Last Taiwanese Standing in The Finals; 2 Pinoys Dispute Last Final Berths in Puerto Pool

Chia-Ching Wu

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY---Chia-Ching Wu of Taiwan overcame a bad start to come from behind and win over fellow double world champion (WPA 8 ball and 9 Ball Champion) Ralf Souquet of Germany, 9-8, in the semifinals of the Puerto Princesa Mayor's Cup, the second leg of Philippine Pool Tour here at the Puerto Princesa Coliseum on Sunday.
The 19-year-old cue artist from Taipei was set to battle the winner of the match between 1st leg Mandaluyong Mayor's Cup PPT runner-up Marlon Manalo and reigning Philippine Junior champion Jericho Banares for the top prize of US$10,000 or roughly P440,000 in the Finals.  The event is presented by San Miguel Beer organized by the Billiards and Snookers Congress of the Philippines in partnership with Star Billiards Center and Raya Sports, and hosted by Puerto Princesa City Mayor Edward Hagedorn in close cooperation with city information officer Alroben Goh.   
Barely making the semifinals after a grueling and tense 9-8 squeaker over Marlon Manalo, Wu, the 19-year-old sensation, found himself pushed to the wall in yet another down-to-the-wire encounter against one of the best in the business.
He was trailing 2-5, but worked his way to get back. He pocketed the blue 10 while breaking in the 12th rack to tie the count at 6-all. The Taiwanese big shot took care of the next two racks to move closer to wrapping the match up in this event organized by the Billiards and Snookers Congress of the Philippines in partnership with Star Billiards Center and Raya Sports, and supported by San Miguel Beer, Puerto Princesa City Mayor Edward Hagedorn and city information officer Alroben Goh.
But Souquet had other things in mind.

Coming off an easy 9-3 demolition of first leg winner Gaga Gabica, Souquet had to fight back before forging an 8-8 deadlock. He appeared to have the match in his control, but had a bad break in the 17th and final rack as he scratched the cue ball, allowing Wu to clean up the table.
"Just like last night, I started slow, but I took it one rack at a time," said Hans Lu, owner of Pool Fusion Billiards Hall and interpreter of Wu.
Wu will be facing the winner of the other knockout semis match between Manalo and reigning national junior champion Jericho Bañares being played as of press time.
Studio 23 will air the semis and finals match of this event on Sunday, June 29 at 1 p.m. For latest photos of this event, visit
Both Wu and Banares, 18, from Antipolo City advance to the semi-finals after burning their respective opponents late Saturday night.
The two youthful players hurdled past the inaugural leg winner Antonio Gabica and Manalo – to become the early semifinalist. Souquet and Manalo, on the other hand booked their seat in the final four via back door.
Souquet trounced Gabica, 9-3, in the loser's side on Sunday while Manalo edged current world junior title-holder Pin-Yi Ko of Taiwan, 9-7.