‘Korea’s three-cushion sign’ Choi Sung-won (46) is headed to the Hawks.
Choi Sung-won was selected by the Hawks with the first pick in the first round of the Professional Billiards Association (PBA) Team League Draft for the 2023-24 season at the Seoul Press Center on Wednesday.
Choi is the first South Korean 3-cushion player to win the World 3-Cushion Championship (2014), World Team 3-Cushion Championship (2017-2018), and World Billiards Federation (UMB) No. 1 ranking. He first entered the PBA scene through priority registration for the new season and was selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft.
The PBA Team League Draft was organized in the order of the teams with the least number of players and in the reverse order of their regular season standings. The last-place Hawks released three players and retained three, earning them the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. Huons Executive Director Kang Shin-won wasted no time in calling out Choi’s name.
“Since I came up from Busan, I knew that I would be drafted by the HUONS. You don’t have to worry about the team’s leadership problem, which was pointed out as a weakness last season.” “I’m here to burn the last flame. We’re here to show that we’re strong. My goal is to come out and play really well and get a good result.”
The Huons also received first-round picks in the second and third rounds, selecting Semi Saginer (Turkiye) and Jeon Ae-lin, respectively. Together with Javier Palazon (Spain), Kim Bong-cheol, and Kim Se-yeon, who were placed on protection, they will lead the rebound in the new season.
Hi-One Resort, a new entrant after acquiring TS Shampoo-Fried Chicken, selected Lee Chung-bok with the second pick of the first round. Lee is a veteran who has been consistently ranked among the top players in Korea, including winning the LG U+ 3-Cushion Masters in 2016 and finishing as the runner-up at the WEGEL 3-Cushion World Cup last year.
In the second and third rounds, the team added Nguyen Duc Anh Chien and Nguyen Phuong Linh (Vietnam), who was part of the NHL Card last season, to complete its quota of male foreign players. Protected players Im Sung-gyun, Im Rae, and Yong Hyun-ji completed the team for the new season 안전놀이터.
Defending champions Welcome Savings Bank selected Kim with the third pick of the first round and also drafted Lee Sang-dae, Higashiuchi Natsumi (Japan) and Choi Hye-mi. They will be accompanied by Puredric Coudron (BEL), Birole Wimaz (TUR) and Kim Ye-eun, who was named a protected player.
In addition to Daniel Sanchez (Spain) and Han Ji-Eun, newcomer Eswai, which acquired five players through priority picks, added Lee Woo-Kyung and Zheng Aing Vu (Vietnam). Hana Card added Murat Nasi Choklu (Turkey), Ayako Sakai (Japan) and Kim Byung-ho, while Crown Hae-tae added Oh Tae-joon and Kim Tae-kwan. NHL Card added Oh Sung-wook and Antonio Montes (Spain) and Blue One Resort added Uhm Sang-pil. SK Rent-a-Car, which has already completed its roster, did not name any players on the day.