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Vera, Pineda and Juan Garcia Big Winners at Predator CRM Carom Cafe Event

Michael Kang, Javier Teran, Ira Lee, Vicke Pineda and Javier Vera

The top 3 cushion players in the Pan-American region were back in action July 21-25 at Carom Cafe in Flushing New York for another weekend of Scotch Doubles and Open Singles Carom action. This was a $15K added USBA dual-event sponsored by Predator CRM, CRM Sports, Carom Cafe and Simonis.

The scotch doubles event was played on Wednesday thru Friday, with a field of fourteen two player teams playing in three groups with each time playing to 30 points with the top performing 8 teams qualifying into a knockout round playing to 40 points.

In group A, each of the five teams suffered two losses, so the qualifiers scoring the most points advanced. The advancing teams featured top-ranking 3-Cushion champions from Colombia and Mexico, Huberney Catano, Javier Vera and Miguel Almaraz, playing with US-based teammates Mark An, Vicky Pineda and Rufino Perez, respectively.

Group B was the one group with only four teams. As it was decided during the players meeting, only two teams from this group would advance. Rising to the top of the field was the team featuring Javier Teran, a former Pan-American champion from Ecuador, now residing in Colombia, and Michael Kang, the owner of Carom Cafe who was a former USBA Nationals runner-up. Also qualifying from Group B was the Equadorian champion, Luis Aveiga, who teamed up with Ricardo Carranco. Both teams only had one loss in the qualifiers.

Group C qualified three teams. John Park and Young Ha Choi finished first in the group with only one six point loss to mar their record. Young Kyu Lee, the two time defending champion of the past two Predator CRM open events, teamed up with George Karam, an Egyptian/American local NY player with a coincidentally appropriate name, earned a spot into the knockout round with two wins. Sonny Cho and Eric Kwon also edged in with two losses – falling just 2 points shy of a 3-1 record.

In the knockout phase, Teran & Kang came out on top (40-36) after a heated battle of nerves with the team of Almaraz & Perez. They then proceeded to edge out Park & Choi by a single point (40-39) in the semifinal round. On the other side of the bracket, the team of Vera & Pineda cruised through all challengers and won the final match against Javier Teran and Michael Kang 40-31 to win the title.

Jose Juan Garcia

The 40 player Predator CRM Open USBA 3-Cushion event kicked off on Friday with eight groups of 5 players, each playing in round robin format. The two players in each flight plus six of the best-performing third place finishers in each flight would advance. In addition, two “lotto” wildcard positions would fill out the field of 24 moving to a single elimination bracket with the top finishers in each flight getting a “bye” in the first round of the knockout phase.

Everyone at Carom Cafe was treated to some great 3-cushion performances for the entire preliminary round. When the field whittled down to the last 16, we were left with the top talent this side of the Atlantic, including Pan-American Champion Javier Teran, Ecuadorian Champion Luis Aveiga, former USBA champion Hugo Patino, two time defending champion Young Kyu Lee, current USBA National Champion Tae Kyu Lee, Mexico champion Miguel Almaraz, Colombian Champion Huberney Catano, his young talented countryman Jose Juan Garcia, and rising star Kang Lee – among other strong 3-cushion players.

The twice defending Champion of the event, Young Kyu Lee was eliminated in the Final Eight Round by the young talented Jose Juan Garcia.

In the quarter finals, Kang Lee upset Ecuadorian star Luis Aveiga 40-39 in a nailbiter match with Kang leading for the entire match. Huberney Catano took down NY favorite, Hugo Patino, 40-28 in 20 innings.

In the semi-final, Jose Juan Garcia matched up with Ecuadorian Champion Javier Teran, in one of the most exciting heavyweight battles of the entire event on the livestream table. In the first four innings, the score was 17-16 Teran, setting the stage for this high-performance match. After only 15 innings, Garcia was ahead 38-35. The last innings of the match were filled with drama and suspense, incredible shots and great defense. In the end, Garcia triumphed 40-39, earning his spot into the finals with Catano.

It was an all-Colombian final with two young champions and rivals head-to-head. Jose Juan Garcia continued the consistent stellar performance he maintained the entire event and finishing off Catano, convincingly, 40-22 in 23 innings to win the Predator CRM Open USBA 3-Cushion Event.