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Aly And Kung Advance With Narrow Quarterfinal Wins
filed on Saturday, May 26, 2012.   19:08 PT/USA

Reigning champion Ahmed Aly Elsayed and former champion Jack Kung have booked their semifinal berths in the 2012 United States National Snooker Championship, by securing narrow quarterfinal 3-2 victories at the Embassy Billiards Club in San Gabriel, California.

Aly, who is going for an unprecedented fourth successive title, faced a strong test in Arizona's Romil Azemat in what was a repeat of the quarterfinal two years ago also at the Embassy Billiards Club.

The former runner-up Azemat snatched the first frame on the final colored balls, but Aly squared the match by securing frame two.

Azemat dominated the third frame as he took it to take a 2-1 advantage, and it all looked now to be going his way and that he would be likely to win at least one of the two remaining frames.

The live stream coverage then turned its attention to the final moments of the fourth frame of this intriguing tie, as Aly was facing defeat but all credit must go to the New York City player as he snatched the frame on the final pink to take this quarterfinal into a deciding frame.

Aly managed to forge the early chances and made some useful contributions, but Azemat got his opportunities but just could not capitalize on them as his performance dipped because of the pressure.

Azemat was presented with one final chance to get himself back into the frame, but after missing a blue that he required to stay in the frame, he offered his hand to Aly in concession to repeat the same scoreline in their previous quarterfinal.

Kung appeared to be cruising against Ernst Bezemer in their quarterfinal as he took a swift 2-0 advantage, but the Texan would not lie down and he fought back in tremendous fashion to level the match.

The momentum had switched to Bezemer, who was hoping to secure his place in a Championship semifinal for the first time after two previous quarterfinals appearances, but he just could not get into the final frame and Kung easily sealed it with the assistance of a break of 31.

Former champion Ajeya Prabhakar played his fellow California Bay Area resident Jeff Szafransky on the live streamed video, but it turned out to be a very one-sided affair as Prabhakar comfortably took a 2-0 lead and then proceeded to wrap up the match in the third frame with the help of a run of 43.

Sargon Isaac has been very impressive on the way to the quarterfinals as he was the only player to reach this stage without dropping a single frame, and he continued with that record after securing a very decisive 3-0 win over Kwan Wai Kon and will now take on Kung in the semifinals which will be the live streaming match to commence tomorrow at 12:00pm PDT / 3:00pm EDT in the United States (7:00pm GMT / 8:00pm UK).

Live stream link

The complete Quarterfinals draw is as follows:

Quarterfinals
(Best-of-5-frames)
Match ID Player   Player
QF1 Jack Kung (California) 3 - 2 Ernst Bezemer (Texas)
QF2 Kwan Wai Kon (California) 0 - 3 Sargon Isaac (California)
QF3 Ajeya Prabhakar (California) 3 - 0 Jeff Szafransky (California)
QF4 Ahmed Aly Elsayed (New York) 3 - 2 Romil Azemat (Arizona)

The complete Semifinals draw is as follows:

Semifinals
(Best-of-7-frames)
Match ID Player   Player
SF1 Jack Kung (California) vs. Sargon Isaac (California)
SF2 Ahmed Aly Elsayed (New York) vs. Ajeya Prabhakar (California)

The winner and the runner-up from the Championship will gain automatic selection to represent the United States in this year's IBSF World Snooker Championship, which is to be held in Sharm El Sheik, Egypt, from November 4-16.

Sponsors of the Championship include Tweeten Fibre Inc., manufacturers of some of the best known cue tips and chalk brands in snooker, and Saluc, manufacturer of Aramith Tournament Champion Snooker Balls, who have been a long-term supporter of snooker in the United States.

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