Roberto Gomez talking to Ahmad Taufiq Murni. BT/Yee Chun Leong
Taufiq (L) attempting to pot a ball as Gomez looks on. BT/Yee Chun Leong
National cueist Ahmad Taufiq Murni has been given a boost in his preparations for the upcoming 27th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Myanmar in December with the arrival of a world-class sparring partner.
Professional cueist, Roberto Gomez of the Philippines, is in the Sultanate for a 21-day stint to assist the Bruneian with sparring and training purposes.
The 35-year-old arrived in Brunei early Tuesday morning and had his second day working with Taufiq and other local players at the Billiards and Snooker Hall of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.
Taufiq is looking to absorb the most out of the sparring and training sessions with Gomez.
"There are plenty of things to learn from him. Starting from the basics to techniques and mindset," said Taufiq in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday.
"I find it easy to understand him because he is very strict while teaching. He is very knowledgeable and has plenty of experience.
"It is also good that I get to spar against him especially that he plays at such a high level," continued Taufiq, who finished fifth out of 48 players at the 4th Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games in South Korea in July.
Gomez, who is nicknamed Superman, has plenty of accolades under his belt.
Most notable is finishing second at the 2011 World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) - Beijing Open 9-Ball Championship after falling 17-15 to Daryl Peach of Great Britain in the final.
The Filipino became the first qualifier to reach the final of the tournament.
He also teamed up with Dennis Orcollo to represent the Philippines during the 2010 World Cup of Pool where they fell to China in the final.
Gomez is looking to provide the best to the Bruneian players during his time here.
"I'm looking to help by teaching everything that I know about pool. I have plenty of experience and I want to hand them down to the players," said Gomez.
"I've been teaching for eight years now and I'm familiar with the programme to teach them the easiest way," he added.
Gomez also felt that cueists in the country have good potential but lack experience.
"Brunei players need to gain more experience and guidance. That's what that is lacking," said Gomez.
"Most of the players have potential except that they lack the techniques to become better. However, they also find it difficult to learn," he added.
"Taufiq is one of those who picks up lessons quickly and he can easily apply it. Maybe the difference is that he is a full-time player," continued the Filipino.