Andoni Plays Lights Out
Tri-State Tour / Edison, NJ
by Lea Andrews
Borana Andoni, who has lately been proving herself a contender in regional women’s events, took a little time June 20 to prove she can compete against the men as well. Out of the 32 players who arrived at Sandcastle Billiards for the $500-added C-D Tri-State event in Edison, NJ, it was Andoni who came undefeated through the field to claim first.
Andoni started off her streak with wins over Jonathan Laiño, T.J. Smithers, and Burt Madaio to find herself in the final four of the winners’ side. A 6-5 win over Nicholas Chan placed her in the match for the hot seat against George Osipovitch, who’d just sent last week’s co-winner, Michael Aro, west with a score of 6-4.
On the one-loss side, some of Andoni’s earlier victims were trying to get back to her. Madaio reached the final four on the one-loss side with a 6-3 win over Kyle Bubet, while Smithers got there by edging out Paul Everton 6-5. Both men, though, seemed to run out of steam as Madaio fell to Alex Berszinn 6-4 and Smithers fell to Allen Wong 6-3. But the end of the road was near for them, as well, as Aro put Berszinn in fifth with a score of 6-5, while Chan did the same to Wong with an identical score.
Meanwhile, Andoni was waiting in the hot seat after a sound 6-3 win over Osipovitch, and of the three men left, only Aro had yet to face her, but he never got a chance as Chan put him in fourth with a score of 6-4. Chan’s only obstacle before the finals now was Osipovitch, and a comfortable 6-3 win earned him his spot.
In the handicapped format, Chan started the match with a 1-0 lead, and the two traded games to get it to 4-4. Chan made it 5-4, and if he reached 6 first, the race would extend to 8, while if Andoni reached it first, the win would be hers. Andoni won the next game to tie it at 5, and the crucial rack that followed turned out to be a safety battle. The two fiery competitors went back and forth until Andoni left Chan a tough but makeable shot on the 6 ball. Chan played it carefully to avoid a double hit but just didn’t put enough on it to get it to the pocket. Andoni saw her opportunity and ran with it, pocketing the 6 to get perfect position for the out and the win.
1st Borana Andoni $550
2nd Nicholas Chan $290
3rd George Osipovitch $160
4th Michael Aro $100
5th Alex Berszinn $50