Gabriel comes back from brink of a loss to claim Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball title

Junior Gabriel

One game away from being double-dipped in the finals of the Saturday, July 9 stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, Junior Gabriel rallied from 4-1 down to chalk up five racks in a row and claim his second tour title. It marked his 6th cash finish on the tour since he started showing up on its payout lists in 2018. He went undefeated last November on the tour to claim his first major title. The $500-added event drew 35 entrants to Overtime Billiards in Columbia, SC. 

Gabriel’s three-time nemesis at this event was PJ Stabler, who won the opening set of the true double elimination final and brought him to the brink in the second set. Stabler had defeated Larry McGee 5-3 in one of the winners’ side semifinals, as Gabriel was busy sending Michael Thompson to the loss side in the other one 6-5 (Thompson racing to 7). Gabriel claimed the hot seat 6-3 over Stabler.

On the loss side, Thompson picked up Calvin Lee, who’d defeated Adam Springs 6-3 and Rocky Guell 6-2 to reach him. McGee drew a rematch against the player he’d sent to the loss side 6-2 in the third winners’ side round, Thomas Sansone. Sansone moved over to begin a six-match, loss-side streak that would take him as far as the semifinals. Before picking up McGee for the second time, he’d eliminated (loss-side wins #3 & #4) Brandon Powell and Russell Scott, both 6-4.

Sansone chalked up his fifth loss-side win, downing McGee 6-2. Thompson joined him in the quarterfinals after surviving a double hill bout against Lee. 

Sansone took the quarterfinal match 6-3 over Thompson, before locking up in a double hill, semifinal battle for a seat in the finals. Stabler came into the match with a single bead on the wire in a race to 6. He chalked up the five he needed to advance. 

With the same handicap (Stabler racing to 5, Gabriel to 6), Stabler took the opening set of the true double elimination final 5-2. On a bit of a figurative and literal roll, Stabler jumped out in front in the second set and reached the hill, ahead by three at 4-1. Gabriel won the next five racks to snatch victory from the proverbial jaws of defeat and claim the event title.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Overtime Billiards, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues,, Dirty South Grind Apparel Co., Realty One Group Results, Diamond Brat,, Ridge Back Rails, and Federal Savings Bank Mortgage Division. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this weekend, July 16th, will be the $500-added Princeton Summer Classic, hosted by Sonny’s Billiards in Princeton, WV.

Go to thread


Leave a comment

Please log in to comment