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SWISS ACES STUN MANILA

SWISS ACES STUN MANILA

Round 1 Results

Chinese Taipei 8-6 Indonesia
Switzerland 8-7 Philippines A
England 8-2 Belgium
Finland 8-6 Korea
China 8-4 Singapore
Spain 8-3 Hungary

BY LUKE RICHES/MATCHROOM SPORT

(MANILA, PHILIPPINES)--IN ANOTHER final rack decider, Team Switzerland came from behind to send one of the pre-tournament favourites Philippines A, consisting of Dennis Orcollo and Lee Van Corteza, crashing out of the PartyPoker.net World Cup of Pool by a 8-7 score line and silence a capacity home crowd in Manila.

The Swiss duo of current EPBF No.1 Dimitri Jungo and his partner Ronni Regli, created a big upset last year at this event when they KO’d defending champions China in their opening match, but on this type of form they look a fair bet to beat anyone.

Regli, based in Zurich is half Filipino and a bit of an unknown as he no longer pursues a full time pool career, while Jungo from Bern is a former WPA Junior World Champion.

“It’s a very big win for us. It’s great to win here. I have mixed feelings because I’m part Filipino and I have a piece of this country. I know they all want a Filipino to win but a Filipino did win,” said Regli.

Jungo and Regli had trailed 4-1 and 6-2 and looked second best as the Filipinos appeared to be running away with a match that looked scrappy at times. But slowly, the Swiss began to climb the hill back into the match.

A dry break from Orcollo allowed Switzerland to get to the table and win one back and then a missed 4 ball from Corteza created another opportunity and the Europeans took the score to 6-4.

Just when they needed to catch a gear they did and the Swiss pair broke and ran the next to get within one. They traded the next two racks and the score stood at 7-6. Jungo made a terrific full table jump in the next and left position for Regli and they ran out to make it the third hill-hill of the tournament.

Just when they needed it, they executed the perfect run out under difficult circumstances to secure a second round tie against either Italy or Vietnam.

Jungo commented, “We had some problems at the start of the match but we know we can beat them. You always have to stay positive in pool and I think that’s what we did. Ronnie played perfect.

“When they were up 4-1 they were in rhythm and I was surprised that they gave us some chances. So we took it.”

“This is a big win for us because they are one of the best teams in the tournament, but we don’t want to think too far ahead. Last year we beat China then lost to Sweden in the 2nd round so we just have to take it one game at a time.”

A stunned Orcollo said, “We had too many illegal breaks and dry breaks. That’s why we lost. If we don’t have all that, we’ll win. That’s it.”

Corteza added, “We can only look forward. It’s part of the game, these things happen.  We are disappointed because all the Filipinos are expecting us to win but all we can do is look forward. That’s pool.”

The 2012 PartyPoker.net World Cup of Pool runs from Tuesday September 4 to Sunday, September 9 at Robinson’s Place, Ermita, Manila.  Once again the total prize fund is US$250,000 with $60,000 going to the eventual champions.

In the earlier match, Chinese Taipei, represented by highly touted youngsters Han En-hsu and Hsin Ting-chen, had a struggle against the Indonesian pair of Roy Apancho and Muhammad Bewi Simanjuntak.

The Taiwanese are aged 19 and 18 respectively, but played with great assuredness and maturity against quality opposition. They can now look forward to playing Japan or Russia.

In the earlier session, ENGLAND and FINLAND scored convincing wins to make their way into the second round.

The Finnish pair of multi-World Champion Mika Immonen and up-and-coming Petri Makkonen came from 4-0 down against Korea, recovering from a shaky start, and came on strong to record an 8-6 victory.

The Korean pair of Ryu Seung Woo and Lee Wan Su started out well but faded badly as the Finns came on in the second half of the match. Ironically the Koreans reached the semi-final of this event last year but with a completely different set of players and the Korean Association must be kicking themselves for not sticking with Hwang Yong and Lee Gun Jae.

Finland can now look forward to meeting defending champions Germany on Thursday.

“They had all the rolls early, they had everything handed to them but we stayed calm and came with some good shots of our own and put some serious pressure on them,” said Mika Immonen.

“Later in the match I think their inexperience showed they made some bad decisions. Last year we didn’t gel as a pair and it was his first time, but all I can say is watch out Germany. We’re playing well and we’re ready. They are definitely going to have their hands full against us,” he added.

Makkonen said, “Last year I was nervous but now I feel really good. I’ve been practicing hard for the last six months in Finland. Playing with Mika makes it easy for me because if I’m about to take a bad shot or I’m confused about a shot, he can help me and tell me what to do. I think we can definitely beat Germany. It’s just a race to 8 and anyone can win. It’s a flip of a coin. We can do it.”

In the earlier match the pedigree English pair of Darren Appleton and Chris Melling walked all over Belgium, who after staying with them in the early stages at 2-2, succumbed to the superior firepower and all round shot making of the English pair.

After last year’s disastrous first round exit at the hands of Estonia, they now look to be one of the favourites for the World Cup of Pool.

Commented Darren Appleton, “We never made a ball on the break but they made four or five mistakes. Once we got it to 4 – 2 though, that took the pressure off.

“We’re strong, we mix well together, we controlled the cue well and if we play like that we have a chance. But we have to get the break down. We’ve played together for 20 years so we know each other’s games inside and out.”

Melling said, “Except for the break we played great, made some good safeties, good potting. We were comfortable out there.

“We don’t need to talk too much because we know each other so well. When you keep your opponents under pressure everybody misses. Lock them up and run out when you get the chance. We can beat anybody.”

In the day’s first session CHINA, fielding a changed line-up for the first time in the seven year history of the PartyPoker.net World Cup of Pool, made their way into the second round as Li Hewen and Liu Haitao got the better of a Singaporean team who had their chances in the early stages.

Li was a winner of this event with Fu Jianbo in 2007 and 2010 but for the first time Fu failed to be selected. His replacement Liu however looks very capable of filling his shoes.

Singapore fielded a debutant in the wonderfully named Aloysius Yapp and his partner, the veteran Chan Keng Kwang and they got to 4-3 lead which was about to go 5-3 but Kwang blew an easy 7 ball and from there the match turned.

China cleared that one to square it and never lost another rack before running out 8-4 winners.

In the second match of the session, the Spanish pair of David Alcaide and Francisco Diaz made light work of Hungarian qualifiers Gabor Solymisi and Miko Balazs as they ran out 8-3 winners to book a second round match against China.

The Hungarians never settled and at times looked a bit over-awed while the Spanish pair were solid enough and while they will need to play better against China, they were too much for their opponents.

Alcaide is one of the top players on the Euro Tour and Diaz is the reigning European 9 Ball Champion and their class showed as they took advantage of the many errors gifted to them by the Hungarians.

The 2012 PARTYPOKER.NET 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 Diamond Billiards and the Official Cue is Predator.

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