Amateur Snooker / 2016 ACBS Asian Snooker Championship
16th-23rd April 2016 / Doha, Qatar
CONTINENTAL GOLD ON THE LINE - THE FINAL PREVIEW
Mohamed Shehab and Kritsanut Lertsattayathorn will contest Saturday's best of 11 final in the 32nd edition ACBS Asian Snooker Championship in Doha, Qatar.
Shehab, from the United Arab Emirates, comfortably saw off Iran's Amir Sarkhosh 5-1 to become the first player through from Friday's semi-finals.
The 39 year old opened up a 2-0 lead, and despite Sarkhosh getting on the board in the next with a 97, he closed out the last three for the win - registering a 57 in the last.
Only last month Shehab claimed gold in the West Asian Championship held in Jordan. In 2006 he reached the final of this in Colombo, Sri Lanka; although he lost out 6-3 to Issara Kachaiwong - a decade on he will be aiming to put it right. He is the only player from his country to reach this stage in the event's history.
Mohamed also had two separate seasons as a professional on the main tour in 1996/1997 and 2006/2007.
Thailand's Lertsattayathorn upset the tournament favourite Pankaj Advani (India) 5-3. Advani, the reigning IBSF World Amateur Champion, was looking to claim this title for the first time.
Kritsanut held the advantage twice, but the pair went into their mid-session interval locked at 2-2. The Thai constructed efforts of 58 and a tremendous 142 - eclipsing fellow countryman Yuttapop Pakpoj's 137 made in the Group Stages for the highest break of the competition so far. Pankaj crafted a 94 in the fourth.
On the resumption, the 27 year old took the front again, however, Advani struck back instantly with a 94.
For the fourth occasion Lertsattayathorn inched ahead with the aid of a 62, but this time he managed to break away and win the eighth 66-31 for his maiden continental final berth.
He keeps up his country's proud history in this tournament; of the 31 previous stagings, 15 times the title has gone to Thailand.
Should he be successful tomorrow, he will be the 11th different winner from his country, but the first since 2011.
Last year at the World Amateurs in Egypt, Kritsanut made it through to the Last 8. In 2014 during the World Professional 6 Reds Championship in his homeland, he sensationally reached the semi-finals after eliminating Ryan Day, Mark Davis and John Higgins on route.
The winner of tomorrow's final will also be awarded a two year guaranteed professional tour card from World Snooker.
For the full results, please visit the Asian Confederation of Billiard Sports' website here.
Written and published by Michael Day on the 22nd April 2016