Kim Min-ah defeats Piavi to win her third LPBA title

‘Season opener’ Kim Min-ah (NHK Card) defeated ‘Cambodian Express’ Throng Piavi (Blue One Resort) to win her third career LPBA Women’s Professional Billiards title.

Kim defeated Piavi 4-1 (8-11 11-10 11-0 11-2 11-7) in the final of the Crown Haetae Championship of the LPBA’s ninth tour of the 2023-24 season at the PBA Stadium in Kintex, Goyang City, Gyeonggi-do, on Friday.

This was Kim’s third career podium finish on the LPBA stage. She also confirmed that she is the strongest player in the field with two wins this season. Previously, Kim won the season-opening Blue One Resort Championship.

Joining Pia Vee and Ayako Sakai (JPN) as the season’s multiple winners, Kim added $20 million in prize money to her season total of $63.45 million and moved to the top of the rankings. Piavi, who earned KRW 6 million for her runner-up finish, moved up to second on the money list (KRW 60.12 million).

Kim had previously defeated Piavi in the finals of the second tour (Hana Card Championship) last season in a close full-set match. This time around, she defeated Piav in the final, solidifying her status as the ‘Piav Killer’. Kim and Piavi are the same age, born in 1990, and have been rivals since their amateur days.

Kim was not in the best shape for this tournament. She suffered from pyelonephritis and had to take painkillers to keep playing. The bad luck didn’t stop her. After defeating Seo in the quarterfinals earlier in the day, she went on to beat Piavi in the final.

In the final, it was Piavi who struck first. Piavi got off to a great start in game one, scoring five points in the first inning, including two bank shots.

Piavi then went blank in the next four innings, allowing Kim Man-ah to rack up the points and take an 8-6 lead in the sixth. However, Piavi scored five straight points in the ninth while Kim was held scoreless in the seventh and eighth to close out the set.

In the second set, Kim began her comeback in earnest. After taking an early 5-0 lead, Kim fought off a late charge from Piavi. Trailing 9-10, she scored a dramatic two points in the 12th game to turn the tide.

After leveling the match, Min Ah Kim made it a one-sided affair in the third set. After taking a 2-0 lead in the third set, she hit bank shots in the third through fifth games. She scored nine straight points to close out the third set on an 11-0 run.

The fourth set was no different for Kim. With the score tied at 2-2 in the fourth game, Kim scored nine straight points to break Piavi’s will to fight back.

The match was finally settled in the fifth set. Again, Kim’s dominance stood out. Trailing 3-6 after five games, Kim scored six straight points with a combination of bank shots and side flips to take a 9-6 lead. Leading 10-7 in the seventh, she scored the final point with a precise side flip to seal the win.


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