Chinese Taipei wins Team Cup

The Chinese Taipei team celebrates

The team of all-stars from Chinese Taipei completed the come-back they started on Saturday to win the 2003 World Stars Invitational Team Cup.

The World Team looked strong after day one, when they cruised to a 4-1 lead. Day two, however, saw the Chinese Taipei team close that gap and take a one game lead at 8-7 by the end of the day.

Day three dawned with the event up for grabs to the team that wanted it more. The rules called for Chinese Taipei captain Fong Pang Chao to choose his player first in the odd numbered matches, and World team captain Ralf Souquet to announce his players first in the even numbered matches.

The first match of the day saw 'The Little Monster' Po Cheng Kuo take on Young Hwa Jeong from Korea. Jeong had not won a match yet in the event, and Sunday would be no different as Kuo won the match 7-2.

Trailing by two matches, Souquet went with reigning World 9-Ball Champion Thorsten Hohmann in the next match. Chao countered with Chin-Ching Kang, who is known as the Champion Killer due to his fantastic record against world champions. Kang lived up to his reputation, as he scored a 7-5 win over Hohmann.

The World Team's problems continued in the third match as Hui-Kai Hsia rolled over Mika Immonen 7-2 to give the Chinese Taipei team a four point lead with seven matches to go.

Alex Pagulayan came out strong in the next match against Ching-Shun Yang, and raced to a 6-0 lead. Alex missed the 5-ball in rack seven and before the World Team knew it, Yang had knotted the match at 6-6. To the Chinese Taipei teams horror, Yang missed a 7-ball in the case game to allow Pagulayan back to the table. Alex was unable to close the deal though, as he missed a tough 8-ball. Not only was Yang not able to close out the match from there, but he scratched on the 8-ball giving Pagulayan the set.

The World Team was unable to build on Pagulayan's win, as Charlie Williams dropped the next set to Che-Wei Fu 7-2 to give the Chinese Taipei team another four point lead; this time with only five matches to play.

The World Team won the next two matches with Rodney Morris dominating Hui-Chan Lu 7-0, and Ralf Souquet defeating Pei-wei Chang 7-4. Even with those two wins, the World Team would still have to win the next three matches to win the event.

Chinese Taipei captain Fong-Pang Chao took it upon himself to end the drama as he took on and defeated Hisashi Yamamoto from Japan 7-4 to give his team the victory. The final two matches were only formality as Tung-Yu Yang defeated Haruyoshi Hinokiyama and Kun-Fang Lee defeated Shin-Young Park to give Chinese Taipei the final 15-10 victory.

After the final matches were complete, awards were given out to 'Favorite Players' from each team. Ralf Souquet was named 'favorite player' for the World Team, and Ching-Shun Yang was named 'favorite player' for the Chinese Taipei team.

The next International Tournament in Taiwan is the World Continental Team Cup which will be held on November 13th-16th, 2003.