Orie Hida. ''She is one of the best players in the world, but still has to work to generate income. As a PBA player, she can build a professional life and she deserves it. We have talked a lot about her decision lately, because we are good friends. I fully support her choice.''

The Dutch number one in the world has an outspoken opinion about a choice between UMB and PBA: ''I always want to play with the best players in the world. And if we are honest, they are mainly playing in the PBA now. But with the UMB this year, I get opportunities to play with the men's world top in the men's events. I surely will receive the invitations for that in the future as well, so I don't see any reason to move to the PBA right away. I think choosing the PBA is also choosing a certain lifestyle. It's not only a choice for my further billiard career, but also for my personal life. I feel good as my life is now as a professional player. I am free to do what I want.''

Orie Hida, Therese Klompenhouwer and Sruong Pheavy, the world top ladies of whom only the Dutch lady remains loyal to UMB

Four time world champion Orie Hida