‘Weed’ Kang Min-gu, PBA quarterfinals in 710 days, opponent Jo Jae-ho, who walked only on the ‘flower road’
Kang Min-goo (40) of the “Rapid Fire” will stand on the table in the quarterfinals of the Professional Billiards (PB) Tour for the first time in 710 days.
Kang Min-goo defeated Choi Jun-ho 3-1 (15-1 15-12 8-15 15-12) in the quarterfinals of the PBA Tour Wellbang Championship held at Bitmaru Broadcasting Support Center in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province on the 23rd. Kang Min-goo seemed to have an easy victory by easily winning the first two sets against Choi Ho-joon, who was not feeling well, stopping at 9 innings in a row from the start of the first set.
In the third set, he gave a set to the opponent who regained his condition, but Min-gu Kang, who was dragged by 1 point in the 4th set that continued to reverse the game, made a match point with a 5-point high run and left the left after two innings. The game ended in the 93rd minute with one remaining point scored by a run-back.
Kang Min-goo was a ‘surprise star’ who was born when the PBA tour was launched four years ago. Among foreign players with a clear difference in skill, including Frédéric Cudron (Belgium), he drew attention as a ‘local prospect’. 안전놀이터
He came from a ‘weed’ with no special results during his time in the Korea Billiards Federation (KBF), but he reached the final of the Panasonic Open, the opening match of the first year, and faced Philippos Casido Costas (Greece). He failed to overcome the difference between heaven and earth in terms of name value and ended up finishing runner-up, but he deserved to be called the ‘expectant’ of the PBA Tour.
However, the label of ‘runner-up’ that he received in his first tournament followed him throughout the four years. In the 4th tournament of that year, the TS Shampoo Championship, he reached the final again, but this time he lost 2-4 to Kudron and drank a bitter cup for the second time. In the 2020-21 season, he reached the finals twice more, but lost to Javier Palazon (Spain, Crown Haetae Championship) and Kasido Costas (Wellbang Championship), respectively, and accepted the unwelcome nickname of ‘runner-up expert’.
It was the sixth time in his career that Kang Min-goo made his name in the semifinals. It has been 1 year and 345 days since February 14, 2021, when he beat Jae-geun Kim and reached the semi-finals of the Welbang competition, just 20 days short of 2 years.
His opponent in the quarterfinals is Jaeho Jo, who he considered as a ‘role model’ since he started playing billiards and has walked only on a ‘flower path’ unlike himself. In another quarterfinal match against Ma Minh Cam (Vietnam), Cho Jae-ho won 3-1 to advance to the semifinals.
Jo Jae-ho is a ‘formidable enemy’ comparable to the ‘super strong’ he met in the last semifinals, such as Kudron, Palazon, and Kasido Costas (twice). Kang Min-goo met Jo Jae-ho only once in the quarterfinals of the Huons tournament last season and lost 1-3. Kang Min-goo won his first set at the time, but drank the bitter cup of a come-from-behind defeat.
In the 12-11 lead situation in the 5th inning with a 7-run high run in the 2nd set, Jae-ho Cho scored 4 consecutive runs in the position of the conceded ball while turning away from the enemy ball, and then gave up 3 sets to lose.
Kang Min-goo said, “Prior to the start of this season, I said, ‘I will change everything from physical, mental, and stroke to make a leap forward again,’ but I kept that promise only at the end of the season.” I didn’t think anything special about the victory ceremony, but shouldn’t I do something?” he laughed. The semi-final match between Kang Min-goo and Jo Jae-ho will start at 2:00 pm on the 24th at the same place.