By TRAVERTZ MABONE
THE Papua New Guinea and Port Moresby Snooker and Billiards calendar was fully booked with elite competitions this year, thanks to the many sponsors that devoted their resources to the sport.
The competitions included the Pacific MMI Corporate Snooker Challenge and the Port Moresby Snooker Handicap Meet, Moni Plus 2009 Port Moresby Billiards Open, 2009 Alotau Snooker Open, the Bank South Pacific Port Moresby Snooker Open, the Coca-Cola 2009 National Women’s Challenge, Bank South Pacific major and minor men’s competitions and, also hosts to the Oceania championships.
There were a number of competitions on the table this year of the PNG and Port Moresby Snooker and Billiards associations with one particular player clearly dominating the calendar year.
Djorne Fong was clearly outstanding throughout, bagging a total of 12 awards at the PNG and Port Moresby Billiards Snooker associations trophy awards, then being the forerunner, had a clear path to be named the player of the year for the second consecutive year at just 21 years of age.
In the competitions he played in, Djorne took the highest breaks and defeated all his competitors claiming the championship except for losing to his brother Stallone in the Pacific MMI Port Moresby Snooker Handicap challenge.
Fong’s onslaught on the table began in March amongst almost 300 players, who also took part in Port Moresby this year.
This year’s Oceania tournament was one of the best with a total of K400,000 spent for staging of the event.
PNG’s top female and male players Geua John and Fong, who took part in the event, got knocked out in the finals with John going out in the semis, just missing out on the grand slam, while Djorne lost in the quarter finals.
Next year’s calendar will be similar with the Oceania championships scheduled for Sydney next year.
PNG had performed well in the Oceania titles and are looking forward to the 2012 South Pacific Games.
This year, the PNG and POMBSA had discussions on tapping into the development of junior players in the sport as well as competitions in the other centres but have to deal with issues surrounding the venues.
PNG and POMBSA public relations officer John Chan said: “The PNG and POMBSA are also looking at coaching clinics and approaching selected schools for interested students to organise their competitions,” he said.
However, he added that due to clubs having licensed premises it would be difficult to have minors attending such venues to participate.
He said the PNG and POMBSA would be looking at alternatives in the future.
Chan also said that currently there were only a few centres that had tables, however, good facilities would generate interest.
It is now up to interested individuals or clubs across the nation to form associations and set up competitions, he said.
Chan stated that once other centres were set up the PNGBSA and POMBSA would approach them to help establish their events which would also enable the sport to be included in the next PNG Games.
“A minimum of six centres is the requirement,” he said.
POMBSA outgoing president Howard Lahari said: “All in all, the year couldn’t have been successful without the tremendous support from corporate sponsors who had been outstanding in promoting the sport in the country and the hard working committee behind the scenes.
“This year, Papua New Guinean players stood up and displayed their abilities and capabilities against the professionals.” he said.