Prince Malik officiates 9-Ball Team Challenge
By James Kon

His Royal Highness Prince Abdul Malik yesterday officiated the first ever Asia Vs Europe Men's 9-Ball Team Challenge 2010 that is currently being held at the Rizqun International Hotel.

Organised by the Brunei Cue Sports Association with the support of Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports through the Department of Youth and Sports and sponsored by GHK Motors Sdn Bhd, the event is sanctioned by the Asian Pocket Billiard Union and the European Pocket Billiard Federation. The championship has attracted top professional 9-ball players from Europe and Asia who will be battling to prove which team is the best.

Ralf Souquet, ranked world No1 is leading a contingent of four European members - Darren Appleton and Imran Majid from Great Britain, Ruslan Chinahov from Russia, Nick Van Den Berg from Holand against the likes of Efren "Bata" Reyes the magician, Francisco Bustamante, Ko Pin-Yi and Lu Hui Chan both from Chinese Taipei and Brunei own Teo Chee Soon of Team Asia.

Dato Paduka Haji Jemat bin Hj Ampal, the co-chairman of the organising committee and President of Brunei Cue Sports Association (BCSA) in his welcoming remark said, "We are honoured and very proud to organise the first ever world class 9-ball continental team event where five world top ranking professional players from Europe and five top ranking players have been invited to represent each region in the Asia VS Europe 9-ball team challenge 2010."

He expressed, "It is hoped that the tournament will give the opportunity for the people of Brunei Darussalam especially young pool players and enthusiasts to see the great players in action and be inspired by them.

"Besides fostering closer friendship, the tournament between Asian and European players is also aimed at upgrading the level of professionalism in Cue Sports in the country. The involvement of our local referees, technical staff and volunteers in the tournament will certainly be of great benefit and a valuable experience," he added.

Dato Paduka Haji Jemat also highlighted "It is hoped that Brunei's only player in the prestigious tournament will gain some game experience from other professional players. It is also hoped that tournament such as this would further attract more of our youths to participate in Cue Sports, not only for recreational purposes but also to be competitive."

After the speech, His Royal Highness Prince Abdul Malik officiated the championship with a break shot, followed by the introduction to the participating players and receiving a pesambah from Pehin Kapitan Lela Diraja Dato Paduka Awang Goh King Chin.

Following a short break, His Royal Highness Prince Abdul Malik also witnessed the first match up of the championship between Team Asia represented by Ko Pin-Yi and Lu Hui Chan who faced Ruslan Chinahov and Nick Van Den Berg of Team Europe. Team Asia won easily with a score line of 5-1. - Borneo Bulletin (16th January 2010)