June 21, 2024
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ADEKUNLE ADEBAYO WINS SPPA FIRST HEYBALL CHALLENGE TOUR IN 2024

by Jide Olaniran

Adekunle Adebayo has emerged winner of the maiden edition of the Snooker and Pool Players Alliance organised Heyball Challenge Tour by defeating Ekundayo Sunday 13 – 10 in a race to 13 racks, winner breaks contest event which took place at the Nicon Town Recreation Center, Lekki on 3rd February 2024.

The Heyball Challenge Tour is a new innovative contest in Pool Billiard organization that showcases it’s sporting attribute as a fun, entertaining and competitive event.

To qualify for the Heyball Challenge Tour both players needed to have the highest Break Point Averages in the Break and Run Shootout Challenge. The Break Point Average (is an index developed to measure the possibility of a player to achieve a win during the breaking process in Heyball that was developed by the Snooker and Pool Players Alliance (SPPA) to measure improved players Breaking skills as part other talent discovery and development program.

As required by the selection criteria, players needed to have participated in at least 3 Break and Run events to be eligible. Prior to this event Adekunle Adebayo and Ekundayo Sunday had the most cumulative BPAv respectively which makes them worthy of the first tour match up of the year.

For his victory, Adekunle Adebayo walked away with N30,000.00 comprising N10,000.00 secure prize as higher ranked player, N15,000.00 winners prize and N5000 bonus while Ekundayo received N10,000.00 comprising N5000 loser prize and N5,000.00 bonus. A maximum of N100,000.00 is on offer per match depending on the BPAv of the higher player.

Despite a N10,000.00 monetary reward for any player that can achieved 2 Break and Run during a match, none of them was able to achieve it.
The match began as a ding – dong affair with none of the players wanting to open up the table for his opponent, it was Ekundayo who took the lead 0 – 1 when Adebayo missed his last shot on the Black 8 into the Top left pocket thereby giving Ekundayo an opportunity for defensive advantage with 2 balls left on the table that help him win the rack.

In rack 2, Ekundayo scratched on white giving Adebayo a ball in hand with 1 ball on the table that was successfully pocketed after which a successful fluke shot saw the Black ball enter the middle right pocket thereby helping Adebayo level the match 1 -1
Rack 3, Adebayo ended the rack with a masterclass manoeuvre with just two ball on the ball when his last stripe ball was resting dead on the far short cushion and the black ball seating right in front of the right bottom pocket creating a do or die situation.
With top left spin of the Cue ball, he energized the stripe ball that was resting against the short cushion into a two cushion manoeuvre before it traveled diagonally across the table into the left bottom pocket leaving the Black ball naked for the taking by Adebayo which he delightfully did and putting ahead with a 2 – 1 lead.
Rack 4: Ekundayo levels the match 2 – 2 after a break of rack as he achieved a run on all his 7 solid balls after Adebayo was unable to pocket any ball during his Break.
Rack 5-6: After Adebayo leading 3 -2 at the end of rack 5, rack 6 ended up as a game of defensive play when Adebayo miss his shot on Black to the right bottom that transferred the advantage to his opponent with two balls of the table seeing Ekundayo easily put away his last 2 stripe ball and the became a ding dong affair on Black which enabled him level the match 3-3

The defensive orientation of both players became very evident as the matches progressed into the second and third quarter with both players missing very obvious, easy and direct shot which may be attributed to match pressure, mental fatigue or the lack of such technical skills that would have created the obvious advantage to either players.

After 23 racks Adebayo finally won the match 13 – 10 and was able to overcome the pressure and naivety by exhibiting an above average technical and tactical advantage over the more defensive Ekundayo who trailed through most of the Challenge encounter.

The next edition of the monthly Heyball Challenge Tour which is strictly invitational will hold on the March 5th 2024 at Nicon Town Recreation Center. Three matches will feature in the event as more players will be eligible for selection after the next two editions of the pre-qualification Break and Run Shootout Challenge which promises to be exciting.

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