The Professional Billions Association (PBA, President Youngsoo Kim) will hold the Welcome Savings Bank WellBang PBA-LPBA Championship, the eighth tour of the 2023-24 season, at Goyang KINTEX PBA Stadium in Goyang, Gyeonggi-do, for nine days from the 4th to the 12th.
According to the results of the competition announced by the PBA, Cha Yu-ram, who recently announced his return, will play his return match against Oh Ji-yeon at the second turn of the PPQ round, which will take place from 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday. Cha, who will participate as a wild card in the upcoming competition, will play the LPBA in 679 days (one year and 10 months).
Cha Yu-ram, who was active in the pocket ball stage, including the national team of the 2006 Doha Asian Games and the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games, turned to three cushions when the pro-ball team was launched in 2019. Cha Yu-ram, who has been active in the professional stage for three seasons since then, joined the People’s Power in May 2022 and announced his retirement as a professional player.
The PBA officially announced in a press release on the 31st of last month that Cha will return to the LPBA tour after two seasons since he announced his retirement. “I was the happiest when I took the cue and I was the best when I was a player,” Cha said after explaining the background of his return. “I wanted to return at least after recovering my old skills, but after consulting with the organizers, I decided to participate in the competition this time.” Cha will hold an official press conference on his return to the KINTEX PBA Stadium press center in Goyang after the match on the 4th.
However, she is not an easy match to come back to. Oh Ji-yeon (47) is a veteran player who consistently performed in LPBA for five seasons. As the first generation of Korean women’s three cushions, Oh has advanced to the semi-finals with the best LPBA record and ranked 12th overall in the 2020-21 season.
The upcoming competition will kick off with the LPBA PPQ (first qualifying round) at 11 a.m. on Saturday and will kick off in earnest with the first day of the PBA round of 128 immediately after the opening ceremony at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday. The final round will conclude with the LPBA final at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday and the PBA final at 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday. The prize money for LPBA championships is 30 million won (27,940 U.S. dollars), and the prize money for PBA championships is 100 million won (83,640 dollars).
At the PBA, which will kick off on Thursday, No. 1 ranking Cho Jae-ho (NH Nonghyup Card) will face off against wild card Junsung Park (9:30 p.m. on Saturday), while No. 2 ranking Javier Palajon (Huons) will also have his first game against Cho Byung-chan at the same time. Lee Chung-bok (High1 Resort, No. 119) will face Lee Sang-dae (Welcome Savings Bank) in a match at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. Daniel Sanchez (SY, No. 80) will face off against Sabashi Bulut (Turkiye) at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the PBA will hold a free admission event for visitors wearing hanbok for the Lunar New Year holiday.