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Merckx is Again Unbeatable in a Final

Ho Chi Minh City, May 29th 2022.

His record speaks for itself: 12 World Cup finals in his career, of which he has won 11. Eddy Merckx added another crown today in Ho Chi Minh City, when he beat Marco Zanetti in an exciting final: 50 – 42 in 23/22 innings. The Belgian was overjoyed, because he started the tournament with two poor matches, clawed his way into the last 16, and then got better and better.

The first surprise of the day was the elimination of the “invincible” Dick Jaspers, at the hands of Marco Zanetti. The Dutchman had won three major events in a row, but this time the tactical brain of the Italian prevailed: 50-31 in 20/19 innings. Zanetti maybe sixty years old, but he remains one of the most brilliant players on the planet. 

Eddy Merckx totally dominated the other semifinal against Torbjörn Blomdahl, who was never in the match: 50-17 in 19/18 innings. It was a carbon copy of their last match (in Sharm El Sheik), with Merckx serving up a powerful cocktail of runs and defense. Blomdahl conceded: “ I had no chance today”. 

The final had a completely different character: both players scored heavily but also left chances for their opponent. In a tense last few innings, it was Merckx who made the decisive points. One of those points: is a heart-stopping cross-table shot that fans will be talking about for a long time. How does he do it?  

UMB president Farouk Barki closed the event, saying that the billiard world was happy to be back in Ho Chi Minh City, after Covid. The Vietnamese fans are rather special, and their enthusiasm for the game is heartwarming. 

Sky sports Korea streamed live from HCMC, with 16 matches in total, and 13 hours of air time. The average viewer rate was about 0.15, and they are very happy with that.

UMB and KBF tighten up their commitment to each other.

Mr. Farouk BARKI, UMB President, and Mr. Bo Hwan PARK, KBF President, had an important meeting in Ho Chi Minh City where they transparently discussed about the past and current situation.

Both, UMB and KBF, suffered in the past the consequences of differences of opinion that caused some tension in the relationship, occasionally, leading to conflict situations.

Mr. Barki and Mr. Park openly set a new course to follow between UMB and KBF, with direct communication lines. to avoid any conflict or misunderstanding in the future,

KBF is one of the most important UMB Federation Members that greatly contributes to the exposure and development of the 3-Cushion sport, in Asia as well as worldwide, with a large contingent of talented Players.

Both Presidents spoke of their commitment to maintaining an open relationship in the future.








Ho Chi Minh City , May 28th 2022

So many fine talents from Vietnam, so many world-class players from Korea, and what a great 3-cushion nation Turkey is. But then, at the end of the World Cup Saturday, this is the line-up for the semifinals: the Netherlands meets Italy, Belgium meets Sweden. In other words: Jaspers – Zanetti and Merckx – Blomdahl. 

The world number one had a tough draw in the last 16: coming man Sameh Sidhom who is now one of the big guns. That job done, Jaspers waltzed all over Jeremy Bury in a 14-inning exhibition. 

Zanetti got past his angstgegner Tayfun Tasdemir, then disposed of major talent Jun Tae Kim. Merckx, who had struggled in the group because he felt sick, beat Cenet first, then Sánchez in a high-quality encounter.

Blomdahl played his best match so far against Tran (20 innings), then looked superior again when he met B.J. Hwang. But the Korean, who played only his third World Cup, ran 14 to get back into the match. The Swede ran out in time and was happy with his form.  

Five & Six presented the event with commentary in four languages: Korean, Vietnamese, Spanish and English. All this in an effort to promote 3-cushion worldwide. This is the origin of the name of the company: five oceans, six continents.  


Jaspers – Bury 50 – 16 in 14/13 

Zanetti – J.T. Kim 50 – 44 in 26/25 

Merckx – Sánchez 50 – 40 in 15

Blomdahl – Hwang 50 – 38 in 28/27


Ho Chi Minh City . May 27th 2022.

The Friday of a World Cup is tough, brutal even. Half the field must go home, no matter how famous the players’ names are, or how solid their reputation is.  

A few of the greats that did not survive the group stage: Coklu, D.A.C. Nguyen, Horn, Sayginer, Forthomme, S.W. Choi, C.B. Lee, J.H. Heo, N.Q. Nguyen. Other seeds that were in some danger: Blomdahl, Zanetti, Merckx. But these three survived, in Merckx’s case even with only one win and two losses. 

The Vietnamese crowd, as always, gave the event something extra. Yes, they are loud sometimes, but they are very generous with their applause for non-Vietnamese players as well. The general feeling is, that this is a great place to have a World Cup. 

Some of Friday’s matches were nothing short of fantastic: C.B. Lee against J.H. Heo for instance. They drew 40 – 40 in 14. Or Cenet’ s formidable comeback against N.Q. Nguyen: he turned a 32 – 8 deficit into a 40 – 39 win, helped by a run of 14. Not even the highest, because Sidhom ran 16.  

Group A) Jaspers, Jun Tae Kim advance. 

Group B) B.J. Hwang, Zanetti

Group C) Q.C. Tran, T.T.T. Nguyen 

Group D) Sánchez, Blomdahl 

Group E) Cenet, Sidhom 

Group F) H.J. Kim, Polychronopoulos 

Group G) Tasdemir, N.T. Nguyen 

Group H) Bury, Merckx   

Full results can be found on the Cuesco site. Tomorrow will be the round of 16, with matches to 50 points, no equalizing inning. Korean Sky Sport will broadcast, and Five & Six will stream all the matches on YouTube. 


Ho Chi Minh City, May 26th 2022.

The highly praised former junior world champion Myung Woo Cho went out, and the older soldiers Sung-Won Choi and Wan Young Choi went in: it was a day of both joy and disappointment for Korea. The Vietnamese too had their celebrations over V.L. Dao and two Nguyen’s who qualified, and some sadness over their countrymen who didn’t. The final day before the main draw of a World Cup is always a mixed bag of relief and regret. 

The groups of three quite often result in all players having one and having lost a match, so the average becomes the tiebreaker. A single point or a single inning can be the difference. Lütfi Cenet escaped in this manner, as did Gerhard Kostistansky, N.T. Nguyen and Roland Forthomme.  Wan Young Choi was the high average of the day: 2.051. 

Quite a few of the favorite Europeans didn’t make it: the Netherlands lost Jorissen, Denmark lost Haack-Sörensen and Nelin, Austria lost Kahofer, and Germany lost Lindemann.  

UMB president Farouk Barki presented some joyful news. An agreement was reached with the Vietnamese Billiard Federation (BSF) and its president Le Son Hai, to promote 3-cushion for juniors. The UMB will support the initiatives in the growth country Vietnam and accept a Vietnamese junior player into the world junior championship.  

Today’s group winners: 

A)    Sung Won Choi – 1.290 

B)    Jun Tae Kim – 1.777 

C)    V.L. Dao – 1.666 

D)    Nguyen Quoc Nguyen – 1.632

E)    Lütfi Cenet – 1.236

F)     Nikos Polychronopoulos – 1.568 

G)    Gerhard Kostistansky – 1.058 

H)    Can Capak – 1.509 

I)      N.T. Nguyen – 1.790 

J)     C.H. Seo – 1.454 

K)    Wan Young Choi – 2.051 

L)     Roland Forthomme – 1.729 

Third day: PQ round

With the tournament already launched, with impressive averages and increasing excitement in the third match of the PQ-rounds,

Although most of the groups continue to be composed of Asian players, European players begin to occupy positions in the competition.

We highlight in this PQ-rounds the best player of the groups, the Vietnamese Hwang Bong Joo, who also reached the highest average of 2,000.

The winners of the PQ groups advance to the final decisive qualification round for a place in the main tournament, with players already rolled, some after overcoming two qualification rounds as well as top players of world level with experience in major events.

The final ranking of the winners of the PQ-round groups:

  1. HWANG Bong Joo KR
  2. LEE Beom Yeol KR
  3. TRUONG Quang Hao VN
  4. LONG Nguyen Chi VN
  5. AHN Ji Hun KR
  7. OH Sung Kyu KR
  8. SZIVACZ Herbert AT
  9. KIM Jung Sub KR
  10. KIM Yooh Wan KR
  11. KIRAZ Tolgahan TR
  12. NGUYEN Van Tai VN
  13. THAI Hong Chiem VN
  14. JORISSEN Jeffrey NL
  15. DAO Van Ly VN
  16. KANG Ja In KR

Tomorrow starts the Q-Round for the final draw of the tournament.

You can follow all the matches through the YouTube channel of FIVE&SIX.


Ho Chi Minh City May 24th 

How hard is it to advance from the qualifications into the main draw of a World Cup? The best answer to that question is: “It’s never been harder”. The level of play in Ho Chi Minh City on the first and second day is astonishing. To get into the third stage, the PQ, you need almost world-class averages, and a little luck.

Dutch talent Sam van Etten, who made a name for himself in the classic disciplines, lost his first match against Jung (30 – 28 in 27), then exploded against Dao (30 – 27 in 10), which gave him a general average of 1.567 and 2 points. It was not good enough: Dao also had 2 points, but he averaged 2.280! It made him the best winner on day 2, and van Etten’s super match was in vain.

Another young talent, Turkish hopeful Burak Hashas also had to settle for second place in his group, in spite of his fine average (1.428). V.T. Nguyen advances.

Here are the group winners, who advance to the PQ:

A)    V.L. Dao – 2.280

B)    V.P.H. Nguyen – 1.538

C)    T. Miyashita – 1.250

D)    Y.H. Kim – 1.200

E)     S.K. Oh – 1.428

F)     B.J. Hwang – 1.200

G)    H.C. Thai – 1.578

H)    V.H.M. Thon – 1.578

I)       N.C. Long – 1.538

J)      V.T. Nguyen – 1.176

K)     P.T.L. Cao – 1.180

L)     B.Y. Lee – 1.333

M) H.M. Lim – 1.111

N)   T.L. Tran – 1.818

O)   J.G. Bang – 1.232

P)     N.T. Nguyen – 1.428

The tournament continues on Wednesday with the PQ. You can watch the action on the Five & Six channel on Youtube. The time difference between central Europe and Vietnam is five hours.

UMB tournaments LIVE on TV in South Korea.

UMB Partner, FIVE&SIX Intl. Marketing Company has reached an agreement by which all UMB tournaments until the end of 2022 will be broadcast with LIVE and deferred matches, on the prestigious Korean Television Network SKY SPORTS.

The official signing ceremony of the agreement was attended by Jae-Hyun Yang, Vice President of Sky Sports, and Sung-Kyu Oh, CEO of Five & Six.

Sky Sports will broadcast all 3-Cushion billiards tournaments organized by the UMB, including the current 3-Cushion World Cup in Ho Chi, the 3-Cushion World Cup in Seoul in August, and the 3-Cushion World Championship in  Donghae in November.  

Congratulations to all, for being present LIVE on TV and able to offer our Korean fans the best of our sport.

Ho Chi Minh City, May 23rd 

On the first day of qualification matches for the Ho Chi Minh City World Cup in Vietnam, the organizing country came out in strength. Later in the week, most of the European players will try to grab their chance, as well as a few from the American continent. On day one, it was almost exclusively an Asian affair, with talents from Vietnam, Korea, and Japan. One Turkish and one Colombian player advanced, all the other group winners were Vietnamese or Korean.

The level of play was quite good if you consider that this was a pppq round. The short matches to 30 points can sometimes be quickly decided: in several groups, there were matches under 20 innings. A 15-inning match (2.000) by J. Paniagua was the best of the day. N.T. Nguyen from Vietnam had the day’s high general average: 1.818.

These were the winners of the groups:

A)    J.I. Jung (KOR) 1.180

B)    H. Kim (KOR) 1.200

C)    Y.H. Kim (KOR) 0.895

D)    M.T. Huyen (VIE) 1.111

E)     B. Hashas (TUR) 1.276

F)     N.C. Long (VIE) 1.276

G)    N.T. Nguyen (VIE) 1.818

H)    P.T.L. Cao (VIE) 1.363

I)       H.M. Lim (KOR) 1.363

J)      H.T. Nguyen (VIE) 1.764

K)     V.P.H. Nguyen (VIE) 1.238

L)     V.H.M. Thon (VIE) 1.224

M) A. Castrillon (COL) 1.621

N)   T.N. Vu (VIE) 1.132

O)   V. Bao Phuong (VIE) 1.395

P)     T.T.T. Nguyen (VIE) 1.000

These sixteen players will advance to the ppq round tomorrow, Tuesday. All matches can be viewed on the Five & Six channel on Youtube.

May  20th, 2022.                              

No events, unfortunately, in the corona years 2020 and 2021. But from 23 – 29 May 2022, the World Cup will once again be played in Ho Chi Minh City, and expectations are high. It’s the third World Cup of the year, following Ankara and Las Vegas. Both these events were won by the world number one, Dick Jaspers. Vietnam has hosted World Cup tournaments from 2015 – 2019, and they have always been high-quality events, helping further popularize the 3-cushion game in a country full of talent.

The seeded players for HCM 2022 are Jaspers, Zanetti, Tran, Sánchez, Sidhom, H.J. Kim, Tasdemir, Merckx, Bury, Coklu, Horn, Sayginer, Blomdahl, and J.H. Heo. The local wildcards were given to Duc Anh Chien Nguyen, who did so well to reach the final of the 2019 world championship in Randers, and Tran Thanh Tu Nguyen. The UMB / AMECC wildcard was given to Riad Nady.

The tables are Min, the cloth is ClassOne TP5 blue, and the balls are DynaSpheres. As usual, there’s a 16.000 Euro prize and 80 world ranking points for the tournament winner. Given the closeness in the world ranking between places 5 and 14 (286 points – 210 points, so all these players are within each other’s reach), we can expect lots of excitement.

For the qualification event, no fewer than 38 Korean players have signed up. The number of players from Turkey – a much longer and more expensive journey – is also impressive: 16. The pppq matches will start on the 23d of May, and the main event on the 26th

Korean Sky Sports (tv) and Five & Six (online, on YouTube) will LIVE broadcast the Ho Chi Minh event. 

Sky Sports is a prominent Korean TV Channel. LIVE broadcasting of Five & Six and UMB events is of great promotional importance for the commercial exploitation of the Media and Marketing rights.