Baek Min-ju (Crown Hae-tae) won her first professional title in four years. At the same time, she also won the title of the first professional billiards PBA venue champion.
Baek Min-joo defeated Kim Se-yeon (Huon’s) in the LPBA Finals of the ‘Hanacard PBA-LPBA Championship’ at the Goyang Kintex PBA Stadium in Goyang, Gyeonggi-do, on the night of the 27th with a set score of 4-3 (11-0, 1-11, 2-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-6, 9-3) after a full test.
This is the first professional title for Baek, who won the LPBA in her first year as a pro in 2019. It comes four years after her professional debut.
Baek first reached the final of the Fifth Tour (High One Resort Championship) last season (2022-23). However, she had to settle for runner-up as she was unable to overcome the barrier of Natsumi Higashiuchi (Japan, Wellcome Savings Bank). On this day, she returned to the finals for the first time in seven months and took home the top prize of 30 million won.
Baek also took home the title of the first player to win the PBA’s exclusive stadium, Goyang Kintex PBA Stadium.
Baek Min-joo showed her determination to win the first set, taking it 11-0 in nine games. However, she lost three straight sets to Kim Se-yeon, who was trying to win her fourth career title. Kim evened the score by taking the second set 11-1 in five games, then took the third set 11-2 in eight games and the fourth set 11-7 in 12 games.
It was a cliffhanger moment, with only one set to lose. Baek miraculously won the remaining sets. With the score tied at 7-7 in the fifth set, Baek scored four consecutive points in the 13th inning to take an 11-7 lead. She then took the sixth set 11-6 in nine games to push the match to a full set.
In the end, Baek’s desire to win was greater. With a 7-3 lead in the eighth game of the seventh set, Baek closed out the match with an exquisite sideways three-bank to win a fantastic upset.
At the official post-match press conference, Baek Min-ju said, “I’m still very nervous. I’m proud of myself and think I did a good job because I finally got the result of my hard work. I’m so happy,” she said, “I’ve been so eager to win. I wanted to repay Crown Hattae (Chairman Yoon Young-dal) for sponsoring me. I spent all my time practicing and gritting my teeth except for sleeping for 6-7 hours a day. I’m so happy to see the results.” 안전놀이터
Meanwhile, Yong Hyun-ji (Hi-One Resort) won the Welbanc Top Ranking (KRW 2 million), which is awarded to the player with the highest average in a single match.
The Hana Card PBA-LPBA Championship will conclude with the PBA Quarterfinals Game 1 at 12:30 p.m. between Ruffy Chenette (Haiwon Resort) and Kim Jae-geun (Crown HaeTae), and the Quarterfinals Game 2 at 3:30 p.m. between Javier Palazon (Huons) and Eddie Repens (SK Rent-a-Car), followed by the KRW100 million grand prize final at 11 p.m. on Sunday.