Sixteen-time world champion Pankaj Advani won his seventh Asian title by defeating Sourav Kothari 6-3 in an entertaining final of the Asian Billiards Championship, here on Friday. The first session saw Kothari run away with a 3-1 lead before the interval. Advani, taking full advantage of the break, regrouped and came out all guns blazing to win the next frames on the trot to win his sixth Asian Billiards and seventh overall Asian championship.
The other title being 6-red snooker which he won last year. The ace cueist left the spectators here awestruck with the sterling comeback he produced when it mattered most. Advani had gotten the better of Kothari in the group stages with a 4-0 scoreline. However, the final was a different contest. Advani was left looking for answers to Kothari’s form in the first four frames. Kothari made breaks of 68, 100 and 99 to lead by two frames yo in session one.
Advani changed gears after the half hour intermission and came back to the table on a mission. He opened the proceedings with breaks of 92, 102 and 81, not letting his opponent score a single point.After the 4-3 lead, Advani gave Kothari a chance to make a comeback but after being away from the table for over 25 minutes, he could only muster up a thirty break to only bring Advani back to end the frame and be one away from the title.
After the win, Advani said: ” I’m on seventh heaven since it’s my seventh Asian
championship. This is a comeback title for me. I’ve come back to win this after five years and in the final I came back from 1-3 to win the next five frames on the trot to clinch the title.”Advani now returns home to Bangalore for four days to switch to snooker before taking off for Doha to compete in the Asian Snooker Championship
which begins on the April 22.