2016 Canadian Championships
Andrew Attard - thepoolscene.com
May 19, 2016
May 19, 2016
Naomi Williams, John Morra, Alex Pagulayan and Brittany Bryant
From May 5th to May 10th, le Tapis Vert in Quebec City hosted the Canadian Billiards & Snooker Association’s (CBSA) 21st annual Canadian Pool Championships. The six-day event consisted of 8-ball, 9-ball and 10-ball tournaments open to any person holding a Canadian passport. The CBSA is affiliated with the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA), through the WPA’s North American affiliate, the Billiard Congress of America (BCA). With these affiliations, it grants Canada the opportunity to be represented at all World Pool Championships, and most other major International pool events.
The restructured CBSA Board of Directors made a wise decision this year in selecting Quebec as the host province for 2016. The Province of Quebec has a great attitude towards billiards, they produce a great number of top calibre players, and there was a significant increase the attendance from previous years.
Naomi Williams and Brittany Bryant continue to dominate this sport in the Women’s Canadian field. Year after year, these ladies share titles and this year was no different. Brittany and Naomi played each other in the finals of both events (9-Ball and 10-Ball). After losing to Brittany in the A-side finals, Naomi returned from the B-side to win her forth Canadian 9-Ball title with an 11-6 win.
In the 10-Ball event, it was Brittany’s turn to shine. Both players traded racks for the first 8 games and the score was tied 4-4. All of a sudden, Brittany took control and went into dead stroke winning the next 6 games in a row to take the 10-Ball title. Well done girls.
Earlier in the year the organizing committee for the 2016 World 8-Ball Tournament announced that the event would be held in Toronto at The Corner Bank. It was disappointing to recently learn that the event was moved from Toronto to China. A large number of players had high hopes of competing at the international level in front of their fellow countryman. In any event, the show must go on.
In the Canadian event, the crowd favourite, Alex Pagulayan looked unstoppable only losing 6 games in his first 4 matches. Alex outscored his opponents 36-6. Alex’s then faced 3-time Canadian 8-Ball Champion Jason Klatt. Klatt was also having a good day with wins over Jason Thomas, Alain Martel, Sylvain Gingras and John Morra. A very focussed Klatt got the 9-5 win over Alex in their 5th round match.
In the finals, Jason faced Alex Pagulayan for the second time. Both players traded racks in the alternate break format and the score remained close until the end. With the score tied 10-10, Jason broke and ran the final rack to take the match and the title. An impressive start for Klatt as he went undefeated to claim his fourth Canadian 8-ball title.
A few weeks before this event, it was announced that the 9-Ball would be racked on the spot. This rule was implemented to follow the lead of the World Pool-Billiard Association which will be enforced at the World Championships. All participants needed to adapt to this break format on short notice.
Although Alex fell one game short in the 8-ball event, “The Lion” reigned in the 9-ball. Three days into this event, Alex was well adjusted to the conditions of the room. Alex dominated his opponents and reached the finals with wins over Jeff Blais, Danny Hewitt, John Morra, Sylvain Grenier and Alain Martel. It was John Morra who had the last opportunity to dethrone Alex. John has been travelling the planet and is currently ranked 5th in the world rankings. Unfortunately for John, the break shot was not cooperating with him and he had very few opportunities to gain any momentum. Pagulayan stayed in control the entire match and won the 9-ball title with a solid 15-6 performance.
In this event, “The Dancing Bear” Alain Martel proved he still has what it takes to compete with the best players in the country. His gentle, finesse style put him in the A-bracket semi-finals with wins over Randy Bagot, Charles Castonguay, Shannon Ducharme and Stephan Doiron. Alain continued his clinic against Alex Pagulayan and mounted a 6-2 lead. Unfortunately for Alain, no lead is safe against Alex. Pagulayan somehow managed to comeback and win 10-9. Martel was eventually eliminated by John Morra and settled for a respectable 4th place finish.
The final match would see John Morra face off against Alex Pagulayan. This was a rematch of the 9-ball finals and John wanted revenge. Morra got off to a great start winning the first 4 games. In the 5th rack, John committed an early foul and Alex pounced at the opportunity to get on the scoreboard 4-1. John scratched on the next break in this alternate break format and Alex ran out again to bring the score to 4-2. From there, the smooth stroke of John Morra took over. John kept the pressure on Alex as he won 9 of the next 10 racks to clinch the title with a dominating 13-3 score. A fabulous finish to a great tournament.
“The CBSA very much needed a bounce-back year, and the numbers were big enough to say that this event should help pave the way for better things in the future”, said Randall Morrison President, Canadian Billiards & Snooker Association. Check out their website for full brackets from the event – http://www.cbsa.ca
A special thanks to all the special people that made this event happen. The CBSA Secretary, Candace Campbell, did an excellent job as tournament director and had a great time doing it. Volunteers Barry Hetherington and Alain Parent were gracious to offer their assistance in helping conduct the bracket, calling matches and officiating shots. Acknowledgement should also be given to the sponsors for contributing to the costs associate with running these national events: Tiger, Simonis/Aramith, Kamui, Chalk-Cube, F.G. Bradley’s, Think Green Industries and Jostens.