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Hizon & Semira, Corporal & Russel top classified Doubles Event --- Flores & Domanais battle for the Open Singles Event of the 1st UFDC Invitational Tournament in Abu Dhabi
With reports from Mid-East NDFP Coordinator Ronnel B. Botor

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Open Singles Champion
Open Singles 2nd Place
Multi-title holder and Hongkong Open Champion (2005 & 2007) Joel Hizon and partner Rene Semira topped the recently concluded 1st UFDC Invitational Dart Tournament held last 21 March at Club Safari, Howard Johnson Diplomat Hotel in Abu Dhabi, beating the strong tandem of Jolo Corporal and Lee Russell in the 501 best of 3 finals.

Veterans Eric Flores of Dubai and Joseph Domanais of Abu Dhabi, battled for supremacy in the championship round of the Open Singles event in a 501 best-of-5 classic match with Flores emerging as the winner via a spectacular deciding round.

The Classified Doubles event was an epic duel between powerhouse Hizon and partner Semira, who had the ‘twice to beat advantage’ against the underrated but ‘top caliber’ UFDC player, Corporal and teammate, Lee Russell. Both teams traded a barrage of numerous tons and T40s during the championship round. Corporal unleashed his fourth T80 in the first game making him the second player to score four (4) T80s together with Hizon. In spite of this, Hizon took the first game with a breath-taking 114-finish. Game 2 was another stunner as both teams were consistently throwing superb darts in every turn. During the end game, Hizon set up a double 8 marker for Semira who failed to hit the outing and left his partner with 4 to finish, while the other team was still lagging behind with a 170 score. Corporal, undaunted and in his winning form, hit a score of 134 leaving a 36-marker for his partner to finish. Unfortunately, Hizon, who rarely misses an outing, failed to hit the winning shot for the match. With the pressure cooker boiling even hotter and as the crowd went uncontrollably wilder, the cool and sharpshooter-looking Lee Russell, a sensational British first-timer, hit the winning shot to clinch for a deciding round. In the third and final round, Hizon finally hit a double top to win the match after several sorry misses from Corporal and partner on double 16. Landing on 3rd place was the pair of past UFDC President and NDFP Mid-East Coordinator Ronnel Botor and new-comer, Ruel Aguilar of Club 49ers.

The Open Singles event was probably one of the best matches recorded in the history of UFDC in the UAE. It was one of the classic dart matches comparable with those being played in world competitions in the UK and Europe. Both protagonists had an average of 12 to 15 darts during the entire best-of-5 match. Joseph Domanais finished the third game with 12 darts throwing a tonner, two (2) successive T80s and finished 41 on double 8. He came from behind with a 0-2 win-loss standing and made it even at 2-2 after taking games 3 and 4. However, seasoned player Eric Flores retained his composure and showed the crowd that he was in his best form. He consistently flooded the score board with his array of T40s and tonners. At the end game, Domanais missed a crucial finish twice in a row leaving Flores with 120 to finish. A hit on treble 20, a single 20 and a double top made the silent crowd roared at the top of their lungs. Game shot! Flores defeated Domanais in a ‘cardiac’ match and the rest is history. Corporal settled for the third slot after falling prey to Domanais in their single knock-out semi-final match earlier.

The individual special awards for both High Scores and High Finishes were another attraction to reckon with. Both Hizon and Corporal tied for the High Finish Award producing 4 x T80 apiece. In the High Finish category, Open Singles finalists Domanais and rival Flores vied for the award with each one finishing a 120. After the play-off, Corporal and Flores emerged as the winners, respectively.

Open Singles 3rd Place Classified Doubles Champion
Classified Doubles 2nd Place Classified Doubles 3rd Place
Classified Doubles 4th Place Classified Doubles Joint 5th
Highlights - High Finish Highlights - High Score
The venue was jampacked with darters, enthusiasts and spectators from all over the Emirates. A total of 39 pairs played for the Classified Doubles event and 75 registered participants played in the Open Singles event, setting a record high in attendance in the history of the Club. This gesture of overwhelming support of the darters from all over the Emirates and nearby regions prompted the UFDC President, Ding Arduo, to include the Open Singles event as an added attraction for all participants to enjoy. The entry fee was given for FREE to all darters who registered in the Classified Doubles event plus an additional AED 1,500 (approximately Php 17,000) pot money separate from the guaranteed AED 5,000.

The tournament was organized by United Filipino Darts Club (UFDC) of Abu Dhabi with the support of National Dart Federation Philippines (NDFP) in cooperation with Hertz Rent-A-Car, Abdulrahman Al Bahar (Caterpillar) and Ritmo Furniture Trading as the main sponsors. Mr. Jess Valdez, the ever-reliable Tournament Director and UFDC Adviser together with Mike Banta, was able to perfectly take full control of the entire tournament from the first match up to the last one. Official tournament photographers and in-charge of video coverage were Rey Kerr of UFDC Dart Team and Mhyreen Corporal of G-Force.

“Well-organized, well-prepared, well-attended and generally successful.” This has been the unanimous feedback from almost all of the participants, guests and spectators who witnessed the event.

The complete tournament results are as follows:

  Classified Doubles Event
Champion Joel Hizon (Al Quahaidy / Abu Dhabi)
  Rene Semira (Janco Team / Abu Dhabi)
2nd Place Jolo Corporal (UFDC / Abu Dhabi)
  Lee Russell (United Kingdom)
3rd Place Ronnel Botor (UFDC / Abu Dhabi)
  Ruel Aguilar (Club 49ers / Abu Dhabi)
4th Place Marvin Lacson (Dubai)
  Tarek Malas (Scorpio Team / Abu Dhabi)
Joint 5th Place Joseph Domanais (Al Quhaidy / Abu Dhabi)
  Oca Desalisa (Dubai)
  Eric Flores (Team Emirates / Dubai)
  Edgar Masculino (Club 49ers / Abu Dhabi)
  Open Singles Event
Champion Eric Flores (Team Emirates / Dubai)
2nd Place Joseph Domanais (Al Quhaidy / Abu Dhabi)
3rd Place Jolo Corporal (UFDC / Abu Dhabi)
  Highlights of the Games:
High Score Jolo Corporal (4 x T80s)
High Finish Eric Flores (120)
Updated April 08, 2008

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