Van Boening Pulls Off Another Miraculous Comeback on Day Two of World 10-Ball
With this week’s WPA Men’s World 10-Ball Championship taking place in Las Vegas, Shane Van Boening is apparently auditioning for a new career while he’s in town: escape artist.
In his opening round matchup against Austrian Daniel Guttenberger, he watched his opponent build a 5-1 lead only to win seven of the next eight to pull out an 8-6 victory.
Playing in a winner’s side matchup on the second day of the Championship, Van Boening found himself in a familiar place as he trailed Canadian Martin Daigle 7-4. Once again, the American used some strong shot making along with a couple of mistakes by his opponent to come from behind and win, 8-7, to remain undefeated in the 128-player event at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino.
Van Boening jumped out to a 2-0 lead but his opponent used a safety exchange and the miss of a routine 8 ball by his opponent to tie the match, then took the lead when the American misplayed position on the 3 ball the lost a safety exchange. After he Canadian broke and ran to increase his lead, Van Boening countered with a victory via safety to trim the deficit to 4-3 before failing to pocket a ball on the break and handing his opponent a spread open table and, ultimately, a 5-3 lead.
Daigle broke dry in the ninth game and Van Boening was working his way through the balls and appeared to be in position to win the rack until he rattled the 7 ball in the corner pocket and handed his opponent a 6-3 lead. The South Dakotan was able to gain a game back when his opponent missed position on the 3 ball then committed a foul but Daigle took another dry break from his opponent and cleared the table, increasing the lead to a commanding 7-4.
With one more rack needed to secure the win, the Canadian failed to pocket a ball on the break and Van Boening capitalized, using a missed 7 ball by his opponent to steal the 12th rack, then breaking and running twice to tie the score.
Van Boening had a mostly open table after breaking in the match-deciding game and was able to pocket the 1 ball, use a one rail kick in of the 2 ball and pop in the 3 ball before playing a lock up safety on the 4 ball. Daigle made contact with the ball but left an open shot down the rail which Van Boening shockingly missed then lost a safety exchange on the ball. As Daigle worked his way through the remaining balls he missed a sharp cut on the 9 ball and left it in the pocket’s jaws. Van Boening slammed the ball home then banked the match-winner into the side pocket.
Meanwhile, fellow American Tyler Styer spent his lunchtime breathing a huge sigh of relief as he erased a 7-6 deficit against fellow American Blaine Barcus to win, 8-7. After playing even for the first 12 games, Barcus failed to pocket a ball on the break in the 13th game and Styer was in line to tie the match but scratched in the corner pocket. Barcus took the lead but misplayed a bank shot on the 4 ball in the next game. Styer cleared the table to tie and then, after breaking dry, Barcus left an opening on a safety on the 6 ball and Styer was able to slowly cut the ball in and run out to win the match.
The second day of the event was not without controversy, with Billiard Congress of America Hall of Famer Mika Immonen and Filipino Jeffrey De Luna getting into a verbal altercation after in the closing stages of their match winner’s side.
Immonen was working his way through the 14th rack with a 7-6 lead when he pocketed a combination shot on the 9 ball. The referee called a foul, citing that the player did not call the shot but Immonen was adamant that he had. As the official reviewed footage of the play, the two players made comments to each other and, once the call was reversed and Immonen was rewarded the ball, he loudly exclaimed “yes” and proceeded to announce each of his remaining shots, closing out the match, 8-6.
In other notable matches, reigning United States Open champion Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz fell behind Abdullah Alshammari 3-2 before winning six consecutive racks to defeat the Saudi Arabian, 8-3 and reigning World 10-Ball champion Wojciech Szewczyk was eliminated by fellow countryman and Alfa Las Vegas Open champion Wiktor Zielinski, 8-6.
Day three of play begins at 11 a.m. local time with a full slate of matches on the winner’s side, including a matchup of former World 10-Ball champions as Albania’s Eklent Kaci faces Chinese Taipei’s Ko Ping-Chung. Other notable matches include Jung-Lin Chang meeting Mario He and Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz matching up against Lee Van Corteza.
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Brackets and scores can be found at www.probilliardseries.com