Two A+ players squared off in the finals
of the June 17-18 stop on the Predator Tour. One of
them, Mike Panzarella, was looking for his first win
on the tour since last September. The other one, Lidio
Ramirez, who, on the basis of seven appearances, entered
the event at #2 on the A+ list, was looking for his
first win on the tour since May, 2016. They'd faced
each other in a winners' side semifinal in the September
event, with Panzarella advancing to the hot seat and
eventually, the win. They came within a match of meeting
each other in a winners' side semifinal again in this
one, but Ramirez was sent to the loss side, where he
mounted a three-match, loss-side campaign that put him
into the finals. Panzarella, appearing in only his fourth
event on this year's tour, defeated Ramirez to claim
the title. The $1,000-added event drew 57 entrants to
Raxx Billiards in West Hempstead, NY.
It was Ricky Motilal who faced Ramirez in the winners'
side quarterfinals, and advanced to a winners' side
semifinal against Panzarella. Eugene Ok, in the meantime,
who entered the tournament atop the tour's B-ranked
players, advanced to meet Abel Rosario (#2 in that B
class). Ok sent Rosario to the loss side 7-4, while
Panzarella was busy surviving a double hill battle against
Motilal. Panzarella downed Ok 8-5 and sat in the hot
seat, waiting on Ramirez.
Ramirez opened his loss-side run with a 7-5 win over
Duc Lam, and followed it with a double hill win over
Raphael Dabreo, who'd won last week's (June 10-11) stop
on the tour. That set Ramirez up for a re-match versus
Motilal. Rosario drew Ray Feliciano, who'd defeated
George Floriden 7-3 and Thomas Schreiber 7-5 to reach
him. Ramirez and Feliciano advanced to the quarterfinals;
Ramirez successfully navigating his re-match over Motilal
8-6, and Feliciano eliminating Rosario 7-5.
Ramirez then downed Feliciano 9-5, and then, Ok 8-5
in the semifinals. Panzarella completed his undefeated
run with a double hill win over Ramirez in the finals.
The win moved Panzarella up a few notches from his #14
slot on the Predator Tour's A+ list, while Ramirez'
runner-up finish inched him closer to the A+ leader,
Story by Skip Maloney AZBilliards