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Biljart Express, champions party with own fans and sponsors


Published by frits bakker

© Tony de Voght
The championsteam with Eddy Merckx, Guy van Litsenborg, Martin Sp;oormans, Frans van Kuyk and Dave Christiani

TURNHOUT - The billiard hall at Biljart Express in Turnhout's Prinsenstraat faced a full house for the champions party. Before the last home match, Monday night, the champions received well-deserved tributes. The fourth title in total for the team had already been won in the previous match, but fans, sponsors and other guests were able to reminisce this evening at Biljart Express' home venue. The 6-2 win over De Leug brought the total to 37 points, collected in 22 games with a total average 1.374. The competition from Herstalien, Mister 100, the outgoing champion, Op de Meir and De Leug was put at a comfortable disadvantage.

Guy van Litsenborg, the team boss, made a satisfied and happy impression. He spoke about a wonderful season, in which the five regular team players, Eddy Merckx, Frans van Kuyk, Dave Christiani, Martin Spoormans and Guy van Litsenborg were always at the top of the rankings and were the heralded champions well before the league final day. ''It was a wonderful party, this Monday night, a party we deserved,'' Guy Van Litsenborg assured afterwards. ''This was a night as the fans and sponsors expect from us.''

The team boss pointed out how close-knit and qualitatively stable the Biljart Express team has been all year. ’’I guess Frans van Kuyk deserves a special compliment. He is playing with us for the 24th year, which is a rarity in billiards.'' But there was also plenty of praise on this glittering championship night for Eddy Merckx, the world-class leader, Dave Christiani, the newcomer, Martin Spoormans and Guy van Litsenborg, pub owner, team captain, player and a driving force.

Martin Spoormans, aged 2 June 1950 and at 73 the veteran in the top division, has even had an unimaginably strong season. A fortnight ago, he lost his only match in the second round by 1 carom difference. For his Dutch team, Spoormans did not lose a single match in the second round, in the Bundesliga he lost only 1 match.

Biljart Express took the match points on this last Monday evening against De Leug 6-2 with Frans van Kuyk as the absolute standout. The Dutchman beat his compatriot, Therese Klompenhouwer, 40-15 in 16 innings and a best run of 12. Eddy Merckx won his match against Davy van Havere 40-28 in 28, Dave Christiani beat Andy de Bondt 40-36 in 28 and only Guy van Litsenborg lost to Mik Durwael 40-27 in 29. He had a good excuse for it: ''The sponsors wanted me to play on an evening like this, but I am first and foremost a host and cannot concentrate on two fronts.''

The final decisions are this week. The standings with 1 game left to play for most teams:

  1. Biljart Express 22-37
  2. Herstalien 21-31
  3. Mister 100 Lier 21-27
  4. Op de Meir 21-27
  5. DC De Leug 22-26
  6. Brugge 21-19
  7. Kortrijk 21-18
  8. T's Place 21-18
  9. De Witte Molen 21-14
  10. De Ploeg 21-14
  11. DC De Leug 2 21-13
  12. Promotion Team 21-10