(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Belqaizi led predominantly for much of this race-to-11 contest having established commanding leads of 3-0 and then 9-5 at the arrivals lounge of dubai international airport terminal three.
mohamad ahmed belqaizi and officials during the award ceremony of the second dubai airports 9ball championship. — kt photo by juidin bernarrd
mohamad ahmed belqaizi held off a resurgent fightback from majed al joker to win the dubai airports 9ball championship final 11-10 here on monday.
belqaizi led predominantly for much of this race-to-11 contest having established commanding leads of 3-0 and then 9-5 at the arrivals lounge of dubai international airport terminal three.
however in an attritional match reminiscent of belqaizi’s semi-final with eissa neaimi 24 hours earlier al joker dug deep and clung on to his opponent’s coattails.
indeed al joker twice pulled it back level at 4-4 and 9-9 before taking the 19th frame to need only one more from the two remaining for outright victory overall.
belqaizi duly forced a decider though that al joker looked to be winning until an awkward transition from the seven ball to the eight left a tough thin cut pot.
al joker miss-cued it to let in belqaizi who clinically cleared up from there to clinch the title.
“it’s a really great feeling and i have no words to describe what it means to me to be the champion of this big tournament in front of this crowd” belqaizi said.
“it was a very tough and close game with majed today (monday). it went down to the final frame and i got lucky with the last few shots.
“i thought the game was done and finished and i was preparing to shake his hand but i was fortunate when he missed the eight ball which left me with two easy pots.
“it’s a big relief. i’m not now going to play billiards for six months. that’s it. this is my last game for this year but i’ll do my best to defend my title in 2015.”
al joker was pleased and proud to have come so close to victory after being so far behind at one stage with five frames in a row taking him from 9-5 down to 10-9 up and to the very brink of a memorable win.
“i played very well considering i was down by four frames” he commented. “i took five straight frames and was leading 10-9.
“i was then very unlucky with my last eight ball (at 10-10) where i had a miss-cue otherwise it was game over. but that’s the game.
“i’m very happy overall with what i did in coming back and losing by one frame.
“it was a fantastic achievement. it’s not easy when you’re down in a final playing against a good player who can get a chance and finish the frame.”
to round off proceedings world-renowned trickshot artist florian ‘venom’ kohler gave a 30-minute showcase of his cue skills prior to the awards ceremony where belqaizi was presented with a cheque for dh15000.