Ga Young Kim is Enerva Asian 9-Ball Tour Champion

Ga-Young Kim

Mandaluyong City, Philippines - Reigning back to back World Champion Ga Young Kim of South Korea defeated Shu-Pin Kao of Chinese-Taipei, 11-4, in the finals to clinch the US$ 30,000 First Enerva Asian Ladies 9-Ball Billiards tour title Friday here at the Robinson's Galleria fountain area.

"I am happy with my result and thanks the organizer for staging this event especially to Mr. Putch Puyat. I am also amazed by the billiards crowd who watched the championship round."said the charming Kim, who defeated Shin-Mei Lu of Chinese-Taipei in the finals of 2006 Amway Women's World Pool Championship in Taiwan last February.

RP billiards patron and organizer Aristeo "Putch" Puyat and Enerva President Ed Tarog personally handed the trophy and cash prizes to the winners.

Kim pocketed the top purse of US$10,000 while Kao received the runner-up prize of $US 5,000. Losing semifinalists Yuan Chun Lin and Jui-Fang Fan of Chinese-Taipei got US$ 2,500 each.

Also present during the awarding ceremonies are officials from co-organizer Solar Entertainment, tournament director Rolando Vicente, Shirley Puyat, and Ish Caparras of Puyat Sports.

Among the undefeated Kim's victims in the winner's bracket were Chieh-Yu Chou of Chinese, Taipei, 9-7, Sakiko Namiki of Japan, 9-5, Jennifer Chen of Chinese-Taipei, 9-3, Kao, 9-5, respectively.

Kao was able to get back in contention after topping the loser's bracket with Fan. Kao beat lone Filipina quarterfinalist survivor Irish Ranola, 9-6, while Fan nipped Chen, 9-7.

In the single elimination for top 4 players, Kao scalped joint winner's bracket topnotcher Lin, 9-8, while Kim battered Fan, 9-5.

In the titular match-up, Kim saved her best for last as she upended Kao, posting three consecutive racks to take a 3-0 lead in the opener. Kao was able to bounce back with two straight racks to trim down the lead at 3-2 count.

The teeming local billiards fans were amazed when Kao connected a difficult 2-9 combo to win the 13th racks for a 4-9 count giving some hopes of catching up. However, that proved to be her last stab of glory as the World Champion Kim delivered the final blow by taking the last two racks for the final count 11-4.

Aside from Ranola, the other outright seeded player in the last 32 was Rubilen "Bingkay" Amit, the 2005 SEA Games double gold winner.

The 24-year-old Cebuana Amit, won over Kyouko Sone of Japan, 9-3, in the first round but was relegated to the loser's bracket in the second round after bowing to Chihiro Kawahara of Japan, 9-4. Amit was finally eliminated in the third round succumbing to another Japanese ace Akimi Kajitani 9-3.

On the other hand, those local players who failed in their quest to reach the main draw were Bing Flores, Cez Marquez, Jingle David, Jargelyn Maldonado, Angeline Halili, Sabrina Castanos, Rowena Peralta, Kaye Gil, Shiela dela Cruz, Johanna Dee and Mary Ann Basas.

The biggest event in history of Philippine Women's Billiards was co-organized by Puyat Sports and Solar Entertainment, supported by Nature's Best Products, Inc. and sanctioned by the Asian Pockets Billiard Union (APBU) in close cooperation with Asian Confederation of Billiards Sports (ACBS) and the Billiards and Snooker Congress of the Philippines (BSCP) headed by Ernesto "Ernie" Fajardo and was aired live on Solar Sports and IBC 13.

Final Standings:
1st: Ga Young Kim, (South Korea)
2nd: Shu-Pin Kao (Chinese-Taipei)
3rd-4th: Yuan Chun Lin (Chinese-Taipei), Jui-Fang Fan (Chinese-Taipei)
5th-6th: Jennifer Chen (Chinese-Taipei), Irish Ranola (PHILIPPINES)
7th-8th: Vuthidhan Kongkaket (Thailand), Pei-Chun Lin (Chinese-Taipei)
9th-12th: Shu-Han Chang (Chinese-Taipei), Shin-Mei Liu (Chinese-Taipei), Chihiro Kawahara (Japan), Masami Nouchi (Japan)
13th-16th: Mika Muneta (Japan), Akimi Kajitani (Japan), Keiko Yuukawa (Japan), Kazuko Shimizu (Japan)