A joyous GYK can feel good about a well earned victory for her first year as Captain of Team Asia
Manila, Philippines - Captain Ga Young Kim of South Korea led Team Asia to a magnificent performance over the West at the JBET.com Queens Cup! Asia never trailed once in the event which was due to the consistent play of all the players including Filipina Rubilen Amit, Taiwan's Pei Chen Tsai, and China's Siming Chen. They took down the powerhouse team of Great Britain's Allison Fisher, Kelly Fisher, Austria's Jasmin Ouschan, and USA's Vivian Villarreal. The Queens Cup is the greatest women's professionals of the East taking on their rivals in the West! The Asia vs the West ultimate team showdown between the world’s greatest lady professional billiards players took place at Resorts World in Manila, Philippines on November 5th-7th, 2013 .
The Queens Cup showed more strategy in women's billiards like never before. A treat to audiences
Team Asia had kept control each day of the Queens Cup. Day 1 started off with a first match win in the quadruples which showcased high quality play from both teams and resulted in a lucky charm win for Asia 4-3. Team West tied it next at 1-1. But then Asia ended the day at 4-2 in match points.
Day 2 started well for Team Asia as they went on a terror! 4 consecutive match wins in a row put Asia within only 2 match points to end the event. Fortunately for the West, they came together in the final match to win 4-1 in the triples.
Captain Ga Young Kim did a fantastic job of keeping her team on track each day. The obvious disadvantage of the East team was that half the team did not speak English. Only Kim and Amit were fluent. GYK had the task of translating decisions and direction to Chen and Tsai as Kim was fluent in Chinese. (GYK also speaks her native tongue of Korean). However the advantage of the Asians were the power of youth and the fact that they had the current hot hand on tour, Amit, who had just won the World 10-Ball Championship the night before.
Where Team Asia had the zealousness of youth, Team West had the strength of experience on their side. With the combined titles of Fisher, Fisher, Ouschan, and Villarreal the West had far deeper experience that they could call on in the high pressured event. Allison Fisher took the initiative and became one of the early leaders on the team as she directed strategies as well as helped calm nerves of her teammates.
The ambiance of the JBET.com Queens Cup was first class at the luxurious Resorts World Manila. A packed audience that became standing room was the norm daily as fans flocked to watch the super stars of ladies billiards. The coverage by the media included China, Japan, Vietnam, and all the national media entities in the Philippines. ABS-CBN Sports braodcasted daily for 4 hours straight and it was carried by several networks globally. Live streaming was available and provided by JBET.com with insidepool.tv
The combination of lights, camera, and action with a packed audience provided a perfect pressure packed environment.
Both Teams did an excellent job of jelling together as one unit. Both teams had daily dinners and meetings to discuss strategies. Each also made their own special signals and signs and even special celebratory moves to garner spirit amongst each other for the matches.
"We were extremely pleased to hear the captains and teams were making their own dinner plans and meetings together daily. Even before the first day started", said Cindy Lee, CEO of Dragon Promotions.
"The title sponsor JBET.com invited both teams to a dinner the second day. Both teams declined because they wanted to have their own separate meals away from the other team. We really respected that. Though the teams were entertaining and sportsmanship was classy, the rivalry was definitely real.", explained Charlie Williams, Executive Producer of the Queens Cup.
This was evident on Day 3 when Team Asia didn't hear Team West call a pushout after the break in the doubles. After the West shot the cueball, Captain GYK requested the referee to issue a foul on the West. A discussion ensued a few minutes and instead a warning was ruled to the West.
"We actually called push on the shot. We weren't very happy about the call and felt that it mentally might have been disruptive", said one of the player son Team West.
Team Asia went on to win that match and reach the hill first at 9-3.
With the West's backs against the ropes, the weight was on anchor and captain Kelly Fisher. It was the captains pick, and Kelly had chosen herself to play and GYK put up Siming Chen. Coincidentally, Chen had beaten Kelly 4-0 the first day in singles. This time, Fisher had the last laugh as she reciprocated with a 4-0 win to keep the West's hopes alive.
The players each had plenty of face time with the cameras as interviews were held after every match. Every player in theQueens Cup had enormous amount of media attention from the beginning and end of the event. Sure to make themselves even bigger names to the fans of Asia and the billiard world.
The next match of the triples would spell doom for the West. Co-anchor Allison Fisher had to stay out of this one, and the task of staying alive was left to Kelly, Vivian and Jasmin. They won the first game but then lost the next. Tied at 2-2, Asiaturned up the juice and delivered the blow to get on the hill. The final game was exciting with a few safety dramas and ended with a superb 4 rail positional shot by Amit for a small window for GYK to shoot a tough 9ball frozen to the rail. Kim made the tricky 9ball and left Chen a tough 10-ball with the cueball nearly touching rail and the 10-ball half a table away at an angle. A missable shot under the pressure. Chen took her time with her strokes and then fired the 10-ball in! GYK and friends shouted with joy! Team Asia had proved that they were the stronger class of players in women's pool for 2013!
Here Amit and GYK can't contain their joy as Chen pockets the winning shot to clench victory
Tsai, GYK, and Chen were tied at 5 wins a piece. But factoring Kim's hard work as captain and translating for the team and being the glue, it was an easy decision for the organizers to award GYK as this year's MVP.
"We just listen and trust Ga Young when she speaks to us. Whatever she says, we just do it", explained Chen in an interview.
"We want revenge!" exclaimed Villiarreal.
"There's definitely a entirely different kind of pressure in the Queens Cup when you play for a team. You feel worse when you let your teammates down. I'm not happy with my performance at all. But I did enjoy the event", explained Ouschan.
"It's definitely was better for me when I play singles. I really struggle with trying to learn my teammates styles", said Amit of the Philippines.
"I had a lot of fun!", said Tsai of Taiwan.
"I wasn't comfortable at all the first two days and definitely felt the pressure. But the third day I finally settled down and felt good. But it was too late at that point", said Allison. She posted on her Facebook, "It was a great trip and I really enjoyed the Queens Cup. Fun to play with my competitors on the same team."
"I like the sense of teamsmanship, intense but friendly competition, and energy amongst the ladies. I feel that ABS-CBN Sports and Dragon Promotions has a winner!", says Peter Musngi, former Managing Director of ABS-CBN Sports and now Consultant.
Stay tuned in January for news on the 2014 Queens Cup!