Official Website of Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council
Ak Md Saiful Azri, Ahmad Taufiq gain nine-ball singles semi-final
Friday, 4th December 2009

BRUNEI'S impressive performance at the 3rd Borneo Games cue sports event continued yesterday when Ak Md Saiful Azri Pg Roslee and Ahmad Taufiq Murni both progressed to the semi-finals of the 9-ball singles category.

The duo defeated both of their round robin opponents at the Billiards & Snooker Hall of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas to qualify for the last four and guarantee the Sultanate at least a bronze medal today.

Ahmad Taufiq will face Sabah's Chong Jhun Heung in the first semi-final at 9am today while Ak Md Saiful Azri takes on Sarawak's Kang Seng Kwan in the second semi-final at the same time.

Three events are being contested and by the time the competition is over at 3pm today, the Sultanate will have finished on the podium in all three.

The duo combining to win the 9-ball doubles competition on Monday and Ak Md Saiful Azri beating Ahmad Taufiq 9-6 to be crowned champion of the 8-ball singles on Wednesday.

Ak Md Saiful Azri saw off Sabah's Jual Treman 9-5 in his first match yesterday and defeated Kang 9-3 in his second match.

Ahmad Taufiq beat Sarawak's Wong See Choon 9-5 in his first match and edged past Chong 9-8 in his second match.

Other results include Chong beating Wong 9-8 and Kang defeating Jual 9-6.

Had Ahmad Taufiq not beaten Chong he would have met Ak Md Saiful Azri in the first semi-final, and it was a clash neither of them were looking forward to.

"I was hoping that I would not have to meet him," said Ak Md Saiful Azri after his match. "Now we are confirmed of another medal, just not sure what colour. I felt I struggled at first but I think I did well to recover," he said of his match against Kang.

The Sarawakian won the first rack, Ak Md Saiful Azri captured the next two before Kang won the fourth rack.

Ak Md Saiful Azri went on a roll after that and won the next four racks to take a commanding 6-2 lead, after which Kang would pull back to 9-3.

It was not so easy for Ahmad Taufiq in his second match which had to be decided in 15 racks. It was smooth sailing for him at first as he opened the match with three racks under his belt. Chong won the next two racks to set the score at 3-2, after which Ahmad Taufiq would win the following two racks to lead 5-2.

After taking a 7-4 lead, Ahmad Taufiq saw Chong get back into the game when he broke and cleared the table on the 12th rack to make it 7-5.

"I would say we have a 50/50 chance of winning gold," he said.

Ahmad won the next rack to make it 8-5 but Chong fought back strongly and won the next three racks, the last of which he captured after he snooped Ahmad Taufiq and got back on the table.

But his chances of a comeback were dashed when he missed two balls on the last rack.

"I was kind of nervous at 8-8 and I did think I could lose," said Ahmad Taufiq. "I think I have a 50/50 chance of making it to the final but I can't really tell since I have not met my opponent yet."

Courtesy from Brunei Times