Tuesday 10 May 2016

Alex "The Lion" Pagulayan goes undefeated at Canadian 9 Ball Championships

Female Winner Naomi Williams, Male winner Alex Pagulayan and Female runner up Brittany Bryant. 

By: Markus Noé

On Saturday May 7 the Canadian 9 Ball Championships got underway. For the second tournament in a row we saw the highest participation in 10 years as 61 players took part this year. The host room was packed with spectators as people were hoping to get a glance of the best players in the country. Favourites going into the tournament included Alex Pagulayan, John Morra, Erik Hjorleifson, Danny Hewitt and the newly crowned 8 Ball Champion Jason Klatt.

There were some big matches early in this tournament as Erik Hjorleifson and Shannon Ducharme met up in the first round. According to Hjorleifson post match, both players where near flawless in this match with Ducharme getting the nod 9-8.  Local talents Joey Cicero and Jeff Blais also met in the first round with Blais winning 9-4. Throughout day one there were no real upsets to report as most of the favourites won their matches and continued on. 

A bit of a surprise to many was that at the end of the day the ageing Canadian legend Alain Martel was final 4 on the winners side. His talent has never been in question of course but he has not been performing to his level this last year. Coming into day two Martel met up with another long time Canadian legend Mario Morra. It was nice to see these two deep on the winners side and they did not disappoint putting on a great match, with Martel edging out Morra 9-7.

In the winners side final Martel met up with Alex Pagulayan who was the runner up in the 8 Ball to Jason Klatt. The Canadians is a grueling test of ones skill, concentration and endurance as all 3 events are played over six days. For example Klatt played about 20 hours of pool in two days for the 8 Ball and won but perhaps was a bit fatigued as he saw an early exit in the 9 Ball losing to Martin Daigle and Erik Hjorleifson. Pagulayan credits his endurance to eating right working out and his experience at the Derby City Classic. 

In the winners side final Pagulayan won decisively 9-5. On the losers side of the bracket Martel met up with John Morra who was tearing up the one loss side after losing 9-4 to Pagulayan. Morra had wins over Francis Crevier, Danny Hewitt and Martin Daigle. Martel went on to lose this match 9-3 to finish in 3rd place. Before the day started Martel shared that he is still motivated to play as he said his new goal is to be the first Canadian Champion at 100 years old. 

The final promised to be a barn burner as Pagulayan and Morra have been the top two Canadians for some time now. However it was not meant to be for Morra as he made a few mistakes but mostly he could not get his break working and on the flip-side Pagulayan was breaking well and playing near flawless. The final ended at 15-6 for Pagulayan. 

The women's event saw 13 players show up which is about double the size of the last few editions. Favourites in this were Brittany Bryant, Naomi Williams and Veronique Menard. In this tournament the cream floated to the top and this ended up being your top three. Williams came back from a loss to Bryant in the winners side final and got her revenge in the final winning 11-6 and securing yet another title. 

Overall players have been very satisfied with the conditions here at Tapis-Vert and the week has gone really well. For updates on the draw and for the stream for the 10 Ball go to www.cbsa.ca. Follow along with us on our Facebook page for updates on the final day of the 10 Ball. 

Thank you to my sponsors for this event:

Touhey Management 

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