The BPL is back again after the festive break and there will be action across all the national divisions. It will be crunch time with some players having only about three or so games to go; relegation, promotion, winning it will be some of the common terms doing the rounds in the next few weeks and the calculators will be out to accurately do the permutations. Starting with the Premier Division, the lineup is a very exciting one with action that includes every athlete in the league, everyone will have to wipe the festive paraphernalia off their cues and get their mojo on.

Relegation bound Aden Joseph will be hosting the reigning BPL Showdown Champion in  Bloemfontein on Saturday, ironically Aden was the runner up in that event at the Randshow last Easter but it sounds like a lifetime ago before his BPL problems got complicated to catastrophic proportions. The Predator finds himself deep in the mud and desperately needing every match and perhaps with bonus points just to make it to 8th place and try out the lottery of the playoffs just to stay in the top flight tier. These are very hard times indeed for the current SA triple Champion who recently passed his Matric and now qualifies for a Bachelor’s degree and perhaps juggling between school and pool was not the easiest of chores for the 18 year old. Will Aden take the ball and just run wildly with it or will Charl kick a man when he is down and virtually on his way out? Honestly the pain might be too much to bear for young Joseph and The Assassin should typically take the boy out of his misery and see him out but this is 2016, a new year alive with possibilities and maybe miracles too. Charl will not be extending any mercy as he needs every point himself if he is to become the first player to win the coveted title twice otherwise we might have a new winner altogether with Kyle Akaloo leading the chasing pack as hot favorite to topple the apple cart. Both Ace and Paul from Cape Town are not too far either and they will be going into their matches this weekend knowing very well that they need maximum points against the GP pair of Sibongiseni Gumede and Vishen Jagdev.

The matches in Cape Town will definitely shuffle the middle of the pack a bit, Chilies and The Dish are not that far off from relegation and they have to win at least one match to steer clear but Cape Town can be very hostile especially with the hosts eyeing top honors. This weekend’s matches will be some of the best seeing that all the players would have horned their skills to detail with the Carnival City bug having bitten most of them and the fever taking its toll on many a player. If you are not ready for the Nationals a fortnight before time then you will not by any means make your presence felt at the event. The BPL matches will be a good litmus test of the players’ acidity and alkalinity levels ala mid-year mock exams in high school.

Sandile Madlala will be bringing some Chinese flavor to his matches this weekend after his stint at the International event in the Asian country at the beginning of the year. Legacy and his GP number 1 seed partner will be exchanging blows with Yulan and Kyle at Ballbreakers and Dejavous respectively. Legacy who is originally from the KZN will have more than just a match to play against his home boys, losing to both of them twice is unthinkable and it would leave a permanent dent on Madlala’s shining armor which was exposed in the first round in the East coast. Losing both matches will cement Legacy’s worst season ever, and not only would he be relegated but a whole hoard of Sandile fans would be disappointed. He is the most popular player in the country, perhaps the most exciting to watch but arguably the most controversial athlete too. Can you imagine the BPL Premier Division without Sandile? Well after this weekend he will have only two more matches to decide whether he stays or goes. Nsovo on the other hand has been playing some sublime pool lately and it will be exciting to see which former U23 Champ will emerge victorious on Saturday in Mondeor. Kyle has been very unpredictable and his stealth has surprised many of his opponents this season but the Viper has been accused of underperforming in the absence of Jane and this theory will be put to the test once more this weekend against GP’s finest. All the Premier Division matches will be at 3pm both on Saturday and on Sunday, make your way to the venues and support your favorite athletes.

The First Division will have only one match in Cape Town at 1pm this Saturday, 8th placed Deon Daniels will be taking on 5th placed Leenash Padayachee and the odds are pretty much even with only four points separating these two. Gums will be out to seek revenge after he was humbled at Stables in PE by the quiet Mr. Padayachee. Recently married Leenash should still have enough inspiration from the honeymoon to see off volatile Deon away from home. The apple of his eye may not be present in the match but he definitely would want to have a good story to tell her when he gets home.

Keenan will be at Stables in PE not to celebrate passing matric too but to go head to head with Pieter ‘Die Hard’ Rademeyer who hasn’t really lived up to expectations. Perhaps the youngsters are a bit fast-paced for him to keep up. In 6th place with 49 points and four matches to go, uncle Piet can still claw his way up to a top four finish and Keenan will have to keep the back door shut if he aims to thwart the senior. Riaesh Pillay and Kevin Seseane will be hosting Zaid Kara and Mabuti Mbotyeni at Time Out in Johannesburg and Louws Billiards in Bloemfontein respectively. Mabuti will seek to use these matches to get back to the top of the log and unfortunately for Kevin and Riaesh, the storm is on its way and they should just buckle up, a double win will get Mbotyeni to second spot unless he bags double bonus points in both matches. Starting with Riaesh, Zaid needs to improve his position on the log with only six matches remaining for him and any slip up will result in frustration and one foot in the red relegation zone, home to Zander, Kevin and Riaesh.


Arnold 6