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Carom Billiard - 3-Cushion - World Cup - Ho Chi Minh (VIE)

Three Vietnamese battle with one Caudron

Posted by on May 26, 2018

Three Vietnamese battle with one Caudron

HO CHI MINH CITY - The most eccentric of all the Vietnamese players could barely contain his joy at the end of this long day. Nguyen Quoc Nguyen paced the arena of the Ho Chi Ming World Cup, bursting with pride after he had become the third home player to reach the semifinals. Two of his countrymen, Quyet Chien Tran and Dinh Nai Ngo completed the historic success. These three and Frédéric Caudron will compete for the final win of the second World Cup of the season, on Sunday. Players and spectators will once again wake up to the familiar "Good Morning Vietnam".

Eddy Merckx, Birol Uymaz, young Myung-Woo Cho and Robinson Morales showed how strong and yet fragile a player can be, in the hectic ambiance where the three Vietnamese and Caudron received the cheers of the wildly enthusiastic fans in the stands. The breakthrough had been expected for some time, but it was even more spectacular than anticipated. The European establishment was demolished in Ho Chi Minh City, and it wasn't even the feared Koreans who did it.

Quyet Chien Tran, a new look and hairdo, Nguyen Quoc Nguyen, with his facial expressions and his laugh, and Dinh Nai Ngo, minimalistic but lethal, showed their killer quality in the last contest before the final day. Frédéric Caudron has his work cut out for him, when he takes on these giants of the new country of promise.

The Belgian has so far shown strength in the back end of his matches. Robin Morales also had a lead, but he was caught at 15-14 and then demolished. A run of 9 by Caudron was the uppercut that led to a final score of 40-18 in 19. Quyet Chien Tran had to deal with Myung-Woo Cho, who played as if he has already seen and done it all. Cho had a 30-18 lead but was pegged back by a run of 11 from the Vietnamese and finally beaten 40-35 in 19.

Last course on the menu of the day: the wins by Nguyen Quoc Nguyen over Birol Uymaz and Dinh Nai Ngo over Eddy Merckx. The Turk, who wil certainly make a bid for a top-20 position in the near future, kept it close until 32-32. Helped by his supporters, Nguyen crossed the line first at 40-36 in 23. Eddy Merckx was unconvincing in this encounter with Dinh Nai Ngo, he had to work hard for small runs and was on the back foot all match long. It ended 40-23 in 19.

The early sessions of the day, in the last-16 segment, were just a lead-up to the climax with the three Vietnamese winners. Two European stars were the victim:  Torbjörn Blomdahl, unrecognizable from his match against Carlsen, was beaten by  Dinh Nai Ngo, Marco Zanetti lost to the ever stolid Nguyen Quoc Nguyen. Korean hopeful Hyung Kon Kim lost to Quyet Chien Tran. Birol Uymaz was the only one who disrupted the reign of the home players. The Turk got the better of seasoned  Anh Vu Duong, when he ran an impressive and winning 10 from 30-30.

Two of the three Belgians were in the spotlight as well. Eddy Merckx and Eddy Leppens were level for ten innings. Leppens had the better runs (8, 5 and 8), but Merckx as so often was the coolest finisher. Leppens got back from 25-35 to 38-38, made one error and it sealed his fate. Merckx made the last two and stayed in the race to retain his Ho Chi Minh title. Frédéric Caudron had a poor start against  Sung-Won Choi, trailed 20-9, then 26-11. Predictably, he mounted a comeback with runs of 8, 4 and 9, to finish at 40-36 in 24. The unexpected conclusion after that match: Sung-Won Choi, known for his mental toughness, was run over when he only made 0-1-1-1-1 in his last five attempts.

Robinson Morales was the odd one out in the last eight. The likeable Colombian street fighter controlled Tayfun Tasdemir on his way to the quarterfinals with a strong finish: 4 and 6 in the last two innings for 40-29 in 32. It's been a long time since we've seen a South American in the last eight in a World Cup.

The last Korean in the race? That was to be decided in the match between  Myung-Woo Cho and Jung-Han Heo. It was even all the way from 26-25 to 40-40 and a shootout was in order. Young Cho won it 2-1.

Quyet Chien Tran and Hyung Kon Kim both produced a run of 8 in the final stretch, but Tran could hold on to his lead: 40-30 in 18.

Nguyen Quoc Nguyen had a great finish in his duel with Marco Zanetti, and it was the best match of the round. From inning 10 (30-21) the Asian champion ran away from the Italian to make it 40-26 in 13. Dinh Nai Ngo came up against a meek Blomdahl and had no trouble building on a 20-9 and 29-10 lead to win 40-27 in 23 innings.

Sunday's semifinals:

12.00 Vietnamese time:
Frédéric Caudron-Quyet Chien Tran

Nguyen Quoc Nguyen-Dinh Nai Ngo.



Caudron: the second part of the match is his strength


Quyet Chien Tran: one of the three Vietnamese heroes

Young Cho: forced into a shootout

Robinson Morales: win over Tasdemir to put him in the last 8

Birol Uymaz: great finish with a run of 10

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