BELMOPAN, Thurs. Aug. 30, 2018– The 21st Annual National Belikin 8-Ball Tournament commenced in May in eight different regions, namely: the six districts, in addition to Belmopan and San Pedro. A total of 60 teams throughout the country were competing to see who would be the champ, and represent their region in the Big Dance on the pool table on Saturday and Sunday, August 25 and 26, in Belmopan at the Lions Club.
It was hype, exciting, knee-shaking, heart pounding, hands trembling, nerve racking, and, yes, it was raining; but, just as the rain cannot stop the reggae jam, the rain could not stop this indoor sport and the 8-ball from pocketing.
By the end of the first day, four teams were sent home in the showers, namely: Rack Masters from San Pedro, who it seems are really more masters in racking than playing; Big Mangoes Shattaz of Stann Creek, who it seems can only play big in the height of the Mango season; It Is What It Is from Cayo, who could not shine, and simply said – it is what it is; and BRC Shooters of Belmopan, who apparently can shoot, but not in front of their home fans.
The second day saw Belize sending home Challengers of Toledo to swim, as the river was over flooded to reach home. Then, Belize continued to be on a roll, as they eliminated D-Hideout of Sugar City, saying on the table, you can’t be sweet, and to go into hiding where they came from. It was now down to the finals, and Long Island of Belize had to defeat Haneen Shattaz of Corozal twice if they wanted to be crowned champs, as the Shattaz were undefeated going into the finals. Belize was up to the challenge, and sure enough, they dropped the Shattaz twice and was crowned the 2018 Champs.
Congratulations to the entire Haneen Shattaz team for their great effort: Raul Montejo, Mark Reyes, Marcel Briceno, Rodolfo Alvarez, Luis Valdez, Alexis Hernandez and Herbert Tzib, with owner, Mr. Rudy Moralez. Hats off to Long Island of Belize City, who really played their hearts out after losing early in the tournament, but made the huge comeback from the loser bracket and won the tournament. These guys are nothing nice on the table: Larry Lisbey, Manuel Ramos, David Fernandez, Noel Garcia, Luiggy Villanueva, Wallace Chu, Byron Donaire, and owner – Nelson Mejia. Third place was won by D-Hideout of Orange Walk.
The MVP for the finals was awarded to David Fernandez of Long Island (named from the last two matches); and MVP for the regular tournament was awarded to Larry Lisbey of Long Island (best record in all games before the start of the final two matches).
The Belize Billiards Sports Federation (BBSF) expresses tremendous thanks to Bowen and Bowen for sponsoring the tournament, which included cash prizes, beer products, T-shirts, and trophies, from the regional tournament to the national finals.
Thanks to the Belmopan Billiards Association for hosting the tournament. It will be Toledo’s turn to host the 2019 tournament. Let’s see who will shine, or who will need to take a swim in the beautiful Caribbean Sea in P.G.