Friday, March 22

Hong Man breezes through in style at Sibu City Swan final showdown


Ng (left) and Liau pose with the trophy before the final showdown.

SIBU: It was a breeze for the last season Sarawak Closed champion Ng Hong Man as he hardly

raised a sweat to beat outsider Liau Chung Kiong 3-0 (53-25, 51-15, 72-46) to lift the 2nd Sibu City Swan Snooker title at Executive 3 Snooker Centre on Tuesday night.

Ng pocketed RM1,000 while Liau settled for RM500 as prize money.

Joint-third Mark Yeo and Aaron Teo each bagged RM250.

“Hopefully, the victory will spur me to work harder and put more efforts to polish my game as I aim for greater heights and also help popularize the sport in the state,” Ng said.

Ng, 48, was been desperate to lift the trophy after failing to clinch the 1st edition of the championship, losing out to underdog Isda Lau 2-3.

He went into the final showdown sensing it as his best chance to win the elusive title as he had never lost to Liau in their previous encounters.

Displaying his usual style of opting to play a safe game, Ng took an early lead before clearing a black to widen the score to 32-15 and 53-25 to take the first frame.Ng was virtually playing against himself in the second frame.

All indications pointed to just a matter of time before he could wrapp up the game with a dejected looking Liau given no chance of recovery.

Liau tried all sorts of shots but the ball just refused to go into the pocket.

However, in the third frame, a rejuvenated and re-energised Liau displayed some urgency to take the lead for the first time, pushing Ng to back-track and play catch-up.

With a healthy lead of 38-18, Liau’s play suddenly hit the brickwall when he found himself got `snoked’ by Ng.

It was a costly blunder and even though he eventually managed to free himself from being `snoked’,  the damage was already done, losing a massive 36 points.

From then on, there was no turning back for Ng who sailed on to win.

“It’s just that unfortunate.

Had I won the third frame, there was still everything to fight for.

Nevertheless, my congratulations to Hong Man for winning the title,” Liau said.

A total of 45 players, including four from Sarikei, three from government departments and one from Meradong, took part in the two-week tournament.

Event initiator Yeo, who expressed satisfaction with the big turnout, said “the championship will provide a platform for snooker enthusiasts to compete and challenge each other for supremacy.

Only through such competitions will it ensure that the sport will stay relevant.”   The 3rd edition of the championship will be held at Lucky 7 in Jan 2018, the 4th edition at First Class Snooker Centre in April 2018 and the final leg at Cueball Centre in July 2018.