Source : Match Room Pool
The Philippines A pairing of Dennis Orcollo and Ronnie Alcano overcame stern resistance from Canada to win 8-6 and progress to the quarter-finals of the PartyPoker.net World Cup of Pool.
Canadians Jason Klatt and John Morra pushed their opponents to the limit and forced them to play at their best in the closing stages. Never in front until the closing games, the Filipinos squared the match at 6-6 and then closed it out with some excellent shot-making.
'That was a tough game and we're just relieved to get into the next round," beamed a delighted Orcollo.
"They pushed us all the way and there were times when I thought we might not do it. But we dug in a showed what we can do. There are now two Filipino teams in the last eight so that's something for everyone to be proud of."
Canada always led as neither side got to grips with the break. They went toe-to-toe with their opponents and kept regaining a one-rack lead until they found themselves 6-4 up in the race-to-eight match.
That was when the Philippines came out of their fog and stepped up to the plate. A 4/6 combo from Orcollo in the next set up a run out and a 5/9 levelled the match. The momentum was with the home side and they polished off the final two racks for the win.
The first match of the evening session was a candidate for game of the tournament so far as Taiwan withstood a rampant Italian comeback to shade it in the deciding rack.
Represented by the Ko brothers - Pin-yi, the elder and Ping-chun, the younger - the Taiwanese had an incredible combined age of just 37. Their opponents, Fabio Petroni and Bruno Muratore were a little longer in the tooth, but contributed to an entertaining match.
The Italians were too loose in the early stages as their mistakes helped contribute to an early 4-1 Taiwanese lead. The Ko brothers came with all the shots as they soon reached the hill at 7-3 which is when it all got interesting.
A blunder from the elder Ko allowed the Italians the chance to take the rack and a break and run in the next made it 7-5. The younger Ko left a sighter on the 1 ball in the next and Petroni took it to set up another run out and get within one of the Chinese Taipei boys.
Ping the younger nearly fluked the 9 ball in the next but left it hanging over the pocket invitingly and Petroni banged it home to make it a hill hill affair.
A dry break from Muratore left the 1 ball on and the relieved Ko brothers ran the rack for victory.
Germany came from 3-2 down against Malaysia to win six racks on the spin and secure a quarter-final spot where they will take on Philippines B - Efren Reyes and Francisco Bustamante - in a replay of 2009's epic final.
After the early stutter, Thorsten Hohmann and Ralf Souquet continued in the same form that saw them whitewash Australia in the opening round. The veteran Malaysian pair of Ibrahim Bin Amir and Patrick Ooi looked confident in the early exchanges but was out the game once the Germans stepped up the pace.
"We made some slight positional errors at the beginning and there were some good rolls for them but you have to expect that in a game," said Hohmann after the match.
"I think when it was 3-3 we just finished the set. We had some tough opening shots and just kept running out and running out.
"I'd rather be playing Philippines in the final but it will be a big revenge match and I think we're playing better than two years ago."
Souquet reminisced about the last time the two teams met: "Two years ago it was looking very good for us in the final. I wouldn't say we blew it but we had them. As a team we made one mistake and we were 9-7 up and that would've taken us to the hill.
"Beating two legends in the World Cup of Pool final in the Philippines would've been amazing and unfortunately we play in the quarter-finals now - a couple of rounds too early and one of the teams has to go out earlier than anticipated.
"The loss didn't stay on my mind as if you let it stay with you then you could ruin your next four or five tournaments or maybe even your career. You have to try and get over it as soon as possible.
"The further you get in the tournaments the tougher the opponents get. No team that makes it that far into a tournament does so by luck. It seems certain brackets are tougher than others but at the end of the day all matches are tough.
"Playing two legends in front of their home crowd maybe makes it tougher but tougher for them. They have more to lose than we do and I'm really looking forward to it and have a good feeling about it."
In the other opening session match, Korea overcame the odds to put in a good performance and defeat the Japanese pair of Yukio Akagariyama and Lo Liwen. The unknown Koreans are a blend of youth and experience and Lee Gun Jae (38) and Hwang Yong (27) will be tough to beat in their next match.
The other two matches in the earlier sessions saw wins for Thailand and Poland. Nitiwat Kanjanasri and Kobkit Palajin easily overcame the Estonian duo of Dennis Grabe and Erki Erm by 8-4.
The Estonians made too many errors in a lacklustre game and the Thai pair was solid enough for the win. They go on to play Poland in the quarter-finals, who made light work of an out of sorts Singapore duo of Bernard Tey and Chan Keng Kwan. The final score was 8-3 as Radoslaw Babica, who is now something of a veteran, and Karol Skowerski had too much in every department.
The PartyPoker.net World Cup of Pool features 32 two-player teams representing 31 nations - hosts Philippines have two sides. The total prize-fund is $250,000 with $60,000 going to the winning pair.
Last 16 Results
Taiwan 8 - 7 Italy, Philippines A 8 - 6 Canada, Germany 8 - 3 Malaysia, Korea 8 - 6 Japan, Thailand 8 - 4 Estonia, Poland 8 - 3 Singapore, Sweden 8 - 6 Switzerland, Philippines B 8 - 5 India