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Carom Billiard - 3-Cushion - National League Honor, 1st and 2nd division (Round 10) - Seoul (KOR)

David Zapata, Spanish wonderboy in PBA

Posted by on July 22, 2022

David Zapata, Spanish wonderboy in PBA

© David Zapata
The PBA winner David Zapata with his girlfriend Maria Camila, who soon will join him in South Korea

SEOUL - The Spanish player Juan David Zapata (David) is just under 30, lives in South Korea for a big part of the year, has a girlfriend in Spain and has won some 500.000 euros in two years in PBA tournaments. This week, Zapata won his first individual event on the Grand Prix calendar, after being the glorious winner of last year's 'World Championship of PBA'. That earned him the gigantic sum of 220.000 euros. Zapata has reached the finals of seven tournaments. This week, he won the Hana Card event in Seoul by winning the final 4-3 against Sang-dae Lee, a rather unknown Korean player. With that, Zapata increased his total earnings at the PBA by 70,000 euros.

David Zapata won in the second PBA tournament this year against Sung-rim Lee (3-2, winner in penalties), Dong jun Park (3-1), Jong-joo Lee (3-1), Jae-guen Kim (3-0), Dong-ku Kang (3-0), in the semi-finals against Dae kwon Shin (4-0) and finally in the finals against Sang-dae Lee. Zapata was the only non-Korean in the final phase of the tournament, in which Frédéric Caudron, David Martinez, Nguyen Quoc Nguyen, Eddy Leppens, Dinh Nay Ngo and Filippos Kasidokostas, among others, had been eliminated in the preliminary stage. Greek Kasidokostas, who returned to the PBA after a short stop, reached the quarter-finals, in which he lost to Dae Kwon Shin, the player who was defeated by David Zapata 4-0 in the semifinals.

Of the Turkish players in the tournament, Savas Bulut (against Can Capak) and Adnan Yüksel both survived one round. Uymaz and Capak went out in the first round. Vietnamese Nguyen Quoc Nguyen came through three rounds, but then lost to Sang Dae Lee.

Sruong Pheavy, the best player in the last tournaments, lost in the final to Min-a Kim 4-3 after a 3-1 lead in sets. The Korean won the last three sets 11-5, 11-4 and 9-4.
Javier Palazón did not play this tournament because he tested positive for COVID. Frédéric Caudron lost in his second round match to Byeong chan Noh with penalties (3-2), Eddy Leppens lost to Dinh Nai Ngo with 3-0.

After his victory, Kozoom spoke with 29-year-old David Zapata (18 August, 1992, from San Javier, Murcia, former European junior champion with the UMB, in 2012, ahead of Omer Karakurt) in a short interview about his unprecedented successes with the South Korean professional league PBA. The Spaniard just had a few hours' sleep after his victory and spoke in a monologue about his youth, future, life as a professional in Korea, his stay in Asian billiards and the culture in his new homeland.

''My last final was the toughest match in this tournament: I first won 15-14, lost 15-8 and 15-13, then won two sets 15-11 and 15-6, but my opponent tied the match 15-12. The decision fell in the seventh set to 11 points, which I won 11-6. I was very happy, because it was my first won tournament after winning the World Championship. I have reached the final seven times, six of them in the last 16 months. Well-known Korean Dong Koong Kang was one of the main opponents in those finals.''

''I thanked the sponsor Hana Card for the organization in a speech afterwards. Also the Blue One players, where I play for the team, for the support. And I thanked my girlfriend, Maria Camila, she is in Spain now, where she lives and has been working for a year. We live together when I am in Spain, but I want to make sure she comes to live with me in South Korea soon.''

,,I started playing billiards when I was 13 and since I was a kid, I always dreamed of playing billiards. My transfer to the PBA has made a big change in my life. I can now devote all my time to billiards, whereas before in Spain I had to study or work. Here in South Korea, I have no worries. I live here, sometimes alone, sometimes together with other Spanish billiard players, I can praktice in Korean billiard halls and I have made a nice development in the PBA tournaments. Hard to explain the success. I feel at home in the system that is played here, the atmosphere, and I like the excitement and stress of games where big prize money is at stake.''

''I don't miss the World Cups and the other UMB tournaments, I just miss playing against other great billiard players who are not in the PBA. It's the way it is, I don't know what should happen, but I'm not worried about it. Life is becoming more and more comfortable for me here. The people are very friendly. The worst thing was the quarantine. The food is also very good. As for the Korean language, reading is the easiest, speaking and listening is rather complicated. I will now stay here until 11 August, because we have to play with the team from 5-11 August. After that, I will go back to Spain for a short time, until we play another tournament here in September.''

David Zapata showing his joy after victory

Min-a Kim, the ladies winner in PBA

David Zapata, winner of second PBA event this year

David Zapata, kissing the trophy after his exciting victory



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My Comments

PBA Tour
Writing about the PBA sitting at home based on limited limited information shall be a hard task.
But spelling the right names of the PBA-LPBA Tours must be minimum etiquette and proper attitude.
I read in other articles, the champion prize was 74,000 Euros.
Small satisfaction by changing the facts only hurts the spirit of the true journalism.

Message 1/1 - Publish at July 22, 2022 2:28 PM

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