“Three-cushion veteran” Choi Sung-won 메이저놀이터 (46), who joined the Hawks with the No. 1 overall pick in the professional billiards PBA Team League draft, bit his lip as he spoke in his distinctive Gyeongsangnam-do dialect. “I came up from Busan, and I had a feeling that I was going to join the Hawks (with the No. 1 pick),” he said after confirming his move to the Hawks at the PBA Team League Draft for the 2023-2024 season at the Press Center in Jung-gu, Seoul, on Wednesday, adding, “It feels good. I’ll try my best to do well this year.”
The PBA Team League has a nine-team format for the new season, with Hiwon Resorts taking over the former TS Shampoo-Fried Chicken, and building materials company Eswai joining as a “newcomer. With each team having previously designated protected players and organized their releases, the order of draft picks on the day was from the team with the fewest protected players to the top rounds. Rounds 1-3 are reserved for the lowest-ranked team in the previous season’s regular season, and last season’s lowest-ranked team (8th), the Huons (3 protected players), enjoyed the first round pick. Choi Sung-won, Lee Chung-bok, Semi Seguiner, and Murat Nasi Chocloo (formerly of Turkkiye) were initially considered the “big four,” but the Huons chose Choi Sung-won, a domestic leader in a team league where teamwork is important. They then added Seguiner in the second round and quickly became the favorite to win the title.