Longoni 9-Ball League Semi-Final Line-Ups Set For Slovenia

The Longoni 9 Ball League reconvenes at the end of this month in Lasko in Slovenia and is now down to the semi-finals which both take place on 30th September. The event got underway in February at the same Slovenian venue and the event has featured 12 nations playing in four groups of three teams. The format is scotch doubles and the two representatives of each country have been the two highest ranked players on the Euro Tour prior to each round of matches.

With group play complete, there are four teams remaining and they compete in two semi-finals with the prize of a spot in the title match which takes place in Italy prior to the final Euro Tour event of the year. The opening match will see Spain take on Bosnia & Herzegovina in the first Longoni 9 Ball League semi-final which gets underway at 20:00 local time.

With the EuroTour rankings determining the players in each team during the course of season, the ever-reliable Spanish duo of Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz and David Alcaide have stayed at the top throughout. Ranked No.1 and No.8 respectively, they are, understandably, hot favourites for the title.

Standing in their way are Bosnia’s young talented team of Sanjin Pehlivanovic and Ajdin Piknjac who are currently ranked at No.25 and No.45. The pair have played all matches together and, in the process, have defeated two strong teams already in Greece and Norway. That means the Spaniards will need to come with their best to negotiate the tie.

With its scotch doubles format, the Longoni 9 Ball League now becomes a race to 9 for the semi-finals with alternate break and alternate breaker. The second semi-final, scheduled at 21:30 local time, features Poland against Germany.

Germany’s top ranked player, with a host of titles to his name this year including gold at the World Games, is Joshua Filler (ET ranked No.3) and he will be partnered by the improving Tobias Bongers (ET No.20) as they attempt to overcome the strong Polish pairing of Wiktor Zielinski and Wojciech Szewczyk.

Zielinski (ET No.2) and Szewczyk (No.10) have gelled perfectly over the two matches they’ve played, beating Austria and Italy in the group stage. Germany, however, have seen a change of personnel, as Filler and Thorsten Hohmann started the campaign but Bongers produced the better results on the EuroTour to take the spot and has not looked back.

Each team, having won their respective group, will now play for a place in November’s final and a shot at the first prize of 3900 Euro. Add that to the group earnings and the eventual champions will collect a cool 4500 Euro for playing four matches. The runners-up receive 2500 Euro plus group earnings and as with all the teams, the total prize money will be divided into match shares with one share for each team appearance.

Following the semi-finals, the final will take place on Friday 25th November in Treviso, Italy.
Matches can be viewed live on the free Kozoom platform, TV.kozoom as well as on the Longoni 9 Ball League & EPBF Facebook pages.

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