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MBABANE – Rookies in the Dixie’s International Pool League, Malkerns’ youngster Bandzile ‘Suarez’ Gama (14) can face the devil right in the eye and deal with it.

The youngster proved a little too much for his senior and renowned decorated rivals in the regional play-offs under the Manzini Regional Pool Association (MRPA). The play-offs are for the national teams, both ladies and men to represent the country in the World Blackball Championships 2022 Morocco (World Cup) in October. While the country does have the two national teams in place with coaches and players who went to the All Africa Blackball Championships Zambia 2022 in April, the Eswatini Cue Sports Association (ECSA) wants to ensure it sends out the best teams to the World Cup, hence the play-offs. The play-offs are to be played in all three affiliate regions before they get to the national stage whereby those who qualified from the preliminaries in their respective regions will be joined by the current national team players who will be seeded against them.

Meanwhile, the young Suarez shocked all and sundry during the MRPA play-offs over the weekend which were played in two venues being Correctional Services Pool Room in Matsapha and Mu&Lee Pool Room in Malkerns. He was one of the 22 players from the region to be drawn in the four groups and he was up against decorated stars in Group A. “He destroyed people in the play-offs. Bandzile won all group games against stars like Manzini’s Eddie Mkhonta, Way Inn’s Sandile ‘Ngula’ Gama and REPS’ Xolani Mbingo to qualify for the national play-offs,” confirmed MRPA Secretary Musa Dlamini.

Dlamini said it was big results for the youngster, who had been showing his potential with Malkerns in the recently-ended Dixie’s International E40 000 Pool League, as they scarred some big teams including Way Inn, last season. In his group, he qualified as number one, while Xolani Mbingo was runner-up and only the top two players in each of the four groups made it through to the next stage. Also among the big and expected names are Correctional Services’ Flag Nxumalo, Nathi ‘Bhubesi’ Sihlongonyane and Nathi Hleta.

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