Vietnamese Billiards History-Makers: Two Players Reach World Three-Cushion Championship Semifinals

Bao Phuong Vinh photographed during the 2023 World Three-Cushion Championship in Ankara, Turkey. (Photo by Five&Six)

In a historic moment, Vietnam has witnessed the advancement of two of its players to the semifinals of the World Three-Cushion Championship for the very first time.

The remarkable journey began when Vietnam’s leading player, Nguyen Quyet Chien, triumphed over Italy’s Marco Zanetti in the quarterfinals on a memorable Saturday. Shortly thereafter, the excitement continued as Bao Phuong Vinh secured another victory, this time against Pedro Piedrabuena of the United States.

Vinh’s match against Piedrabuena was an intense showdown, with the latter holding a consistent lead. At one point, Piedrabuena enjoyed a 10-point advantage, but Vinh gradually narrowed the gap. With the score standing at 42-45, Vinh displayed incredible prowess by scoring six consecutive points to seize the lead. Nevertheless, Piedrabuena quickly countered with four points of his own, regaining the upper hand.

In a dramatic climax, Piedrabuena’s final shot lacked the necessary power, and he failed to secure victory. Vinh wasted no time, clearing the table and clinching a nail-biting 50-49 win. The 28-year-old celebrated exuberantly, raising his fist in the air and proudly kissing the Vietnamese flag on his jersey while gazing into the camera.

This historic achievement marks Vinh’s maiden entry into the semifinals of a major international tournament, joining Chien in this remarkable feat. Both players have made history for Vietnam in this prestigious competition.

The World Three-Cushion Championship is one of two distinguished tournaments organized by the World Billiard Union, with the World Cup being the other. While the World Cup occurs multiple times each year, the World Championship is a once-a-year event.

This year’s championship is being hosted in Ankara, Turkey. Chien is set to face off against the defending champion, Tayfun Tasdemir of Turkey, in the first semifinal at 2 p.m. on Sunday (Hanoi time), while Vinh will go head-to-head against South Korea’s Cho Myung-woo at 4:30 p.m.

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