ALCANO BLOWS FINAL 8 BALL, HANDS INCREDIBLE VICTORY TO CHINESE-TAIPEI

ALCANO BLOWS FINAL 8 BALL, HANDS INCREDIBLE VICTORY TO CHINESE-TAIPEI

Ko Ping Chun and Ko Pin YiQuarter Final Results

Korea 9 – 5 Sweden
Philippines B 9 – 1 Germany
Thailand 9 –6 Poland
Chinese Taipei 9 – 8 Philippines A 

BY LUKE RICHES

(MANILA)–IN ONE OF those matches that make pool such a compelling sport, Taiwan put paid to the final Philippines’ hopes at the PartyPoker.net World Cup of Pool as the Ko brothers defeated Dennis Orcollo and Ronnie Alcano in their quarter-final match, in front of a packed house at the SM Mall North in Quezon City, Manila.

The match ebbed and flowed and went right down to a deciding rack after both teams had clawed their way back into the game from losing positions. The final villain was Ronnie Alcano but you had to feel for the 2006 World Champion as he missed the final 8 ball to hand the table back to the Taiwanese.

His partner Orcollo looked devastated and Alcano looked shell-shocked but they only had themselves to blame. Ko Pin-yi and Ko Ping-chung dropped the 8 and 9 respectively to record a fabulous win in a match they were second favourites to win at the outset.

The match started so well for Orcollo and Alcano and at 5-1 up they looked comfortable as their nation’s sole representative following the 9-1 defeat of Reyes and Bustamante by Germany earlier in the day.

The Kos though – 15 year old Ping-chun and ‘veteran’ brother Pin-yi, 22 – mounted a fight back as they took the racks, finding some excellent form. When they levelled at 5-5 the crowd was silent and before long the Ko brothers were 7-5 to the good.

They reached the hill at 8-6 which is when the drama started. A dry break allowed the Filipinos to get to the table and after some safeties were exchanged they completed a nervous run out.

They made a ball on the next break and with the 1 ball out in the open, Alcano and Orcollo held themselves together to run the table at the perfect time. The Taiwanese got back to the table in the last but a poor safety from them allowed the Philippines back to the table and the run out looked on. It was until Alcano’s terrible 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.

“It was a great match though and we’re very happy to win it and looking forward to tomorrow’s semi-final against Thailand.

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.

Thailand, who had never won a match before at the World Cup now find themselves in the semi-finals courtesy of an excellent 9-5 win over Poland. Nitiwat Kanjanasri and Kobkit Palajin look to be solid cue men with their snooker fundamentals, and they took advantage of some poor play from the Poles – 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 just outlasted their opponents to seal a memorable win and a great day for Taiwanese pool.

The 2011 World Cup of Pool is sponsored by PartyPoker.net, the world’s leading online poker school. Cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis, Super Aramith balls by Saluc, tables by Star Xing Pai and the Official Cue is Predator.

Team GermanyEarlier in the day Team Germany, made up of Thorsten Hohmann and Ralf Souquet, did a job on the Philippines side of Efren Reyes and Francisco Bustamante to silence the big crowd at the SM Mall North and progress to Sunday afternoon’s semi-finals at the PartyPoker.net World  Cup of Pool.

9-1 was the score line and the Pinoys narrowly avoided the whitewash as they won the fifth game but the match was all Germany. Reyes looked completely out of sorts, making countless errors, while Bustamante who looked the hotter of the two in the earlier stages, soon joined his team mate.

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.

The Germans were clinical and even though their breaking was noticeably unsuccessful, it ultimately had no bearing on the outcome of the match. They can now look forward to Korea to the semi-finals and it will take a good team to stop them.

Souquet commented, “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. 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 his home crowd there was more pressure on them than us.”

Hohmann added, “Two days ago Efren had a problem with his stomach and he was not at 100 per cent, but they knew we would come out strong and we performed – it was very sweet revenge.

“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 tomorrow.”

The opening quarter-final match saw Sweden’s run in the competition come to a halt as they made far too many errors for a competent Korean side made up of Hwang Jong and Lee Gun Jae.

The Swedes – veteran Marcus Chamat and Thomas Mehtala – had completed a marvellous comeback victory yesterday when turned over Switzerland. But they had no such luck today as the Koreans ran out 9-5 victors.

Mehtala was the guilty party too often as he made unforced errors and the Koreans feasted on them to open up a 6-2 lead. The Swedes could never make any impact on that and Korea goes on to play Germany for a place in the final.

The two Korean players are a sharp contrast; the younger, Hwang Jong is one of the speedier players in the competition while his team mate Lee is one of the slowest. It seems to work though although they will need to find a couple of extra gears if they are to fend off the deadly Germans.

The 2011 World Cup of Pool is sponsored by PartyPoker.net, the world’s leading online poker school. Cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis, Super Aramith balls by Saluc, tables by Star Xing Pai and the Official Cue is Predator.

Semi Final Matches, Sunday, September 11, 1pm Manila Time(GMT +8)

Korea vs. Germany
Chinese-Taipei vs. Thailand

Finals at 6pm Manila time

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