ONGC crowned PSPB billiards champion again

In a short-format single game set  at 200 points, ONGC won the first two games 200-100 through Rupesh Shah against S. Shrikrishna and 200-111 through Alok Kumar against Manan Chandra.

ONGC team: Rupesh Shah, Alok Kumar, Manoj Kothari (coach/manager), Dhruv Sitwala, Pankaj Advani and Sourav Kothari.

Ace cueist Pankaj Advani made a very brief appearance, scored 11 points and helped ONGC beat BPCL in the final of the 14th PSPB Inter-Unit Billiards and Snooker tournament. It was ONGC’s 12th billiards team title win. 

In a short-format single game set  at 200 points, ONGC won the first two games 200-100 through Rupesh Shah against S. Shrikrishna and 200-111 through Alok Kumar against Manan Chandra.  But the overall match points difference was 189 (400-211).

“Before Pankaj (Advani) started the third match for ONGC, the difference was 11 points and he had to score that,” said Director of the tournament, C. Ravindranath. 

The clash between the two strong teams in the PSPB sparked plenty of chatter as the experienced Shah and the talented S. Shrikrishna positioned themselves for a potential tussle in the billiards room of the PYC Hindu Gymkhana on Wednesday.

Team members from either side began dissecting Shah and Shrikrishna’s game by every shot and the first hints of ONGC gaining the upper hand emerged as Shah gathered his wits to post an early break of 77.

The two-time former World Champion in the points format of English billiards, Shah, proved a trifle wily for the youngster who is the most promising of the younger lot. Shrikrishna impressed for fleeting moments showing his ideas, but when he appeared to be poised for a break he faltered with his potting skill and went down to the seasoned campaigner. Shah’s big win gave a comfortable cushion for ONGC to eventually seal the match.

ONGC chose Alok Kumar as its second player and he cracked a break of 83, and held his own against Manan Chandra.

Results (Team Billiards) final: ONGC bt BPCL 3-0 (Rupesh Shah bt S. Shrikrishna 200 (77) -100; Alok Kumar bt Manan Chandra 200 (83) -111; Pankaj Advani points v Devendra Joshi 5.  3rd/ 4th Place: Indian Oil bt GAIL 2-1 (Brijesh Damanai lost to Ishpreet Chadda 37-200; Dhvaj Haria bt Ashutosh Padhy 200-29; Aditya Mehta bt Ashok Yadav 200-34) Team Snooker: Quarter-finals: GAIL bt NRL 2-0 (Ashutosh Padhy bt Durlove Bora 82-17, 77-12; Ishpreet Chadda bt Swapnav Datta 77-12, 82-02); Indian Oil bt OIL India (Aditya Mehta bt J Phookan 119 (51,67)-00, 75-10; Laxman Rawat bt Rudra Datta 95-4, 81-6)