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Nineball Digest: Ko Pin-Yi Triumphs in Spectacular Fashion at TE Capital APP Asian 9-Ball Open 2023

Malaysia, January 7, 2024

In a riveting showdown at the Aspire Recreation Centre in Singapore, Taiwanese cueist Ko Pin-Yi successfully retained his title at the APP Asian 9-Ball Open, prevailing against the formidable 16-year-old talent, Albert James Manas. The electrifying final highlighted Ko’s mastery and resilience, as he secured a decisive 13-6 victory, clinching not only his third World Nineball Tour ranking accolade but also a substantial $15,000 top prize.

The clash commenced with a spellbinding performance from Manas, who confidently broke and ran the opening rack, extending his lead with a three-nine combination. Unfazed by the 3-0 setback, Ko demonstrated his seasoned expertise with an impressive long pot on the three-ball, narrowing the deficit. Despite Manas maintaining a three-rack advantage by capitalizing on openings, Ko Pin-Yi found his rhythm as the match progressed, claiming four of the next five racks to level the score at five apiece. Crucial moments, including a missed four-ball at 5-4 by Manas, proved pivotal as Ko seized the opportunity, securing eight consecutive racks for a triumphant finish.

Ko’s journey to the title showcased dominance, including a commanding 11-3 victory over Filipino Marvin Asis in the semi-finals. Throughout the single elimination phase, Ko demonstrated his prowess by overcoming opponents such as Jundel Mazon, Desmond Goh, and recent Chinese Taipei Open runner-up Jeffrey Ignacio. Albert James Manas, the Vietnam Junior Open champion, displayed an impressive route to the final. His journey included victories against hometown hero Aloysius Yapp in the last 32, triumphs over Vietnamese duo Luong Duc Thien and Bui Truong An, and a hard-fought 11-9 win against Jonas Magpantay in the semi-finals.

Despite the loss, Manas’ remarkable performance garnered recognition and admiration. Ko Pin-Yi praised the young Filipino prodigy, acknowledging his talent, precision, and unique playing style. The former world champion expressed confidence in Manas’ potential, stating that with continued skill refinement and a strong big-match temperament, he could evolve into a future world champion.

The TE Capital APP Asian 9-Ball Open, a prestigious event on the World Nineball Tour calendar, attracted renowned players, including recent Chinese Taipei Open winner Ko Ping-Chung and World Cup of Pool champions Johann Chua and James Aranas. Held from November 29 to December 3, the tournament featured a substantial prize fund exceeding $38,000, providing a stage for intense competition and extraordinary performances.

As the billiards community reminisces about the captivating moments of the APP Asian 9-Ball Open 2023, anticipation grows for the next edition of this prestigious tournament. Ko Pin-Yi’s triumphant defense adds another illustrious chapter to his storied career, solidifying his status as a dominant force in the professional pool world.

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