Lubis stops Barreca bid to take Tri-State stop

Frank Barreca, Teddy Lubis, Mel McCullen

Teddy Lubis put a stop to a one-loss side challenge by Frank Barreca to take first place in the Tri-State Tour stop on Sunday December 5. The $1,000-added, B-D handicapped event drew 20 entrants to Gotham City Billiards in Brooklyn, NY.

Victories over Yomaylin Feliz, Rick Shellhouse and Christopher Root, put Lubis among the winners' side final four to face Russel Babaniyazov. Mel McCullen, in the meantime, squared off against Basdeo Sookhai. Lubis got into the hot seat match with an 8-4 win over Babaniyazov, and McCullen joined him with an 8-5 win over Sookhai. Lubis sent McCullen to the semifinals 9-6 and waited for what turned out to be Barecca's return.

Barecca, who'd won his opening round of play versus Steve Root, and then been sent west by McCullen, was working his way back on the one-loss side to an eventual semifinal rematch, and ultimately, the finals against Lubis. He defeated Mark Parel and Duane Toney, both 7-2, to pick up Babaniyazov, as Gary Murgia was working his way through Christopher Root 7-4 and Tony Ignomirello 8-5 to reach Sookhai.  Barecca shut out Babaniyazov to get into the quarterfinals and was joined by Sookhai, who'd downed Murgia 7-2. With three down and four to go, including the necessity of having to beat Lubis twice if he got that far, Barecca took care of Sookhai in the quarterfinals 7-2. He then dispatched McCullen to third place 7-5, and turned to face Lubis.

Barecca never did develop any traction in the final match, which never got to a second set. With a handicap, Barecca started ahead by two; a lead that Lubis promptly erased. The two traded racks to a 4-4 tie, before Lubis closed the proceedings with three in a row.

Tour representatives extended thanks to Kevin and Isabel Buckley, owners of Gotham City Billiards, for their support of the players, by not only providing great equipment, but by generously adding more money on top of the tournament-added dollars. Thanks went out, as well, to Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Viking Cues, Ron Tarr Cues, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Dr. Dave Billiards Instructional Products, for their sponsorship of the event.