China’s Li Seals Semi Spot

Making his way through to the semi-finals of the 2006 Philippines World Pool Championship is Chinese dangerman Li He-wen who denied Vietnam 's Luong Chi-dung's hopes with a comfortable 11-7 win in their quarter-final match.

This is the first year that players from mainland China have competed in the World Pool Championship and if Li is anything thing to go by, this could herald an onslaught of talent from the sleeping giant of world pool.

Li has looked comfortable throughout the tournament and wins against the likes of Alex Pagulayan and Sandor Tot have signaled Li's intentions here in Manila .

Li's consistent play and error-free game were good enough to win the battle in the middle stages of the match as he won four consecutive racks to break away to lead 7-3.

The bespectacled Chinaman looks an unlikely pool hero and is nicknamed ‘Doraemon' after the blue Japanese cartoon cat but his game is right up there and he will be hard to beat.

Luong, who had impressed earlier in the week and looks a bright hope for the future, struggled to keep up as he played his worst game of the week. He offered token resistance but Li was too strong as he completed the win.

Li is a 26 year-old from Beijing and first came to prominence earlier this year when he reached the final of the Vietnamese stop on the SMB Asian Tour only to lose to Efren Reyes.

“I didn't think I had this in me and before each match I never believed I had to win the match so I just tried to relax and enjoy the game, he said.

“I enjoy the mental part of the game. I was confident about the match and I have played Luong before in practice matches.

“As to my chances of winning the World Championship – I've never even thought about it,” he added.