‘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. We’re going to show that we’re strong. We’re going to come out and play really well and do well.”
Choi Sung-won (left), who joined the Huons with the first round pick in the 2023-24 PBA Team League Draft, and Han Ji-eun, who was selected first overall by newcomer Eswai. Courtesy of the Professional Billiards Association.
The PBA Team League Draft for the 2023-24 season at the Seoul Press Center on Wednesday. Courtesy of the Professional Billiards Association
The Hawks also received the first pick in the second and third rounds, selecting Semi Seguiner (Turkiye) and Jeon Ae-lin, respectively. They will join Javier Palazon (Spain), Kim Bong-cheol, and Kim Se-yeon, who are all protected players, to lead the Huons’ 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 안전놀이터 the LG U+ 3-Cushion Masters in 2016 and finishing runner-up at last year’s WEGEL 3-Cushion World Cup.
In the second and third rounds, the team added Nguyen Duc Anh Chien and Nguyen Phuong Linh (Vietnam), both of whom were on the NHL Card last season, to complete the quota of male foreign players. Protected players Im Sung-gyun, Im Rae, and Yong Hyun-ji completed the team for the new season.
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.