THIS year’s BSP national men’s snooker titles is all set to cue off today.
Papua New Guinea Billiards and Snooker Association (PNGBSA) publicity officer John Chan said yesterday the week-long tournament would start with B Grade players vying for the minor title.
The minor title concept started three years ago.
“Due to the high number of entries received each year, we decided to introduce a minor title for those who are ranked lower or not seeded as only the top ranked 32 players can play for the major men’s national title,” Chan said.
He said more than 40 nominations were received for B Grade when registration closed last week.
“We have more nominations and for those who missed out, I urge you to attend the briefing tomorrow evening (today) in the case of some late withdrawals,” he said.
“Two players from Kavieng will be participating in the B Grade,” he added.
The minor titles event ends on Sunday with the finals.
“We also have 32 players registered for the major title and again should there be any late withdrawals, the winner and runner-up of the minor titles will qualify for the A Grade for the major national title which starts on Sept 18,” Chan said.
He said there were four players coming in from Alotau, two from Kavieng and one each from Lihir and Lae and a newcomer to PNG from Melbourne who has played in regular competitions in Australia.
“The standard of snooker next week will be very high with these players coming in and after a successful Oceania tournament in March, the players have risen to another level so it’s going to be an exciting and high class exhibition of snooker,” he said.
Defending champion Djorne Fong would again be pushed to the limit to retain the title by fellow PNG representative players Arua Simoi, Yiannis Nicoloau, Noel Ramos, Ralph Kaina, Brian, Harry and Nathan Fong and former champions Peter Fong, Ken Leo and Roger Ng.
Chan thanked BSP, the minor sponsors and supporting sponsors for their continued support.
“This is BSP’s seventh consecutive year as major sponsor of this prestigious event and we thank them very much for their support.
“I also extend my thanks to minor sponsors Imprint Copy Centre, Laga Industries Ltd, NCS, R&P Signs, Street Scene, Theodist Ltd and UMW Nuigini Ltd for their continued support to this growing sport,” Chan said.