Alcano Bows to Chinese Taipei’s Chia-Ching Wu; Corteza Still in the Hunt for Semifinals Berth

The 2007 Guinness 9Ball Tour remains to be an unsolved mystery for reigning double world champion Ronato Alcano from the Philippines as he absorbed his second loss in the Bali Grand Finals - a humbling 1 - 9 setback against Chinese Taipei's Chia-Ching Wu at the Grand Ballroom of the Grand Hyatt Hotel.

Desperately needing a win today after opening up the Bali campaign with a one win, one loss record yesterday, with Alcano winning over local bet Ricky Yang 9-7 and a 6-9 defeat to Ching-Shun Yang, the Calamba native seemed prepared and ready to take on Chinese Taipei's teenage pool wonder.

But right off the opening break, it became apparent that Wu was destined to remain unbeaten in the ten-man competition field as he opened up the match strong with a table rout in the 1st rack and a break and run-out in the 2nd. In fact, Wu was so confident with his stroke that even a stunning 5-9 corner pocket combo from Alcano in the next frame did not faze the 2005 World Pool Champion as he easily capitalized on a 9ball blunder by the "Volcano" to pad up his lead to 3-1.

Try as he might, Alcano's form simply refused to materialize as he suffered unlucky rolls off the break, leaving him no choice but to adopt a defensive game which pretty much disrupted the normally offensive rhythm of the Filipino favourite.

At the 8th rack, Wu successfully connected on an incredible 2-9 combo off the break to further humble the Filipino ace who then committed another crucial error with a side pocket scratch during his break at the 9th canto to allow his Chinese Taipei rival another easy run at the table and own an overwhelming 8-1 advantage.

This proved to be the last time Alcano got to approach the table as Wu closed the match in emphatic fashion with a rare golden break.

Although Alcano still has one match to play in his group - against India's Dharminder Lilly, the two losses on his card means that his chances to advance to the semifinal round has been compromised as only the top two players in the group get a final four ticket.

Meanwhile, Lee Vann Corteza, who also has a one win, one loss record from day 1's preliminary stages needs to win both of his matches to stand a chance to acquire a semifinal berth. The current Philippine National Champion is playing against Jakarta and Genting leg winner Jung-Lin Chang as of press time. After which he will face off versus Malaysia's Ibrahim Amir.

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The Guinness 9Ball Tour is sanctioned by the Asian Pocket Billiard Union (APBU) and organized by ESPN STAR Sports' Event Management Group (EMG). Guinness is the title sponsor for the Tour. The local sanctioning body is Persatuan Olahraga Billiar Seluruh Indonesia (POBSI). Iwan Simonis and Aramith supply the official tablecloth and official balls respectively. Brunswick Metro provides the official pool table while Predator is the official cue. The Official Venue is the Grand Hyatt Hotel. STAR Sports is the official broadcaster.