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Ng goes undefeated, downs Velez in finals on Garden State Pool Tour

Richard Ng

Richard Ng returned to a winners’ circle on Sunday, April 10, when he went undefeated at a stop on the Garden State Pool Tour. The $350-added, ABCD 9-Ball event drew 29 entrants to Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.  

Last seen in the winners’ circle as the undefeated winner of a 2015-2016 stop on the Tri-State Tour, before it became the Predator Tri-State Tour, Ng had to battle through his opening matches to get to the hot seat. He went double hill in his opener against Tri Chau, before winning two straight games that came within a game of double hill, versus Mikhail Kim and, in the winners’ side semifinal that punched his ticket to the hot seat match, Tae Chang. Facing him in that match was Sung Lee, who’d had his own struggles getting there, facing two straight double-hill matches, against Ron Litchenberger and Frank Kasseta, before downing Mike Strassberg, and in the other winners’ side semifinal, Kervin Santamaria. 

Ng and Lee fought back and forth to a 4-4 tie, before Lee surged ahead by two racks. Ng responded with four in a row to claim the hot seat.

On the loss side, Velez picked up Tae Chang, downing him in what was described by tour officials as a cliff-hanger win. Velez followed with victories over Satamaria in the quarterfinals and Lee in the semifinals, both 7-4.

Ng allowed Velez only a single rack and claimed the event title.

Tour representatives noted that while not among the top four finishers, Kathy Croom “battled her way to a stunning, 5th place finish.” Croom had failed to win a set in her previous five events and hadn’t won a game in her last outing. Congratulations were extended for her 3-2 showing and first cash winnings at this stop on the tour.

Tour representatives thanked Vincent Sauro and his Clifton Billiards staff, along with all of the event’s participating players. The next stop on the Garden State Pool Tour will be its 4th Annual NJ State Amateur Championships. The two-day event, scheduled for the weekend of April 30-May 1, will be hosted by Shooter’s Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ.

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