Bergman over Van Boening Finishes Up International 9-Ball Open Day Four
Nov. 1, 2019
Nov. 1, 2019
Francos Sanchez-Ruiz (Erwin Dionisio)
Day four at the International 9-Ball Open got started with both of the Team USA Mosconi Cup hopefuls playing on neighboring tables. Corey Deuel and Max Eberle are battling to see who fills the final slot on the team. Yu-Lung Chang bested Max Eberle 11-7, while Corey won over Ri Teng Liu 11-8. Advantage Deuel? We all have to just wait for the announcement.
Elsewhere, world #1 Joshua Filler notched up another win by taking down Denis Grabe 11-7. The feature match was Alex Kazakis versus James Aranas. Both men showed a few early-day arm struggles but Kazakis woke up first and won this one 11-6.
The second round of the day saw only four matches. The first to finish award for this round would go to Ruslan Chinahov of Russia, who only took a little over an hour to defeat Naoyuki Oi of Japan 11-4. Next to finish was our defending champion Jung-Lin Chang, who took care of business by winning 11-7 over Fedor Gorst.
Aloysius App and Roland Garcia kept it close throughout their match with rarely more than one game separating them. Yapp managed to be the last man standing when he won the hill-hill match to claim the win 11-10. Another tight one was the TV match between Albin Ouschan and Nick Ekonomopoulos. They also went head to head on every rack and wound up tied at 9 games apiece in their race to 11 games. Ouschan got to the hill first and won a brief safety battle for the 11-9 win.
The 2:30 session also had four matches. John Morra took down Marco Teutscher 11-6 and Denis Grabe won a tight one with Mika Immonen. The two champions were tied at 9 games apiece when Grabe took control of the next two racks to win 11-9. Our third match was not so close as James Aranas kept his hot game going and defeated Yu-Lung Chang 11-6.
The final match of the day session was Corey Deuel against Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz. Francisco began like a house on fire and went out to an 8-0 lead before Corey won eight racks of his own to tie us at 8 apiece. What began as a race to 11 was now a race to three.
After two more racks we were tied at nine games each. What a battle this had become! Deuel broke and ran the next rack to be the first to ascend to the hill. In the next rack Deuel was running out before hanging the 7-ball in the corner. Sanchez-Ruiz ran the remaining three balls to stand beside Deuel atop the hill. The most dramatic match of the day had come down to a one-rack decider. Sanchez-Ruiz broke dry and Deuel was forced to play a safety when he could not get on the two ball. The safety war that ensued was won by Deuel when he finally gained a shot on the two ball. The cluster of the five and six stopped his run and again he sought safety. Another war of safes began.This time it was Sanchez-Ruiz who got the first shot and he made the most of it, winning the rack and one of the most exciting matches this reporter has seen in thirty years of watching tournament pool.
Coming back from the dinner break, six matches were scheduled for 6:30. The two winners side matches saw Ko Ping-Chung make quick work of Jayson Shaw 11-5 and Max Lechner having a slightly more comfortable 11-7 win over Dennis Orcollo than he did Wednesday night against Van Boening. On the one loss side, Chinahov, Chris Robinson, Aloysius Yapp and Albin Ouschan were all eliminated in 17th place.
The 8:30 round featured Darren Appleton vs Joshua Filler. Despite Appleton struggling with the break, the match went 10-10 before a Filler safety left Appleton with no alternative but to try to tie up a ball. With Appleton failing to do so, Filler took ball in hand and ran out for the 11-10 win. Sanchez-Ruiz may have still been brimming with confidence from his win over Deuel, as he eliminated Denis Grabe in a quick 11-3 match. Other matches saw James Aranas eliminate John Morra and Alex Kazakis sending Thorsten Hohmann to the one loss side.
The final round of the night only held two matches with defending champion Chang Jung-Lin playing Alex Pagulayan and the last two remaining US players facing off with Justin Bergman battling Shane Van Boening. While Pagulayan made relatively quick work of Chang 11-4, Van Boening and Bergman engaged in another extended battle. Both players came out of their corners looking a little tired, but it was Bergman who took control and Van Boening struggling to find his "A-Game". . Bergman led the match by four racks at 10-6, before Van Boening came back to 10-9 with an open table to tie things at 10-10. Van Boening navigated the table, but left a tricky 8-ball that he was obviously not happy with. Van Boening settled for a long shot on the 9-ball and it proved to be his doom, as the ball never even challenged the pocket and Bergman cleaned up for the 11-9 win.