Ng comes from the west to win second Tri-State Tour stop

Pat DiBuono, Richard Ng and Paul Spaanstra

Richard Ng was having his ups and downs as the Tri-State Tour stop on Saturday, June 18 progressed. He'd win a match with relative ease and then squeak through a double hill match. He played eight matches, altogether; three of them went double hill, and in the last - an extended race-to-9 versus Pat DiBuono - he was a single game away from defeat, when DiBuono came within a game of reaching seven victories first. Ng rallied, forcing the match to nine games, and then prevailed to win his second Tri-State Tour stop of the year. The $750-added B-D handicapped 9-Ball tournament drew 44 entrants to Sandcastle Billiards in Edison, NJ.

Following victories over Dave Ascolese, Rajesh Vannala (double hill), Gary Murgia, and Ben Castaneros (double hill), Ng moved among the winners' side final four and matched up against Christian Smith. Di Buono, in the meantime, was facing Louie Loria. Ng and DiBuono both got into the hot seat match with 7-4 victories. DiBuono gained the hot seat by the same score, and waited for Ng's return.

First up for Smith in the west bracket was Ricardo Mejia, who'd defeated Sam Smuke, double hill, and Duane Toney 7-3. Loria drew Paul Spaanstra, who'd gotten by Vannala, double hill, and Teddy Lubis 7-5. Spaanstra was picking up speed, reducing the number of games he was allowing opponents, and maintained that trend with a 7-4 victory over Loria. Once Smith had downed Mejia 7-5, Spaanstra kept it up with a 7-2 victory over Smith in the quarterfinals.

The streak ended in dramatic fashion in the semifinals, as Ng battled Spaanstra to double hill, and then dropped the 9-ball that gave him a second chance against DiBuono. Ng led in the opening rounds of the extended race-to-9 finals, but DiBuono fought back to a 5-5 tie and then, winning the 11th game, was one away from winning it all. Ng rallied to win the two straight necessary to extend the match to 9 games, and went one better to reach the hill at 8-6. DiBuono won the 15th game, but Ng closed it out with the next rack to secure the victory.

Thanks were extended to the "Sandman" for his generous support of the Tri-State Tour, fine playing conditions and, serving excellent food in his newly added restaurant. Tour representatives also thanked sponsors Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Ron Tarr Cues, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics, Murnak Cases, and Dr. Dave Billiards Instructional Products.