Sat, 26 Apr 2003

POBSI looking to keep KL run at next SEAG

Musthofid, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The Indonesian Billiards Association (POBSI), which began the players' training workouts in January, will be heading to Vietnam, simply content to maintain its achievement at the 2001 Kuala Lumpur Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

"Asked about the target, I'd say that we'll be striving to at least equal the two golds we chalked up at Kuala Lumpur," POBSI chief in charge of development affairs Andrie Ben told The Jakarta Post here on Friday.

The two golds were contributed by Muslim in the English billiards singles and the pairing of M. Junarto and Adam A.R. in the men's 9-ball pool-billiards.

Andrie said that as many as 64 players from 11 provinces had been preparing themselves in their respective provinces.

The players competed in a three-day qualifying tournament early this month, with the result that 28 were placed in the top division and 36 in the second.

While the top-flight players are on the official list of POBSI hopefuls for the SEA Games and have to follow the training regime laid down by the association, the other 36 will still be given the chance of making the squad when another qualifying field is staged at the end of July.

"The second selection may change the top-flight membership. They will undergo intensive preparation, which includes overseas tryouts," Andrie said.

POBSI has two options for tryouts: the World National Team Championship in Bree, Belgium, in August, and the Japan Open in November.

With the billiards event being competed in three categories: carom, snooker and pool-billiards, the trainees will be whittled down to a fixed 12, four per category.

Apart from two international tournaments, POBSI plans to send Siaw Wieto to the 2003 World Pool-Billiards Association (WPA) Men's 9-Ball Championship in Cardiff, Wales, in July.

In addition of the two golds, Indonesia's billiards team also brought home a silver and three bronzes at the 2001 SEA Games, to trail Thailand with five golds and a silver, and the Philippines with three golds, six silvers and a bronze.

Andrie said the next games, which would offer 11 golds in the billiard competition, would continue to provide the opportunity for stiff rivalry between the three countries.