At an age of injustice, it has finally been achieved. Kang Min-goo (40, Blue One Resort), who seemed to be the runner-up in his later years, finally roared at the top of the PBA after 4 matches and 5 periods.
Kang Min-goo defeated Ngo Din Nai (Vietnam/SK Rent-A-Car) in the men’s final of the ‘Welcome Savings Bank Well Bang PBA-LPBA Championship’ held at the Bitmaru Broadcasting Center in Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do on the 24th. With a set score of 4-2 (14:15, 15:6, 2:15, 15:7, 15:9, 15:5), he won the PBA 16th championship.
It is a thrilling victory achieved after 4 matches and 5 periods on the PBA Tour. Kang Min-goo reached the PBA finals four times, starting with the Panasonic Championship, the first PBA tournament, but finished runner-up in all of them. Along with his teammate David Zapata (Spain), he suffered the most regular tour runner-up finishes ever.
At least Zapata had the experience of winning. Zapata won the regular tour championship at the Hana Card Championship, the second tour of this season, after becoming the first King of Kings champion. However, Kang Min-goo never held the championship trophy in his arms.
As bad luck piled up, confidence also disappeared. Kang Min-gu reached the finals only four times until the 20-21 season, but after that, he only advanced to the quarterfinals at the Huons Championship in the 2021-2022 season, and was sluggish.
But he didn’t miss his 5th chance. Kang Min-goo gave up the first set due to his solid age, and faced a tight 2-2 until the 4th set. The momentum of Ngo Din Nai, who was aiming for his first championship, was not easy.
Kang Min-goo seized the victory with a bank shot, a 5-set chess, which was the place of victory. He trailed 2 to 9 until the 5th inning, but laid the foundation for the pursuit by putting in 3 consecutive bank shots in the 6th inning, and in the 7th inning, he scored 6 runs with 2 bank shots and overturned the game.
Driven by momentum, Kang Min-goo confirmed the championship in the 6th set with two bank shots. On this day, Kang Min-gu scored 32 points, or 42.1% of the total 76 points in the final, with 16 bank shots. The moment the winning shot was successful, Kang Min-goo finally let out a roar of victory.
In an interview after the game, Kang Min-goo expressed his relief, saying, “I get goosebumps. Winning feels like this. It’s worth it.” Then, he looked back at the moment of victory, saying, “I screamed during the ceremony, and my throat locked up.”
There were so many lumps. Kang Min-goo explained the meaning of the roar, saying, “I wrote evil. I just screamed.” “There were many runners-up, and I was sorry that I couldn’t perform for the next two years,” he said. I couldn’t tolerate it myself, but it erupted.” 안전놀이터
I also put a lot of effort into it. Kang Min-goo recalled, “In the meantime, my trust has disappeared and my mentality has been difficult.” “I made many changes, such as losing weight and changing equipment.” He went through rigorous training, reducing his weight by 15 kg, which was up to 85 kg.
Then, gradually, the effect came out. Kang Min-goo explained, “I gained a lot of weight and ran, so I looked good, and I lost a lot, but the ball movement and ball quality changed.”
I also followed the luck that seemed not to be mine. The formidable opponents who had been frustrated at the threshold of winning the championship were fortunately (?) eliminated in the middle of the tournament. Frederic Kudron (Welcome Savings Bank, Belgium), who has won the championship 7 times in total, and Philippos Casdocostas (Hana Card), the “Greek monster”. Kang Min-goo smiled, saying, “The tough opponents who hit perfectly in the finals, such as Kudron and Phillipos, fell.”
Although I had doubts, I was able to finally rise to the top because I was not frustrated. Kang Min-goo said, “Does my opponent play well when I meet me? Am I less mature? I had thoughts,” but said, “But it wasn’t frustration.” Then, he hinted at the secret to consolidating his mind, saying, “I thought I might be able to win the championship someday.”
He also did not forget to ask his juniors. Kang Min-gu said, “I don’t play billiards with the thought that I will set my goal to win and become the best.” “I’ve gotten a lot better these days, but since they don’t keep up economically, the goal is to go to grades and money, and that affects the play itself,” he said. I wonder if it will pay off,” he stressed.
With this victory, Kang received 100 million won in prize money and 100,000 ranking points, raising his season point ranking from 44th to 7th. Kang Min-gu said, “Before the tournament, the King of Kings match was not confirmed.” “Now that it has been confirmed, it has become an environment where I can only play billiards, and I have won the individual competition, so I want to lead my team to the championship in the team league.”
Kang Min-gu, whose suspicions disappeared at the age of suspicion. Kang Min-goo, who revealed a lighthearted desire to win the remaining 8th regular tour and the King of Kings match if the opportunity arises, is no longer a man of misfortune.