The 2012 World 9 Ball Champion is Darren Appleton

30 06 2012

Doha, QatarAfter 7 long days of competition, the 2012 World 9-Ball Champion is finally crowned. The winner of the 2012 World 9-Ball Championship is none other than Darren Appleton of Great Britain. He beat China’s Lee He Wen in the finals with the slimmest of margins, 13-12.  He was actually cruising early in the match as he took a 11-3 lead against the Chinese finalist but Lee had furious rally only to denied in the 25th and final rack. The  victory meant the Appleton will crowned as world champion and going home with $40,000. Lee was awarded $20,ooo for his fine effort in the tournament. Lee was the first ever Chinese finalist in the World 9 Ball Championship history. Congratulations to the winners, participants, and the organizers!  We look forward to another exciting tournament in 2013.

WORLD 9 BALL CHAMPIONSHIP 2012 Semifinals: It’s Appleton vs. Lee for all the jewels!!

29 06 2012

Doha, Qatar – The semifinal matches have been played and the 2012 World 9 Ball Championship is down to its final 2 players. China‘s Lee He Wen defeated former titlist Ralf Souquet, 11-6 to set up a finals duel against Great Britain’s Darren Appleton who won 11-7 against Naoyuki Ohi.  Once again, the tournament will produce a first time winner.

Road to the Finals:

Lee He Wen (CHI)                                   
Eliminations: 7 - 9 Chao Fang Pong(TPE)            
Eliminations: 9 – 4   Edwin Montal(CAN)            
Eliminations: 9 – 1 Roman Hybler(CZE)
Round of 64:  11 – 9 Jason Klatt(CAN)             
Round of 32:  11 – 8 John Morra(CAN)              
Round of 16:  11 – 9 Omar Al Shaheen(KUW)          
Round of 8:   11 – 10  Antonio Gabica(PHI)        
Round of 4:   11 - 6 Ralf Souquet(GER)

Darren Appleton (GBR)
Eliminations: 9 – 7 Hamza Alsaeed(ERI)
Eliminations: 9 – 2 Abdul Rahman Al Amar(KSA)
Round of 64:  11 – 5 Mateusz Sniegocki(POL)
Round of 32:  11 – 10 Matthew Edwards(NZL)
Round of 16:  11 – 8  Nick Ekonomopoulos(GRE)
Round of 8:   11 - 9 Ko Pin Yi(TPE)
Round of 4:   11 - 7 Naoyuki Ohi(JPN)

It’s going to be East vs. West in the finals. Lee will have a chance to be the first ever mainland Chinese player to win the World 9-Ball Championship. Appleton hopes to give Britain another champion after 5 years.

2012 NBA Draft Top 10 Picks

29 06 2012
Anthony Davis Jordan Brand Classic 2011

Anthony Davis Jordan Brand Classic 2011 (Photo credit: BasketballElite)

The NBA draft was held today and here are the 2012 top ten picks:

  1. New Orleans Hornets pick Anthony Davis (Kentucky) – From national champs to over-all No.1, life has been moving so fast for Anthony Davis in the past couple of months. The Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four  will be playing in the city where he won the national championship as a freshman. He averaged 14.2 points, 10.4 rebounds and 4.7 blocks in his only year in college. The 6-11 and 222 pound – power forward is expected to start and star for the Hornets who lost Chris Paul last year.  He is a definite upgrade to Carl Landry or Jason Smith. He will improve the Hornets rebounding that only ranks 24th last year. Potential: Tim Duncan II Question: How will the additional affect his game in the NBA?
  2. Charlotte Bobcats pick Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Kentucky) – For the first time in history, the No. 1 and No. 2 picks come from the same school. John Calipari must be proud as Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is picked next to Anthony Davis. Kidd-Gilchrist is another freshman forward from the national champs, he is expected to play SF in the pros. After speculations of draft day trades, the Bobcats chose to keep the pick. He is a  third-team All-American. He averaged 11.9 points and 7.4 rebounds in his only season with the Wildcats. He is known for his high motor and defensive intensity. The Bobcats have a lot of holes to fill and the pick will fill many of those holes. He can replace Corey Maggette at SF and help improve the Bobcat’s rebounding (29th in the NBA) and defense (27th in the NBA). Potential: Dennis Rodman with slightly better scoring averages. Question: How will he help the dismal offense of the Bobcats?
  3. Washington Wizards pick Bradley Beal (Florida) – A 3rd straight freshman is picked this year, as the Wizards chose  Beal.Beal was the 2011 Gatorade national player of the year after averaging 32.5 points in his senior season in high school. In his lone season at Florida, he averaged 14.8 ppg, team high 6.7 rpg, and 2.2 apg. Many are saying that the Wall-Beal backcourt will be  joy to watch. Potential: Ray Allen with better defense but less 3FG%. Question: Will he be enough to get John Wall to the playoffs?
  4. Cleveland Cavaliers pick Dion Walters (Syracuse) – The 4th pick was another underclassman in Dion Walters of Syracuse. Walters is the 6th man for Syracuse but he is 2nd leading scorer of the Orangemen. Many pundits think that Cleveland reached for this pick but the nice the thing about Walters is that he is a player who does not need to start to make an impact. He is do-it-all that can play both guard positions.  Along with Kyrie Irving, they can rival the Wall-Beal pairing in Washington. Potential: James Harden. Question: Will he bring his offensive and defensive efficiency to the NBA?
  5. Sacramento Kings pick Thomas Robinson (Kansas) – The big man from the national runner-up Kansas is going to Sacramento.  In his junior season, he averaged 17.7 points, 11.9 rebounds, and had 27 double-doubles to lead the Jayhawks to the national finals. By drafting him, the Kings will pair him with DeMarcus Cousins to form one of the most dynamic big man tandems in the league. Potential: DeMarcus Cousins, just imagine 2 of those playing for Sacramento every night. Question: Will the 2 be enough for the Kings?
  6. Portland Trailbalzers pick Damian Lillard (Weber St.) – The first senior and first point guard taken in the 2012 draft is Damian Lillard of Weber State. The Blazers took the mid-major star after a string of impressive pre-draft performances. Lillard averaged 24.5 ppg, 4.0 apg and 88.7 FT% in his final collegiate season. Portland will now have an option to let go of either Jamal crawford or Raymond Felton. Potential: Chauncey Billups Question: Will he be an effective NBA point guard?
  7. Golden State Warriors pick Harrison Barnes (North Carolina) – Barnes was slated to be a Top 5 pick last year before deciding to comeback to play with the Tar Heels for a sophomore season.  His draft number was lower than expected mainly because of some poor performance in the 2012 March Madness. Some experts think that his outstanding play was a result of playing with outstanding pass-first point guards. With the Warriors, he will be playing with the likes of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, and most likely he needs to create his owns shots in most situations. Potential: Antawn Jamison Question: Will he start immediately for the Warriors?
  8. Toronto Raptors pick Terence Ross (Washington) – At 6’6 and 195 lbs., Ross has an ideal size for an NBA shooting guard.  He averaged 16.4 points and 6.4 rebounds in his last season with the Huskies. His size and athleticism will be useful in guarding the likes of Kobe Bryant and Dawyne Wade in the NBA. He could start immediately at Toronto who needed efficient production from the two guard position. Potential: Eric Gordon. Question: Will he be better than DeMar De Rozan?
  9. Detroit Pistons pick Andre Drummond (Connecticut) – The young big man from Connecticut fell to Detroit at 9.  Drummond averaged 10.0 ppg, 7.6 rpg, and 2.7 bpg. He will pair up with Greg Monroe to give the Pistons an young and imposing front court. The teenager could star immediately for Detroit and give a defensive presence that has been lacking since they heydays of Ben Wallace. Potential: Dwight Howard – Lite. Question: Will he be consistently good and durable in the NBA?
  10. New Orleans Hornets pick Austin Rivers (Duke) – The son of Boston Celtic coach Glenn “Doc” Rivers was picked No.10 by the Hornets. The pick along with the No.1 pick will give them an inside-outside tandem for the years to come. He averaged 15.5 ppg 3.4 rpg and 2.1 apg in his only season with the Blue Devils.  He could be PG in the NBA but he also have the skills and mentality of an SG. Potential: Russell Westbrook II. Question: Will he be a PG or an SG in the NBA?

WORLD 9 BALL CHAMPIONSHIP 2012 Semifinal Preview

29 06 2012

Quarterfinal Results:

Ralf Souquet (GER) 11 – 9 Nick Van Den Berg (NED)

Lee He Wen (CHN) 11 – 10 Antonio Gabica (PHL)

Naoyuki Ohi (JAP) 11 – 9 Karl Boyes (GBR)

Darren Appleton (GBR) 11 – 9 Ko Pin Yi (TAI)

After 4 very close games in the quarterfinals, the World 9 Ball Championship is down to its final 4 players.  The final 4 is composed of:

  1. Ralf Souquet of Germany – “The Kaiser” has already won the World 9 Ball Championship 16 years ago when he beat Sweden’s Tom Storm in the finals.  If he wins this year’s edition he will join Earl StricklandJohnny Archer, and Chap Fong Pang as the only multiple time winners of the history of the World 9-Ball Championship.  Souquet has also been the runner-up twice in 2001 (vs. Immonen) and 2006 (vs. Alcano). The last time a German won in the tournament is way back in 2003 when Thorsten Hohmann beat Filipino-Canadian Alex Pagulayan.
  2. Lee He Wen of China – Lee started the tournament at the wrong foot after falling to Taiwanese ace Chao Fang Pong in his first match of the 2012 World 9 Ball Championship.  Ever since that loss, he has strung up 6 straight wins to be in the semifinals. He eliminated Edwin Montal of Canada, Roman Hybler of Czech Republic, Jason Klatt of Canada, John Morra of Canada, Omar Al Shaheen of Kuwait, and Antonio Gabica of the Philippines, on his way to a semifinal match-up against Ralf Souquet.  He sent home 3 Canadians in his quest to become the first ever World 9 Ball Champion from China.
  3. Naoyuki Ohi of Japan – Ohi is hoping to duplicate the feat of his countryman Yukio Akagariyama who won last year’s edition of World 9 Ball Championship. Should he win the tournament, he will be the 4th Japanese to win the title after Akagariyama (2011), Takahashi Kunihiko (1998), and Okumura Takeshi (1994).  He prevented an all-British semifinals by beating Karl Boyes in the quarterfinals.  He will face another GBR bet Darren Appleton for a spot in the finals.
  4. Darren Appleton of Great Britain – Five years ago, Daryl Peach became the first Briton to win the World 9-Ball Championship. Darren Appleton hopes to duplicate the achievement of his countryman in this year’s championship. Nickname “Dynamite”, Appleton is a former World 10-Ball Champion. He also won the 2010 U.S. Open 9-ball Tournament. Winning this tournament will add to the long list of accomplishments of the PontefractWest YorkshireEngland-native.

The final 4 match-ups will be Souquet vs. Lee and Ohi vs. Appleton. All semifinalists are assured of $12,000.  The losing finalist will win $20,000 while the champion gets $40,000.

Darren Appleton

Ralf Souquet

Naoyuki Ohi

Lee He Wen


WORLD 9 BALL CHAMPIONSHIP 2012 Round of 16 Recap and Quarterfinal Pairings

28 06 2012
Ralf Souquet

Ralf Souquet (Photo credit: G.C.)

Al Sadd Sports Club, Qatar – Here are the Round of 16 results of the World 9 Ball Championships 2012:

Ralf Souquet (GER) 11 – 4 Bruno Muratore (ITA)

Dennis Orcullo (PHI) 6 – 11 Nick van den Berg(NED)

Mika Immonen (FIN) 9 – 11 Antonio Gabica (PHI)

Omar Al Shaheen(KUW) 9 – 11 Le He Wen(CHN)

Karl Boyes(GBR) 11 – 10 Jentsch Dominic (GER)

Ko Pin Yi (TAI) 11 – 9 Jundel Mazon (PHI)

Darren Appleton(GBR) 11 – 8 Nick Ekonomopoulos(GRE)

Naoyuki Ohi(JPN) 11 – 9 Thorsten Hohmann (GER)

The winners move on to the quarterfinals.  The losers go home with $5,000. Here are the pairings for the quarterfinals:
Ralf Souquet vs. Nick Van Den Berg
Antonio Gabica vs. Lee Hee Wen
Naoyuki Ohi vs. Karl Boyes
Darren Appleton vs. Ko Pin Yi

WORLD 9 BALL CHAMPIONSHIPS 2012 Day 6 Update: 3 PHL players left in Top 16; Reyes lost hill-hill battle

28 06 2012
Karl Boyes @ Eurotour Finland

Karl Boyes @ Eurotour Finland (Photo credit: Fledrgos)

From 5 cue artists left after the Round of 64, the Philippine contingent won 3 of 5 matches in the round of 32.  With 3 pool masters left, the Philippines is the most represented country in the Round of 16. The round of 32 for the Philippines was marked with 2 wins against players from Chinese-Taipei. Here are the results of the matches involving Filipino participants of the Round of 32 in the 2012 World 9-Ball Championship:

Dennis Orcullo 11 – 8 Hsu Kai Lun (TAI)

Lee Van Corteza 5 – 11 Mika Immonen(FIN)

Antonio Gabica 11 – 9 Yang Ching Shun (TAI)

Efren Reyes 10 – 11 Jentsch Dominic (GER)

Jundel Mazon 11 – 3 Konstantian Stepanov (RUS)

Other notables results:

Thorsten Hohmann (GER) eliminated defending champion Yukio Akagariyama (JAP), 11-9.

Karl Boyes (GBR) winning 11-8 over ex-champ Chao Fang Pang (TAI).

Ko Pin Yi (TAI) survived a hill-hill battle vs. Lo Li Wen (JAP)

Round of 16 update as of posting:

Ralf Souquet (GER) 6 – 2 Bruno Muratore (ITA)

Dennis Orcullo (PHI) 5 – 8 Nick van den Berg(NED)

Mika Immonen (FIN) 8 – 7 Antonio Gabica (PHI)

Omar Al Shaheen(KUW) 8 – 10 Le He Wen(CHN)

Karl Boyes(GBR) 5 – 6 Jentsch Dominic (GER)

Ko Pin Yi (TAI) 11 – 9 Jundel Mazon (PHI)

Darren Appleton(GBR) 7 – 4 Nick Ekonomopoulos(GRE)

Naoyuki Ohi(JPN) 11 – 9 Thorsten Hohmann (GER)

WORLD 9 BALL CHAMPIONSHIP 2012 Day 5 Recap: Competition down to last 32; Only 5 Filipinos left

28 06 2012

English: Efren Reyes. This is my personal pict...

Doha, Qatar – The Philippine campaign in the 2012 World 9 Ball Championship almost got wiped out at the start of the knockout stages. From 13 participants, the Filipino contingent is down to 5.  Gone are the likes of 2010 champion Django Bustamante, 2006 champ Ronnie Alcano, 2007 runner-up Roberto Gomez, and Carlo Biado. The hopes for a Filipino champion now lies in cue sticks of legendary Bata Reyes, Dennis Orcullo, Lee Van Corteza, Antonio Gabica, and Jundel Mazon.

Unlike the Philippine campaign, the Taipei contingent made a killing in Round 64.  They won 6 of 7 matches including 2 against Filipinos. Two other Filipinos were eliminated by a Chinese player. Other notable losers in the round of 64 were Malta’s Tony Drago, Germany’s Thomas Engert, Britain’s Daryl Peach, and Taipei’s  Chang Yu Lung.  The loser go home with $2,000 each. Top prize of this competition is $40,000.


Here are the result of the Day 5 race to 11 pairings:

Ralf Souquet(GER) 11 – 4 Nikolaos Malaj(ALB)
Fu Che Wei(TPE) 11 – 3 Andrea Klasovic(SRB)
Bruno Muratore(ITA) 11 -6 Jayson Shaw(GBR)
Hsu Kai Lun(TPE) 11 – 5 Aki Heiskanen(FIN)
Dennis Orcullo(PHI) 11 – 8 Andrew Kong(HKG)
Nick van den Berg(NED) 11 – 6 Marlon Caneda(PHI)
Han Hao Xiang(CHN) 11 – 8 Israel Rota(PHI)
Jonny Martinez(VEN) 11 – 8 Uraoka Takashi(JPN)
Le He Wen(CHN) 11 – 9 Jason Klatt(CAN)
Mika Immonen(FIN) 11 -10 Tony Drago(MLT)
Yang Ching Shung(TPE) 11 -4 Vincent Faquet(FRA)
Khaled Al Mutairi(KUW) 11 –8 Majide Alazme(KUW)
Antonio Gabica(PHI) 11 – 7 Mario He(AUT)
Lee Van Corteza(PHI) 11 – 4 Serge Das(BEL)
John Morra(CAN) 11 – 7 Elvis Calasang(PHI)
Chang Jun Lin(TPE) 11 – 2 Joven Alba(PHI)
Omar Al Shaheen(KUW) 11 – 10 Chang Yu Lung(TPE)
Efren Reyes(PHI) 11 – 6  Toh Lian Han(SIN)
Yukio Akagariyama(JPN) 11 – 9 Thomas Engert(GER)
Chao Fong Pang(TPE) 11 – 6 Francisco Bustamante(PHI)
Thorsten Hohmann(GER) 11 – 4 Bader Al Awadi(KUW)
Dominic Jentsch(GER) 11 – 6 Manuel Gama(POR)
Naoyuki Ohi(JPN) 11 – 10 Carlo Biado(PHI)
Karl Boyes(GBR) 11 – 9  Do The Kien
Ko Pin Yi(TPE) 11 – 6 Huidji See(NED)
Lo Li Wen(JPN) 11 – 9 Daryl Peach(GBR)
Jundel Mazon(PHI) 11 – 9 Ronnie Alcano(PHI)
Konstantin Stepanov(RUS) 11 – 5 Ryouji Hori(JPN)
Darren Appleton(GBR) 11 – 5 Mateusz Sniegocki(POL)
Matthew Edwards(NZL) 11 – 7 Toru Kuribayashi(JPN)
Liu Haitao(CHN) 11 – 4 Roberto Gomez(PHI)
Nick Ekonomopoulos(GRE) 11 – 5 Ryu Seung Woo(KOR)