By defeating Dhruv Sitwala in the finals of the Asian Billiards Championship 2022 the 24-time world champion Pankaj Advani lifts the trophy on Saturday.
It was a repeat of the National Championship final where both played for the title and Advani that time too won 5-2 against his close friend Sitwala.
The final began with the break of 50 points by Sitwala but the moment he went out of position, Advani replied with a break of 76 points and claimed the lead.
Advani continued with the same momentum and crafted a century break in the second game followed by 76 in the third to take surge to a 3-0 lead. The seventh frame was a bit tight where no break was made but Dhruv took a lead of 100-88.
However, Sitwala missed the cannon and Advani, who was waiting for his turn, decided to close the proceedings and he did by sending a break of 94 to win the Asian Billiards title 6-2. It is his 12 Asian titles.
Earlier in the day, Advani overcame a stiff challenge from Pauk Sa of Myanmar to enter the final. In the first game, Advani missed after scoring 18 points and Pauk Sa imposed a well-crafted break of 71 points. However, Advani secured the first game with a counter break of 82 points.
In the second game, Advani made a century break to take 2-0 lead.
Pauk Sa made a strong comeback but before he could level again, he missed on 97 and Advani recovered to make it a 4-2. In the next two games, Pauk Sa made decent breaks of 61 and 67 to level the match to take Advani into the decider. In the deciding frame, Pauk Sa was in control initially but when he missed after 48 points, Advani showed his class and returned with an uninterrupted break of 100 points to win the match and secure his place in the final.
The losing semi-finalists, former World Champion Praput Chaithanasukan of Thailand and Pauk Sa of Myanmar claimed bronze medals.
After his victory, Advani was quoted, “I am extremely delighted to win my 8th Asian Billiards Title which makes it my 12th Billi’rds Title and it’s great to continue winning momentum in Billiards by following the national title up with this victory,” Advani was quoted as saying by his management team in a release on Saturday.
“It’s of course an unparalleled feeling to grab the National Billiards Title and the Asian Billiards Title in the same year. I’ve done that in the past.”
“The Asian Billiards Championship being played over such a short format makes it very unpredictable and you don’t really know who’s going to win. Dhruv is my best friend in the circuit and to defeat him is never an easy thing but yeah professionals have to do it.
“I’m looking forward to winning more medals for the country. Although my initial performance in the Asian Snooker Championship could have been better, I am happy to end this international stint with a gold medal for India,” he said in the statement.
(With inputs from IANS)