Hobbling Lining Brings More Pinoy Joy!

Battling on despite an injured foot, class Filipino cueman Antonio Lining grabbed the third qualifying spot at the 2004 Taiwan World Pool Championship as he got the better of Taiwan's Kuan-liang Liu by 9 – 5 to takes his place in Group 5.

Lining's win made it three out of three for the Philippines following on from the successes of Marlon Manolo and then Rodolfo Luat in yesterday's opening heats and the total number of Filipino competitors now rises to nine.

The injury occurred on Saturday and left Lining's left foot cut and sore. Such was his pain that he asked tournament organisers for special dispensation to play today's matches wearing flip-flops as his regular shoes caused him some agony.

“The toe is bad and hurt when I was playing and I hope I don't get an infection. I've got a few days to let it get better though,” he said afterwards

The flip-flops seemed to work a treat as cueing confidentially, Lining strode into an impressive 8 – 2 lead. With the finishing line so close, though, he began to falter and a missed a nervy 6 ball to give his opponent an opportunity to get back to the table. Liu cleared to reduce the deficit and then took the next two to give Lining something to think about.

The task was too big for Chien though and he slipped up in a safety exchange to give the 41 year-old from Oriental Mindoro the chance to seal victory.

With two last 16 appearances at Cardiff in the last three years, Lining will be a heavy favourite to make his way out of group containing players like Johnny Archer and Tom Storm at the top end but also relatively inexperienced men from the UAE, South Africa, Canada and Korea.

“When you are 8 – 2 up, it is a long way ahead and you tend to get a little nervous. He was a good opponent though – he got to the final didn't he – and there are a lot of good players here.

“Stalev was my hardest match today but he made a careless mistake and that gave me an opportunity. I was not worried that I wouldn't qualify though and I'm looking forward to Saturday and maybe I have a chance to win.”