PLAYING competitive snooker after a lapse of a year, Deepak Jai Ram showed he still has the touches that made him Fiji's number one in 2009.
With accurate aims and prefect strikes, Ram of Nausori Club ousted Fiji Snooker Open defending champion, Viliame Umu by three straight sets in the pre-quarters clash at the Merchants Club in Suva yesterday.
Umu, who didn't seem to have enough sleep following his night-shift work, was unable to fight back and succumbed to the stunning performance from Ram.
The Bilolevu club member was the top seed and finished on top in Pool One with Ram finishing second in Pool Eight.
"I just played my game and happy to have come out victor," Ram said.
"I look forward to the competition tomorrow (today) and expect tough challenges in the quarters."
The annual Fiji Snooker Open will start with the quarters today.
The top eight wasn't finalised as the remaining pre-quarters matches were still in progress when this edition went to press last night.
Billiards and Snooker Association of Fiji secretary Doctor Praveen Maharaj was happy with the competition level in the pool play.
He said it would intensify as the tournament enters the final stages today.
Umu, Yogen Prasad (Suva), Pranil Singh (Nausori), Suman Lal (Suva), Mahendra Deo (Suva), Navnil Maharaj (Lautoka), Pritesh Khatri (Nausori) and Jitendra Prasad (Nausori) finished on top of their respective pools following the early rounds of competition yesterday.
The tournament, which ends today, is sponsored by Fiji Bitter and supported by Coolman Refrigeration and Blue Gas.