Fully supported by the capacity crowd, it was actually Nasution who took control of the match first, capitalizing on a missed bank shot on the green 6ball from Mazon to score first blood. In the 3rd rack, a noticeably sharper and calmer Nasution further stepped up his game to notch four unanswered racks to own an overwhelming advantage, 5 – 1.
With such a lopsided score and home-court advantage against him, nobody thought Mazon stood a chance. But a proven performer under pressure, the Filipino began to heat things up with some supreme safety shots and rail escapes to have his opponent second guessing his shots.
It was at this stage of the match that inexperience came into play. Never having the chance to experience the intense playing conditions of international competition, Nasution’s successful aggressive offensive play early on was replaced by weak safety shots and pot attempts. In contrast, Mazon who has participated in tournaments overseas had a better time handling the pressure and continued relentlessly to chip away at his rival’s lead. With Nasution unraveled, Mazon was able to string an amazing 8 rack romp to overtake and ultimately win the championship and pocket the USD40,000.00 top prize. For his admirable efforts Nasution gets US$10,000.00
“I could not have hoped for a better result. For sure, it was a difficult uphill battle but I was able to regain my composure in the middle stages of the match. From there, I was on a roll and it was then that I knew I had a chance. So I just kept on pushing until the very end. After this extremely grueling competition, I plan on going home, probably relax for a month or two before going overseas again to compete in the 2010 US Open championship.” Said Mazon.
The two relatively unknown combatants actually surprised everyone with their incredible play all throughout the four day tournament organized by ESPN STAR Sports. The Filipino defeated a number of pool heavyweights such as England’s Darren Appleton, 8 – 6 in the semifinals and Japan’s top-seed Naoyuki Oi, 8 – 6 in the quarters to barge into the final round.
Not to be outdone, Nasution, also took down a number of top cue masters on his road to the finals with victories versus 2004 WPA World 9ball Champion Alex Pagulayan, 8 – 4, former double world Champion Ronato Alcano, 8 – 5, and 2007 Guinness 9ball Tour Grand Champion Chang-Jung Lin to book his finals encounter with the Filipino.
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