Kiamco Claims Johnny Archer Classic

Sunday morning at the Johnny Archer Classic found us down to the last eight players standing. The two surprises in the pack are Shannon Daulton and Tommy Kennedy, both great players in their prime, but by their own admission they do not really play much anymore. But it appears that when you are born with such a natural talent, you never lose it. The room was excited to see how far these two could go as they were both shooting winning pool.

The man with a mission in the field was Shane Van Boening, who was still smarting from losing to Shannon in Saturday evenings winners side 8 pm match. Shane certainly took out his revenge on the unsuspecting Wan Can (China) in his first losers side match at 10 pm, taking the 18 year old boy wonder down 9-1.

We also had Johnathan Pinager who had been taking scalps from day one, and we saw no reason for that to stop. We also had the two Filipino players Warren Kiamco and Israel Rota in the last eight, both strong contenders.

At 11 AM prompt, tournament director John Lehman (John is just starting a three event gig that takes him to Atlanta, Louisiana and Virginia for the US Open) got the two winners matches and two losers matches underway.

On the winners side we had Shannon Daulton Vs Johnathan Pinegar fighting it out to see who would get into the hot seat match. Unfortunately Shannon could not pull off another upset like he did in his Saturday 8 PM match against Shane Van Boening, when he put the "South Dakota kid" into the loser's bracket. This time he had to settle for heading to the one loss side of the bracket, as Mr. Pinegar took down the match 9-7. This was a close match all the way, and once again Shannon executed some amazing shots during the match. Let's hope we see him in more big tour events in the future.

In the other winners side match Warren Kiamco and Mike Davis were also playing for the chance to get to the hot seat match. Unfortunately for Mike, he ran into an in-form Kiamco, and just did not get to the table, as Warren put on another clinic to get the win at 9-6.

In the loser's side match we saw Israel Rota (Phi) Vs Hunter Lombardo fighting to see who would stay and who would be packing their bags. The much improved Hunter took down the match 9-7 to eliminate Mr. Rota, who made many fans here this week, who witnessed his beautiful technique and shot making. Lets hope we see him back next year. He will be in Iberia, Louisiana this week and also playing in the US Open in Virginia the following week.

In the other loser's match we had a fuming Shane Van Boening, playing the sacrificial lamb Tommy Kennedy in a match that would show just how much Shane wanted to show the world that he can bounce back from his lose to Shannon Daulton the evening before.

Shane was in charge of his breaking  prowess, and proceeded to run rack after rack until he got the win at 9-3. Tommy did not know what hit him. All eyes would be on Shane's next match against Mike Davis at 1:30 pm. More about that later.

We now had two more losers side matches to find the final pairing on the losers side. The first match was Hunter Lombardo Vs Shannon Daulton that Shannon really wanted to win as it would more than likely put him in a rematch against 'Mr. On a Mission' Shane. Well Shannon got his wish as he got the better of Hunter after a close match 9-7, that always had Shannon ahead.

Van Boening then had to face Mike Davis. Van Boening had found his groove and once again broke well and ran rack after rack, in a lop-sided match which only allowed Mike to put two beads on the wire. Final score 9-2.

This now left us with two players without a loss in a winner's side match to see who could get to the hot seat. This job was now in the hands of Warren Kiamco and Johnathan Pinegar, which on paper looked like we would see two players on the top of their game with no loses playing a close match.

Unfortunately for Mr. Pinegar, Warren was in a zone and took no prisoners, and just executed great shot after great shot to cramp Johnathans style, as shown by the score of 9-5. Johnathan would have to wait to see who he would play in the losers final match.

Everyone was waiting to see the losers side match between Shane and Shannon, and they were not disappointed as we had a real "Gladiator" situation unfolding right before out eyes. Shannon took the first game, but Shane soon got to 3-1 up. However, Shannon was fighting hard and soon turned the score around to 5-4 to Shannon. Well I can tell you that at this point everybody was rooting for the "Southern Boy" and really thought that he could pull of the win against the mighty Shane.

A determined Shane leveled it at 5-5, and then put on a clinic as he broke and ran the next four racks to close Shannon out at 9-5. This was classic Shane, and everyone thought he had a lock on the event, even though he was in the losers side of the bracket.

Over a hundred spectators were thinking that Shane would make light work of Johnathan Pinegar, and as the match progressed it certainly looked that way, with Shane stretching the score to 8-2 in no time. But, wait! Johnathan is at the table all the time and running racks.

The crowd went quiet, as they could not believe what they were seeing. Johnathan got the score to 8-7 and then scratched on his next break. Shane was quickly out of his chair and took the last game to put himself in the final. Score 9-7. Wow, that was exciting stuff folks.

Before the final of the first Johnny Archer Classic most of the audience were probably thinking that Shane would overpower the diminutive Warren Kiamco. They were all in for a shock, as Warren had the score to 4-0 in no time at all, and he did it by some great play, and (more importantly) making balls on the break. (He told me his fear before the match, that he was worried about coming up dry.)

Shane did manage to put two more beads on the wire to put the score at 4-2, but could do nothing as we saw Kiamco run rack after rack, and get the score to 10-2 in this race to 11 final. Shane did put one more bead on the wire before Warren closed it out at 11-3.

As the scores drew further apart the body language from Shane said it all, and as in a gesture of breaking down ones cue to let the opponent know that you have seen enough, it was noticeable that he took off his glove before Warren was halfway through the last run out.

It is fair to say that the first Johnny Archer Classic was won by the best player in the field, and that the event was well received by the players and the fans alike, and is certainly a great addition to the event calendar.

Congratulations to Warren Kiamco on his convincing win, and to every one involved with the smooth running of the event.