Alcano and Immonen on Collision Course for Korea Finals

Ronnie Alcano

Judgement Day arrived today as all players from the event were eliminated until there was only four left in each division. Immonen, Orcullo, Japan's #1 Oi and Korea's #1 Hahm were taking care of business undefefeated to the final 8, while defending champion Ronnie Alcano, Charlie Williams, Kunihiko Takahashi, and Thorsten Hohmann were fighting for their lives to reach the final 8 on the losers side. The final 16 players would re-draw to enter the last stage single elimination race to 10.

The first champion eliminated would be Hohmann as he won his first match of the day eliminating Korea's Young Soo Park 9-4, but then had to face another world champion Kunihiko Takahashi. Hohmann could get nothing going and had several miscues during the match and lost 9-4.

"I've been practicing hard and my confidence was high coming into the event. Unfortunately my tip has been worn down to almost nothing now and I have a hard time drawing the ball without a miscue. " answered Hohmann when asked about the uncharacteristic miscues during the match.

Takahashi then lost to rising 17 year old Japanese star Hayato Hijikata in a 9-8 nailbiter. Alcano was back in gear again cruising through some bumpy climate with a 9-6 win over Japan's Takemoto and later defeated Korea's Pil Hyun Cho after trailing 4-1. This would put Alcano safe into the final 16. Williams won his three matches of the day over 2 Korean players and Chung from Singapore.

The Final 8 players drew cards for final placement against their Winner Side 8 player counterparts. Korea's Choi Wan Young was the first victim to the hungry Immonen 10-2. Next Korea's unheralded Hee Chul Kim controlled his match against Williams 10-5 to advance into the quarter finals. Orcullo came from behind 8-5 to tie at 9-9 but lost the deciding game to Japan's unknown Kawachi. Oi defeated Hong Kong's Lee Chenman 10-4 and Japan's Sugaya knocked out Hijikata 10-8. Japan's Mizushita defeated Korea's Jae Young Jung. JPBA Japan's Takano defeated JBC Japan's Higaki 10-8 while Alcano kept his repeat chance alive with a 10-4 win over Korea's #1 Hahm.

The quarter final matches saw Immonen run through JPBA's #1 Oi and Korea's last hope Hee Chul Kim lose to Japan's Takano. Alcano finished off Kawachi while Mizushita eliminated Sugaya.

The semi-finals tomorrow will have the rejuvenated Immonen facing unknown Takano while World Champion Alcano is 2 wins away from defending his crown in Korea. All matches will be televised for MBC ESPN , Korea's #1 channel.

The women's division saw Charlene Chai of Singapore upset #2 Korean Sung Hyun Jung while 18 year old Korean Rookie Eun Ji Park eliminated Japanese pros Kawahara and Mitsuoka. Chai then fell to Japan's Fuke while Park lost to Boram Cha 6-4 finishing 5th. Kyoko Sone of Japan then eliminated Fuke.

The womens semi-finals is scheduled with the two Korean sisters Yuram Cha against Boram Cha and Japan's Miyuki Sakai against fellow Japanese Kyoko Sone. The finals of the women will be a guaranteed Korea vs Japan which will be great rivalry draw for the audience.

File photo courtesy of Diana Hoppe - Pool Pics by Hoppe