GREAT ESCAPES INTO THE SWEET 16
Story and Photo
by Ted Lerner
(Doha, Qatar)– Defending champion Francisco Bustamante of the Philippines barely hung on in his round of 32 match against relative unknown Indonesian player Setiawan Riyan, escaping with an 11-10 victory to move into the round of 16 at the World 9-ball Championship in Doha, Qatar.
Playing on the TV table, Bustamante looked to be cruising along as he led Setiwan 9-4. In the 14th frame, however, Bustamante was distracted by a press photographer snapping pictures nearby. From there on, the Hall of Famer seemed to lose his composure, and descended into a foul mood, as Setiwan slowly chipped away at the lead. Bustamante managed to get the score line to 10-7, but then made a handful of uncharacteristic mistakes that allowed the Indonesian back in the match. The Filipino great broke in the final rack and prevailed after Setiawan scratched after trying to escape a safety.
The defending champion only had five minutes to gather himself to do battle in the round of 16 with compatriot and world number 1 ranked player Dennis Orcullo. Orcullo, who desperately wants to win this title, earlier defeated upstart Filipino Marlon Caneda, 11-6 who had defeated Efren Reyes the previous night.
Earlier in the day inside the Al Sadd Sports Club there was plenty of thrilling drama in several matches to determine the final 16 players. In an all- Filipino shootout, Carlo Biado defeated Lee Van Corteza in an 11-10 scorcher. The first half of the match was tight, until Biado pulled away to go up 8-5. Corteza stormed back to take a 9-8 lead and was just about to go on the hill when he missed a makeable 9-ball. The match went to a sudden death rack and Biado kept Corteza in his chair for the win.
Biado now faces Japan’s hot Yukio Akakariyama in the round of 16, which began at 3pm local time(GMT + 3 hours.) Akakariyama, who recently made it to the semi finals of the World 10 ball championship in Manila, defeated Croatia’s Carlo Dalmatin 11-8.
In what could be one of the biggest surprises of the tournament so far, Britain’s Mark Gray took out compatriot Chris Melling in another 11-10 thriller. Gray knew he would have to play perfect pool as Melling has lately been the hottest player on the planet. The 37 year old ex snooker player did just that, and it was all he needed to barely squeak by. It was the second straight hill-hill victory over a major scalp for Gray, after he defeated Taiwan’s Kuo Po Cheng yesterday. Gray now plays the Philippines Antonio Gabica in the round of 16. Gabica, who lives and works in Qatar as a coach of the national team, outlasted Japan’s Naoyuki Oi, 11-6.
In other matches in the round of 32, the USA’s Shane Van Boening continued to impress as he manhandled the very capable Chang Jung Lin of Taiwan, 11-5. Boening moves on for a quality matchup with current US Open Champion Darren Appleton of Great Britain. Appleton earlier defeated the Philippines Alan Cuartero 11-4.
Germany’s Ralf Souquet continued to play very strong pool as he easily defeated Poland’s Mariusz Skoeneczy, 11-2. Souquet plays the Philippines Vicencio Tanio, who beat Lo Li Wen of Japan 11-6.
The Philippine veteran Antonio LIning quietly surged ahead, beating Roman Hybler of the Czech Republic 11-5. Lining faces Japan’s Toru Koribayashi, who easily defeated the USA’s Hunter Lombardo, 11-4.
2007 World 9-ball champion Daryl Peach put in another blistering performance, waylaying Taiwan’s Fu Chei Wei, 11-1. That set up a round of 16 showdown with Ko Pin Yi of Taiwan, who easily beat France’s Stephen Cohen 11-3.
Ko’s teammate Chang Yu Lun also emerged victorious with an quality win against England’s Scott Higgins. Chang now faces the Philippines Ronnie Alcano in the round of 16. Alcano, the 2006 World 9-ball champion, came back from a 7-2 deficit to defeat Raj Hundal of India, 11-9.
Thursday’s play at the World 9-ball Championship will continue with three sessions with the final four players in place at the end of the days play. The semi finals and finals will be played Friday.
The WPA will be providing complete coverage from inside the Al Sadd Sports club throughout the tournament. Fans around the world can follow matches as they happen via our live scoring platform. The live scoring button can be seen on the front page of the WPA’s new and improved website, www.wpa-pool.com . There you can also see the brackets icon which will give you updated standings from each group and the knockout stage.
Fans can also get instant updates, insights and scores by following the WPA on Twitter. Our Twitter user name is @poolwpa. You can go directly to our Twitter page at, http://twitter.com/poolwpa.
In addition, the WPA will be providing insights and analysis with articles posted several times daily on the WPA home page.
To view the brackets for the knockout stage please click here. Or click the Brackets button the home page of the WPA at www.wpa-pool.com Scroll down to the bottom of the PDF file to the see the knockout stage brackets.
Below are the results of all Round of 32 matches.
Ralf Souquet(GER) 11 – 2 Mariusz Skoneczny(POL)
Yukio Akakariyama(JPN) 11 – 8 Carlo Dalmatin(CRO)
Antonio Gabica(PHL) 11 – 6 Naoyuki Oi(JPN)
Darren Appleton(GBR) 11- 4 Allan Cuartero(PHL)
Vicenc io Tanio(PHL) 11 – 6 Lo Li Wen(JPN)
Carlo Biado(PHL) 11 – 10 Lee Van Corteza(PHL)
Mark Gray(GBR) 11 – 10 Chris Melling(GBR)
Shane Van Boening(USA) 11 – 5 Chang Jung Lin(TPE)
Ronnie Alcano(PHL) 11 – 9 Raj Hundal(GBR)
Chang Yu Lun(TPE) 11 – 4 Scott Higgins(GBR)
Antonio Lining(PHL) 11 – 5 Roman Hybler(CZE)
Toru Kuribayashi(JPN) 11- 4 Hunter Lombardo(USA)
Dennis Orcullo(PHL) 11 – 6 Marlon Caneda(PHL)
Francisco Bustamante(PHL) 11 – 10 Riyan Setiawan(IND)
Daryl Peach(GBR) 11 -1 Fu Chei Wei(TPE)
Ko Pin Yi(TPE) 11 – 3 Stephan Cohen(FRA)
Round of 16 Matches. 3pm GMT +3 Hours
Ralf Souquet(GER) vs. Vicenc io Tanio(PHL)
Carlo Biado(PHL) vs. Yukio Akakariyama(JPN)
Mark Gray(GBR) vs. Antonio Gabica(PHL)
Darren Appleton(GBR) vs. Shane Van Boening(USA)
Daryl Peach(GBR) vs. Ko Pin Yi(TPE)
Toru Kuribayashi(JPN) vs. Antonio Lining(PHL)
Ronnie Alcano(PHL) vs. Chang Yu Lun(TPE)
Dennis Orcullo(PHL) vs. Francisco Bustamante(PHL)