Defending champion Pankaj Advani of Petroleum Sports Promotion Board completed a hat-trick of billiards titles at the 76th National Billiards and Snooker Championship, when he brushed aside the challenge of maestro Geet Sethi 5-4 in a pulsating final on Saturday.
The newly crowned World Professional Billiards champion Advani, despite trailing 2-4, displayed remarkable touch in the three-ball game to clinch the issue in front of a packed audience.
With the scoreboard reading 4-all, there was tension in the air. And though Advani gave Sethi a chance to stage a comeback after notching up a break of 137, the veteran cueist missed it. Thereafter, Advani only had to complete the formality.
“It’s a great day for me to win a hat-trick of titles,” said Advani. “I had almost lost my self-confidence after trailing 2-4, but consecutive wins in the next two games boosted my confidence.”
He accepted that the century break in the decider made the difference in the end. “Geet was in terrific form today, and I feel that it was my finishing at the end which mattered most. I feel that this final wasn’t any less than the World Championship final.”
Result: Pankaj Advani (PSPB) bt Geet Sethi (Guj) 5-4 (42-150, 154-27, 0-152, 152-0, 11-150, 91-150, 150-15, 150-63, 151-12.