Sunday, September 11, 2011

Both Philippine teams bow out of World Cup of Pool

Source : Match Room Pool

BOTH Philippines teams were eliminated from the 2011 World Cup of Pool on a dramatic day in Manila.

The Philippines B side of Efren Reyes and Francisco Bustamante, winners in 2006 and 2009, were first to be knocked out as they were thrashed 9-1 by the German duo of Ralf Souquet and Thorsten Hohmann.

Then in an amazing last match of the day, Ronnie Alcano and Dennis Orcollo threw away a 5-1 lead as they lost 9-8 against Chinese Taipei, with Alcano missing a crucial eight-ball in the deciding rack.

Reyes, 57, looked completely out of sorts at the SM City North EDSA mall in the Philippines capital as he made countless errors, while Bustamante, who looked more stable in the earlier stages, also started to make mistakes.

The match had been a replay of their World Cup of Pool final in 2009 when Reyes and Bustamante had come from behind at the close to steal the championship off Germany and the Europeans were delighted with their victory.

"It was very sweet revenge," said Hohmann. "Two days ago Efren had a problem with his stomach and wasn't at 100 per cent, but they knew we would come out strong and we performed well.
"We're here to go all the way and I'm now going to spend a couple of hours working on my break so hopefully I'll come back stronger on Sunday."

Despite the scoreline, the German pair, the lowest seeded team left in the competition, did not break well and Souquet, a winner of the World Pool Masters earlier in the week, admitted to being surprised at the emphatic win.

"It was very unusual as we only made a ball on the break two or three times but had to push out and Thorsten never made a ball on the break," added Souquet. "We played well and Thorsten came up with the greatest shots when I missed position but besides that we didn't do much wrong.

"Efren was not on his game but that's the way it is but we put pressure on them as we performed well in the first few games. Playing for them in front of their home crowd meant there was more pressure on them than us."

Chinese Taipei lost to a Philippines side at the semi-final stage in 2010 and also gained revenge as their team - this year represented by brothers Ko Pin-Yi and Ko Ping-Chun - silenced a packed home crowd in a sensational encounter.

The match started well for Orcollo and Alcano as they won five of the opening six racks before the siblings pulled it back to 5-5.

Ping-Chun, 15, and older brother Pin-Yi, 22, found some excellent form as they took six consecutive racks to lead 7-5 and then 8-6.

But the hosts won the next two to force a decider and the Filipino duo, whose every shot was cheered by the partisan support, looked to be heading into the semi-finals until Alcano's shock miss.

"Sitting there watching them at the end, I thought maybe we wouldn't get another chance. But sometimes fortune can smile and it did for us," said Ko Pin-yi.

The World Cup of Pool features 32 two-player teams representing 31 nations - hosts Philippines had two sides. The total prize-fund is $250,000 with $60,000 going to the winning pair and two unseeded pairings - Korea and Thailand - have reached the final four.

Korea's Hwang Jong and Lee Gun Jae, winners over eight seeds Spain and ninth seeds Japan in earlier rounds, claimed a 9-5 success over Sweden's Marcus Chamat and Thomas Mehtala.

Mehtala was regularly the guilty party as he made unforced errors and the Koreans feasted on them to open up a 6-2 lead, an advantage the Swedes could never recover from.

The two Korean players are a sharp contrast; the younger, Hwang Jong, is one of the speedier players in the competition while team-mate Lee is one of the slowest. But it seems to work, although they will need to improve if they are to beat Germany in Sunday's first semi-final.

Thailand, who had never won a World Cup match before this year, gained an excellent 9-5 win over Poland.

Nitiwat Kanjanasri and Kobkit Palajin, who both have a snooker background, took advantage of some poor play from Poland's Radoslaw Babica and Karol Skowerski to stay ahead of the game in the closing stages.

At 5-5 it was anyone's game but Thailand outlasted their opponents to seal a memorable win.

Sweden 5-9 Korea, Philippines B 1-9 Germany, Thailand 9-6 Poland, Chinese Taipei 9-8 Philippines A.



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