AGRA: World professional billiards champion Pankaj Advani thwarted a strong challenge from B. Bhaskar to reach the semifinals of the 76th National billiards championship here on Thursday, winning the best-of-seven quarterfinal match 150-84, 152-26, 42-152, 71-150, 150-31, 152-76.
The 23-year-old took a 2-0 lead over his fellow Bangalorean. His second game stood out because of his unfinished break of 152. However, he faltered to find himself tied 2-2 with his rival at one stage.
Advani roared back to play some exquisite in-offs and a few impressive cannons as his breaks of 110 and 66 in the fifth and sixth games respectively proved decisive.
He said the shorter version of the game, being played in the Nationals, was tougher than the World championship. “Anyone can win in this format. In World championship you play in the time format,” he said.
Geet Sethi advanced beating Rupesh Shah 150-141, 91-150, 153-140, 92-150, 150-53, 151-89.
The results: Quarterfinals: Pankaj Advani (PSPB) bt B. Bhaskar (Karnataka) 150-84, 152-26, 42-152, 71-150, 150-31, 152-76; Geet Sethi (Gujarat) bt Rupesh Shah (Gujarat) 150-141, 91-150, 153-140, 92-150, 150-53, 151-89; Dhruv Sitwala (PSPB) bt Alok Kumar (PSPB) 151-31, 150-94, 123-150, 150-3, 150-130; Devendra Joshi (PSPB) bt Ashok Shandilya (Railways) 152-126, 57-150, 151-122, 152-20, 153-37.
Snooker (qualifying): Pulkit Thukral bt Kuldeep Chanaramani 3-0; Arjun A.R. bt Nitin Trikha 3-0; Sameer Shroff bt Laxman Rawat 3-2; M. Yogesh bt Malkeet Singh 3-0; A. Deepak bt Nishad Chowgule 3-1; Arvind Uppal bt Navpreet Singh 3-0; Chetan Chhabra bt Puneet Pant 3-1; Amit Gupta bt Rahul Narang 3-0; Shrenik Jain bt Amit Ahuja 3-0; Vijay Goel bt Ramanan 3-0; Anees Saini bt Abhishek Srivastava 3-0; S. Vinoth bt Somayajulu 3-0; Vishal Shivhare bt Rahul Jhamb 3-1; Adarsh Chaudhary bt Amit Kapoor 3-2; Amandeep Singh bt Sharat 3-1; Abhinav Garg bt Arun Chugh 3-2; Atit Agarwal bt Damu Menon 3-0; K.S. Naveen Kumar bt Puneet Kanishk 3-2.