The official number was 35. That's how many players were destined to arrive at the Casino Del Sol Resort in Tucson, Arizona for the 2015 USBA 3-Cushion National Championship. The field included 2016 winner Hugo Patino and five former champions: Pedro Piedrabuena, Mazin Shooni, Miguel Torres, Jae Hyung Cho and Frank Torres.
Pictured Above (L to R): Craig Powers, Jae Hyung Cho, Pedro Piedrabuena, Mazin Shooni, Miguel Torres, Hugo Patino, Anthony Ferrara, Camilo Medina, Frank Torres, Tung Nguyen, Joe DeAmato and Robert Spicknall.
For the first time Canada-based Compusport provided the online tournament management software which assisted in seeding, shuffling and scheduling the round robin flights for both the preliminaries and the finals. One of the many benefits of the Compusport system is the permanent housing of results and statistics for the event. The official charts can be viewed anytime by clicking here: 2017 USBA National Championship Results.
The tournament format was four flights of round robin play to 25 points in the preliminaries with the top three from each flight advancing. The finals would be one twelve-man round robin flight to determine the champion. Andy Janquitto served as Tournament Director.
In the preliminary rounds there were several surprises which led to uncertainty and excitement. Here is a recap of the highlights.
Flight 1 (8 players): Jae Cho goes undefeated averaging 1.101 to lead. Joe DeAmato lost only one game to Cho to finish second in the group. Doug Deitel upset Camilo Medina in the first round but Medina made the third spot by suffering only two other losses to Joe and Jae. Cho, DeAmato and Medina advance.
Fight 2 (9 players): Trickshot artist Mike Massey played a strong event but was knocked out of contention when Robert Spicknall in a great effort upset Hugo Patino. That was Patino's second loss (even while holding a 1.075 average), having also fallen to undefeated round leader Tung Nguyen. Nguyen, Spicknall and Patino advance.
Flight 3 (9 players): Frank Torres and Miguel Torres each go 7-1. Frank scored more billiards while Miguel averaged the better 1.102. Craig Powers goes 6-2 for the third spot. Carlos Ramos posts the high run for the prelim rounds... a sparkling 12, though he did not qualify to move on. F. Torres, M. Torres and Powers advance.
Flight 4 (9 players): One player did not show and forfeited all games. Pedro Piedrabuena went undefeated averaging 1.411 (best in the prelims.) Mazin Shooni averaging 1.018 was second at 7-1. Tony Ferrara was third at 6-2. Piedrabuena, Shooni and Ferrara advance.
The 12-man roound robin final rounds run from June 9-11.
Once again POVPool was on hand to provide livestream and commentary for the entire tournament. Replays of selected matches can be viewed on Youtube by clicking here: 2017 USBA National Championship Videos.