Kang Min-gu (40, Blue One Resort) won his first professional billiards (PBA) championship at the end of the final stage, ‘5 out of 4 rounds’.
Kang Min-goo defeated Ngo Dinnai (42, SK Rent-A-Car) from Vietnam 4-2 (14-15, 15-6, 2-15, 14-15, 15-6, 2-15, 15-7, 15-9, 15-5) and reached the top. Kang Min-goo, who won for the first time since his professional debut in June 2019, took home 100 million won in prize money.
Kang Min-goo emerged as a strong player by winning runner-up at the 2019 PBA Panasonic Open, the first tournament after the launch of professional billiards, but he collapsed every time on the threshold of winning. Until the 2020-2021 season, he reached the final four times, but he never won. Kang Min-goo was the only player who finished runner-up four times without winning. David Zapata (31, Spain, Blue One Resort), who holds the PBA record for most runner-ups (five times), has risen to the top twice. After finishing runner-up at the Welcome Savings Bank Wellbang Championship in February 2021, Kang Min-gu suffered a slump to the point that the quarterfinals were the best performance before this tournament.
On the 24th, Kang Min-goo won the victory with a bank shot that counts as 2 points if successful. Kang Min-goo made 32 points (42.1%) out of 76 points with a bank shot using a cushion. Kang Min-goo is the first player to lift the championship trophy by making more than 40% of the total score with bank shots in the finals since the launch of the PBA. Kang Min-gu’s 16 bank shots are the most in PBA history. Kang Min-goo tied the score by adding 7 points, including 3 consecutive bank shots in 6 innings of the 5th set, falling behind 2-9. In the 7th inning, he tied two bank shots and scored 6 runs to win the game. The reason Kang Min-goo is nicknamed ‘Machine Gun’ is because he quickly accumulates points with bank shots. 안전놀이터
After confirming the championship that day, Kang Min-gu said, “I thought I was less lucky when I repeated runner-up. However, he himself could not accept that he had not performed well for the past two years. He said, “With this victory, I have been able to release the resentment that was in my heart.”