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Carom Billiard - 3-Cushion - Belgian National Championship Round 14 (BEL)

They are tough guys, in the Ceulemans team

Posted by on January 31, 2018

They are tough guys, in the Ceulemans team

© Peter Ceulemans
The Ceulemans winners with Bart, Raymond, Kurt and Peter

TURNHOUT/SINT NIKLAAS - The youngest of the Ceulemans team, still called 'little one' by his family, showed his infectious laughter and said: ,,We secretly dream of going into Europe with this Mister 100 team.'' Bart Ceulemans was one of the winners, this Tuesday-evening, in the Mister 100 team that won 5-3 in the crowded billiard hall in Biljart Expres and is back in the top three of the ranking. The fourteenth playing round was the most bizarre to date: the three leaders (BC Deurne, De Goeie Queue and Biljart Express) all lost, giving the top of the ranking more tension for the final part.

Mister 100 was the big winner of the evening in the billiards arena where Guy van Litsenborg had invited all his friends and the mayor. The ambiance in Biljart Expres was unique for a billiard evening in the Belgian competition. The glasses with bubbles, trays full of garnish and other sweets, were abundant, Mister 100 himself was in the spotlight; a professional photographer, with gray ponytail, later also cleaned the balls on the billiards and in the hall of the official reception, Angèle, the wife of the eternal champion, gave out the most lovely reception kisses.

,,These are tough guys, the Ceulemanses'', was one of the reactions later this evening, posted by the Belgian billiard player, who was given the nickname 'Goldfish of the Nile' during a World Cup in Luxor. And indeed: the Mister 100 team was the star team on the gala evening with a hard-foughtbut very deserved victory over a brave competitor. Bart Ceulemans won in the early session against Guy van Litsenborg, with Kurt Ceulemans the only room owner who plays in the highest league and apparently with his head more with his audience than focused on the billiard table this evening. And because Martin Spoormans, thirteen years younger than his opponent, won the match against Raymond, the score was in balance at the break (2-2). Spoormans, always good for a striking comment afterwards: ,,I left 'the Ceu' 21 brossen (zeroes), so my defence playing was very strong.''

The Kozoom-express, on this wonderful evening of Belgian competition, quickly jumped into the car at the break, to visit another arena. De Witte Molen in Sint Niklaas, where BC Deurne, the leader in the competition, played the away match. A walk-over, at first sight, but that turned out in a mistake. When Ludo Dielis, the team boss, left during the break, Deurne was 4-0 down. Glenn Hoffman and Jef Philipoom were on a mission in the second part, but Dirk Weeremans was the killjoy at one table.

What was the difference in ambiance? Where the Biljart Expres was a vibrant decor, until the late hours, De Witte Molen didn't invite to stay there for long. Ten spectators, eight billiard players, two referees... ,,And it's cold here and the billiards are very tough'', sounded from the corner of the leader. The young Frenchman Pierre Soumagne, home player in Sint Niklaas and best winner against Jean van Erp 42-27 in 28, responded: ,,It's good for me that they all complain, I play well here and I win almost all my games.''

The classic games specialist, who lives in Soissons (three and a half hours drive to here, two and a half hours back), rarely shows up in other tournaments these years. ,,I don't play Grand Prix tournaments anymore in France, because they are not interesting. Jérémy Bury doesn't play them either. And in World Cups, almost no French play anymore, because the federation stopped paying our travel costs.''

The second part in De Witte Molen turns out in a painful loss for the leader. Jef Philipoom beats Francis Forton, but on the other table, an unexpected match takes place. Glenn Hoffman, who is the big favorite to win, goes up to 16-16 with Dirk Weeremans. The Belgian said before the game: ,,I have no chance to win, I can hardly win on the first spot.'' But look what happens at the end of the match: Weeremans attacks with seven and eight, is two points from the finish and then makes 50-35 in 33. With 27 points for Weeremans in his last five innings.

The messages at that moment from Biljart Express: Peter Ceulemans is 19-2 down against Frans van Kuyk, but comes back to 32-26 in 19. Kurt Ceulemans is leading 29-15 at the other table against Gerwin Valentijn. In the next phase, Valentine is on his best and comes up to 40-37. Peter Ceulemans is back at 36-35 in 27 innings.

Kurt Ceulemans starts the final sprint against Gerwin Valentijn with a run of 7 and comes 49-42. The end of the game is breathtaking: Valentijn shows his high class and finishes with 8. Kurt goes to the equalizer and makes one point for 50-50 in 34. Peter Ceulemans misses the winning carom at 49-39, a few minutes later. Van Kuyk comes back to 49-43, Peter finishes and Frans misses at 50-45. The verdict is pronounced: 5-3 for Mister 100.

In the Quality Zele, this evening, the final of a wonderful era is announced. Dirk Vlerick, from the famous Frituur Dampoort in Ghent, stops as the main sponsor of the team after twenty years. That almost certainly means the end of Quality Zele, that belongs to the top teams in the Belgian league with Eddy Merckx, Peter DeBacker and Jeffrey Jorissen. Dirk Vlerick, who is forced himself to play in fourth place, stops with pain in his heart.

,,I've done it for twenty years with lots of fun and success, but the fire is a bit off. I have no feeling for the team anymore and it's time to stop. We made a great team of Quality Zele, that gives me great satisfaction. And it is regrettable for Eddy Merckx, a fantastic team player, a world-class player without starlike airs. But he will find another team, just like Peter DeBacker and Jeffrey Jorissen. We finish the competition neatly, then it's over.''

Eddy Merckx led his team to a 6-2 victory last night by a win over Leslie Menheer 50-11 in 18.

Royal Kortrijk won the home game against De Goeie Queue on Monday-evening 6-2. Caudron was the only winner for De Goeie Queue against Christiani 50-44 in 38. Ronny Brants was best man of the evening with a win over Jean Paul de Bruijn: 50-35 in 23.

Zanzibar triumphed in the home match against Op de Meir 6-2. Roland Forthomme defeated Eddy Leppens: 50-48 in 28. Kenny Miatton beat Barry van Beers: 50-33. At BC Herentals against Mister 100 2, Martin Horn was the best man with a victory over Marco Janssen: 50-33 in 18. Martin: ,,I started with 4 and 16, so 20 points in 2. Marco played so well then came up to 39-30 in 13. Then I finished with 8.''

The top ranked teams after 14 rounds:

1 BC Deurne 22 punten
2 De Goeie Queue 18
3 Mister 100 Lier 18
4 Biljart Express 17
5 Quality Zele 15
6 Kortrijkse 15
7 Herentals 15
7 De Witte Molen 15.


Eddy Merckx, looking for another team: Quality Zele nog longer in first league

Dirk Weeremans surprised with a wonderful final against Glenn Hofman: De Witte Molen beats the leader BC Deurne


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