Gomez caps big year

Gomez caps big year

Filipino rising pool star Roberto Gomez capped his breakout season with another strong performance, finishing second in the tough 2007 Super Cup on Monday, December 31, in Taiwan.

The 29-year-old World Pool Championship runner-up from Divisoria, Zamboanga, took the measure of some of the world's finest cue masters on the way to the finals, where he fell to 18-year-old Taiwanese upstart Pin-yi Ko, 5-11, on New Year's Eve.

Ko, the reigning World Pool Junior champion, got off to a strong start, racing to 7-3 and 9-3 leads and never let up.

With the winner's break format in effect, Ko repeatedly scored via runouts to frustrate Gomez.

"Mahirap talaga kapag pinapaboran ng bola ang kalaban mo" ["It's so hard when your foe is in the groove"], said Gomez. "Hindi ka mananalo kung hindi ka masyadong tumitira" ["You'll never win if you don't always get the chance to get to the table"].

After trouncing former world champ Ralf Souquet of Germany and Taiwan's top player Ching-Shun Yang in the preliminary rounds, Gomez proceeded to beat former US Open winner Rodney Morris, 7-4, and local bet Che-Wei Fu, 7-6.

Like the Filipino, Ko had a roller-coaster stint in the preliminary rounds but came back strong to stun former world champion Chia-Ching Wu, 7-4, and Yang, 7-5, the defending Super Cup titleholder.

Gomez suffered two loses in the preliminary rounds -- against Ko, 7-5, and Marcus Chamat of Sweden, 7-3.