English: Alex Pagulayan plays for Canada (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
General Santos City – Day 2 of the 2015 MP Cup World 10-ball Championship is the first elimination day as 32 pool players were sent home from the original 128 participants. 32 other undefeated players barged into the knockout stages with their 2nd straight victories. Of the 32 qualifiers, 17 are from the host country Philippines including Alex Pagulayan who is playing for Canada.
The 16 Filipinos who are in the money rounds are:
Lee Van Cortez
Jeffrey de Luna
The winner of this tournament will take home $40,000. The event’s main sponsor is Congressman Manny Pacquiao.
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:
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 Strickland, Johnny 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.
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.
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.
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 Pontefract, West Yorkshire, England-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.
In the finals, the Germans let the Thai took the first rack after a Hohmann miscue. They countered by winning an amazing 8 straight racks to take an insurmountable 8-1 lead. The Germans held on for a 10-4 victory.
Germany became the first World Cup of Pool winner from Europe. The past 2 editions were dominated by Asian teams (2009 Philippines, 2010 China). This year, Asia had 3 of the 4 semifinal spots but in the end, Germany was too strong for Korea, and Thailand. They also beat 2009 Champs Efren Reyes and Francisco Bustamante as well as Team Australia en route to becoming the 2011 World Cup of Pool Champions.
The PartyPoker.net World Cup of Pool featured 32 two-player teams representing 31 nations. The total prize-pool was $250,000 with $60,000 going to the champions. The title for the event was PartyPoker.net, the world’s leading online poker school. The tournament was held at the Block Atrium at SM City North EDSA.
Germany battled from a 2-6 deficit to eke out a victory from the on-form Korean pair. Korea‘s Lee Gun Jae & Hwang Yong were having a comfortable lead after winning 4 straight racks starting from the 5th. They gave Ralf Souquet & Thorsten Hohmann a chance, the German pounced on it to equalize at 6-all then lead 8-6. It was 6 straight racks for the Germans after losing 4 straight. Korea won the 15th to get closer but lost the battles of safeties in the 16th rack to give the Germany tandem the win, 9-7. It is the 2nd World Cup of Pool final for Team Germany.
The Thai pair of Nitiwat Kanjanasri & Kobkit Palajin beat team Taiwan of Ko Pin-yi & Ko Ping-chun. The Ko brothers who came of a hill-hill victory over the very strong Orcollo-Alcano tandem, came of short as they did not survive the fast start of the unheralded Thai pair. Thailand took a 3-0 lead then a 6-2 before finishing off the Taiwanese at 9-3. Thailand will now face the formidable German tandem in the final.
Just like the other rounds, the semifinal had a big surprise. Only few believed that the Thais can reach this far but they have making believers out of many billiard fans. Will the Cinderella run continue? We will know in a while.
The pairing Lee Gun Jae & Hwang Yong has reached the semifinals of the 2011 World Cup of Pool as they beat Sweden’sMarcus Chamat & Thomas Mehtala. The surprising Koreans blitzed the Swedes to a 6-2 lead then held on to win 9-5.
Ralf Souquet & Thorsten Hohmann of Germany never gave a chance to the legendary pair of Efren Reyes & Francisco Bustamante from the host country to win convincingly their quarterfinal duel 9-1. The Filipino pair did not take advantage of the poor breaking of the Germans as they missed several makable shots. Ralf Souquet is going deep again in a tournament held at the Block Atrium at SM City North Edsa. The Germans will be facing Korea in the semifinals.
(11) Poland 6 vs. 9 Thailand
After beating two Southeast Asian teams in the past 2 rounds, the Polish team of Karol Skowerski & Radoslaw Babica faced a Thai team of Nitiwat Kanjanasri & Kobkit Palajin with great confidence. The Thai team however, showed that they belong to this tournament that pits the worlds best as they battled Team Poland rack for rack to eventually grab the lead for good at the 11th rack for 6-5 score. They held on to win 9-6 and grabbed a spot in the Final 4.
(7) Taiwan 9 vs. 8 Philippines A
The last game of the round turned out to be the best among the 4 pairings. Team Taiwan of Ko Pin-yi & Ko Ping-chun battled the Philippine’s Dennis Orcollo & Ronnie Alcano in a hill-hill encounter. The Philippines started the game strong to grab 3-rack leads at 4-1 and 5-2. The Ko brothers won 5 straight racks to silence the home crowd at 7-5. The teams split the next 2 racks to put the Taiwenese at the hill 8-6. A dry break from Team Taiwan brought the World’s No.1 and No.3 ranked players back at the table and they did not disappoint as they leveled the match at 8-8. A sorry miss by Alcano in the last rack gave the Taiwenese the victory, 9-8. It’s going to be Taiwan vs. Thailand in the second semifinal pairing.
Day 5 Recap (September 10, 2011): The 2 teams from the host country fell today. One was routed. The other one lost in a heartbreaker. It was tough but as the saying goes, anything can happen. That is the beauty of a single elimination tournament.
It is going to be Germany vs. Korea and Taipei vs. Thailand. 3 Asian teams have made it to the Final 4. Germany is the lone European team but it is the highest seed left. Expect the unexpected in tomorrow’s games.
caloycomment: It was tough to see that our teams lost in the last 8 … Continue