Gideon John, Shehu Bamidele and Akintola Wole, Victor Ukueku emerged winners at the just concluded Open Snooker & Biiliards Tournament that held at the Billiards section of the Lagos Country Club, Ikeja from 31st March to 17th April 2021.
Despite having a highest break of 38 points in the Snooker event, Gideon John who emerged the winner defeated notable Pool player Shehu Bamidele in three straight rack in the finals while he defeated Abiodun Christopher with a similar margin in the semi finals .
Shehu Bamidele narrowly defeated Victor Ukueku with a 1 rack margin in a best of 5 racks in the semi finals which ended 3 -2 become losing to Gideon John in the final. In the third place match Victor Ukueku was all flames as he defeated Abiodun Christopher 3 – 0.
In the Billiards event Wole Akintola defeated Victor Ukueku 150 – 125 points to win the event while he overcame the stiff opposition mounted by one of Nigeria’s strong Pool player and tournament director Edafe Egbah 150 – 147 in the semi final.
To get to the finals Victor Ukueku defeated Olu Fagbemi of Lagos Country Club 150 -125 in the semi finals who lost to Edafe Egbah 150 – 134 in the third place match.
Cue Sports anchor Jide olaniran spoke with Victor Ukueku in a virtual interview.
You came third in the championship. One will have expected you to be the winner. What Happen?
Victor Ukueku: “Well! you know you win some, you lose some. I don’t this I was on my ‘A’ game. I think that was one of it. I don’t really like giving excuses when I lose, it just so happen that I lost. I will pick myself up and prepare for the next tournament.
Looking at the max breaking points made by even Gideon that actually won the championship, 38 points is a far cry from what obtains in North Africa as well as Europe where some of them as much as 100 even 147. But 38! How do you benchmark such performance against the global rating now?
Victor: “Considering the situation in this part; we really can’t compare ourselves with those guy you know. We are more like we are just starting the game, Snooker and Billiards. And believe me, the last tournament I participated in I broke half a century. I broke 55 I believe, but I did not progress in that tournament. The fact we don’t give ourselves to practicing and preparing better for tournaments can cause things like that the happen. For Gideon to have a break of 38 is fantastic considering the facts I just listed”
What do you think is responsible or how can we improve the quality of what we have?
Vistor: “of course it is the motivation that will bring about the tournaments. For the sponsors that took up that responsibility, I mean kudos kudos kudos. They have given quiet a lot and I think it spurred a number of us to start looking at the game a bit differently in just this past two week especially the game of Snooker and Billiards. Part of the things that we lack in this part is sponsorship. If you go to a marketing manager and say you want them to sponsor your game or a game of Snooker, they are considering what your reach is. There is no passion for the game here and they don’t care about it aside sponsorship. And, we don’t have Snooker halls to practice…”
Do you think we should do more as it appears that Snooker is found in only the clubs that we have, Do we need a proliferation of the snooker table where you are not restricted to go the clubalone, just like we have in Pool now where we can in like you said?
Victor: I don’t see how possible that will be. You know to get a Snooker table; pardon my French is pretty expensive you understand. Before you can get people to come play it, they must at least know about the game and we don’t have the space for it, we don’t have the halls. Anybody that want to get into a business is thinking about quick returns. They are not doing it because of the passion except we have people like oga Joachim (referring to the president of the Snooker and Pool Players Alliance SPPA) who has passion for the game. If he says he wants to invest in it, we can look for a way to get such platforms in place….”
Meanwhile in the ongoing 2021 World Snooker Championship, Mark Williams rattled off five frames on the bounce to see off Crucible debutant Sam Craigie 10-4 and set up a second round clash with familiar foe John Higgins at the World Championship. The last time Williams and Higgins locked horns at the Crucible was one of the all-time great World Championship finals back in the days.
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OPEN SNOOKER AND BILLIARDS TOURNAMENT
*Gideon John vs Abiodun Christopher (3 – 0)
Victor Ukueku vs *Shehu Bamidele (2 – 3)
*Victor Ukueku vs Abiodun Christopher (3 – 0)
*Gideast on John vs Shehu Bamidele (3 – 0)
*Victor Ukueku (150) vs Olu Fagbemi (125) (1 – 0)
*Wole Akintola (150) vs Edafe Agbah (147) (1 -0)
*Edafe Agbah (150) vs Olu Fagbemi (134) (1-0)
Victor Ukueku (135) vs *Wole Akintola (150) (0 – 1)
N.B. (*) – winner