For the last 11 years, Miguel Torres has thought about that glorious week in 2007 when he won the USBA Three-Cushion National Tournament. He’s been trying to get back to the top of the podium ever since. Last year, he came close, finishing second to Pedro Piedrabuena, the nine-time champion. This year, he avenged that second-place finish last year by besting Piedrabuena, 35 to 33 in 22 innings (1.591), thus winning the crown and $5,000.
Torres did not have an impeccable tournament. He finished 2nd in his preliminary group, losing to Ramses Verlinden, 25-20. In round of 16, he struggled, defeating Jim Bishop 35 to 18 in 38 innings (.921). He improved in the round of 8, topping Thanh Vu, 35 to 28 in 29 innings (1.207). In the semi-finals, he met an old rival, three-time national champion, Hugo Patiño. Both competitors played defensively, and Torres came out of top, 35 to 32 in 26 innings (0.972). When all was done, Torres was set to face Piedrabuena, who had played magnificently, posting a 7-0 record and a 1.587 average in the preliminaries, then playing 1.667, 1.250, and 1.842 to reach the finals. The finalists thrilled the crowd with their level of play, with Torres coming out of top.
Despite his loss in the finals, Piedrabuena continues his dominance of the field, having won or finished second for the last dozen years. Hugo Patiño topped The Silver Fox, Frank Torres, 35 to 21 in 29 (1.207) for Third Place. Michael Kang finished fifth. John Park and Thanh Vu, both from Houston, finished 6th and Vu finished 7th, respectively. Ramses Verlinden, the only player to beat Miguel Torres during the week-long event, finished 8th. Tae Kyu Lee, a young player from New York, finished 9th. Neal Olson placed 10th.
Two veterans of USBA regional tournaments, Jim Bishop and Gary Eake, made it to the finals, finishing 13th and 15th, respectively. Former national champion, Mazin Shooni, finished 11th, Ertan Tarhan, an Oregonian, settled for 12th, and Joe DeAmato, from Boston, end up in 16th place.
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Click the links below to see the preliminary and final result charts::
A link to the video replay of the final match will be posted soon!