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Carom Billiard - 3-Cushion - Bert's column (NED)

Last inning heroics

Posted by on June 13, 2016

Last inning heroics

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If you must name half a dozen high run specialists in our game, there's a good chance you will put Tayfun Tasdemir on the list. I would. His 3-cushion relies heavily on position play, and it's a joy to watch him, delicately and cleverly maneuvering  the second ball to give himself options on the next shot. So often, it enables him to run an eight, where you and I would have been happy with a three.

Earlier this year, Torbjörn was telling me about a few days he had spent in Turkey, playing a tournament in TT's club. "We played to 100 points, which is a great format if you want to see high runs. If Tayfun has a position, he's not going to make just two or three. He runs another eleven. Another thirteen. He is relentless."

There's no need to add that Tayfun will comment with equal respect on the game of the Swede, who has opened so many doors for the rest of the world. TB, by the way, won that Istanbul invitational tournament!  

Last week in the Europa team Cup final in Porto, Tasdemir again demonstrated his ability to score big. He played Palazon, trailed 22-28 after 14 innings, and ended the match with a run of 18! Watch it on Kozoom, it's in the archive. Would you agree with me that the last point was a fluke?  

Thinking about "last inning runs", I came up with three categories. As you can see from the numbers, the first is the hardest one: the successful equalizing run. Nelin's recent 15 is the best I know of. Maybe someone has equalized with 16 or even more, and it has escaped my attention? I wish I could claim my lists are complete, but I can't.  

 

EQ run - complete

 

The runs go up quite a bit, if you look at ALL scoring in the equalizing inning. Heartbreaking pieces of history were made by Caudron and Philipoom, who both ran 18 when they needed 19. And how will John Tijssens have felt? You beat a guy 50-26, you sit down happy, not a worry in the world, and fifteen minutes later you hear the referee say: "Playing for three..." 

 

Eq run - incomplete

 

Third category is "winning run", and that's where we find another recent piece of extravaganza. It was in the Ho Chi Minh World Cup, where that great natural talent Nikos Polychronopoulos exploded with a run of 22, in his quarterfinal against Daniel Sanchez. The Spaniard had a 26-18 lead after 10 innings, but Nikos simply refused to miss and ran out. Daniel added 4 in the equalizer, had not played a bad shot all match, but lost: 40-30 in 11. This one too can be found in the Kozoom video archive, and I warmly recommend it. 

 

winning run

 

The most shocking final inning run in 3-cushion history was "only" a 15. But the story will be told forever, because it was made in the semifinal of a UMB World Championship. In 1986 in Las Vegas, Raymond Ceulemans was on a 1.807 average for the tournament (very high even for him) when he met Avelino Rico. The Spaniard had gotten through his group matches with 0.937. It looked like a walk in the park for the Belgian, but from 48-35, Rico ran 15 and out (34 innings and no equalizer for RC). He left both the Belgian godfather and the billiard world stunned.  

Lightning never strikes twice? Rico would be an easy prey for Blomdahl in the final? No. The underdog beat TB 50-46 in 43, and he was the 1986 world champion. 

Speaking of Ceulemans: isn't it amazing that he is on this list twice, once with a run made in 1966 and once with a run made in 2014?  

I can't possibly write about "last inning heroics" without telling this old anecdote:

Early nineties, a player in my club who was worth about 0.350 went up against a guy with the same handicap, they both played to 17 points. There was a lot of defense, there were miscues, there was cursing, looking at the ceiling, putting on another shaft, and maybe there was praying too, I don't know. It was awful. Two and a half grueling hours, four different referees and 77 innings into it, the visiting player made his last point, and the Universe sighed with relief. My club mate had lost 17-9, averaging 0.116. But he did have the equalizing inning. And ran eight.  

If ever you come across a pundit who claims to understand this game of ours, tell him that story.  

 

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My Comments

John Adair
John Adair
"Last Inning Heroics" Story Telling
Great stuff. Loved the anecdote (my high-run is eight; but it wasn't a last inning heroic)! Thanks for a memorable article.

Message 1/1 - Publish at June 14, 2016 1:57 PM

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