Philippines Beat Germany in Epic World Cup of Pool Final

Efren Reyes

Philippines B, made up of legendary cuemen Efren Reyes and Francisco Bustamante, delighted an entire nation on Sunday evening at the SM North Mall Annex in Quezon City, Manila, as they came from behind at the death to beat the German team of Thorsten Hohmann and Ralf Souquet by 11-9.

It would be hard to think of a more nerve-wracking, thrilling or tense major pool final as both teams had chances to win and both displayed their awesome skills as well as frailties under pressure.

It's hard to be exact but there were upwards of 2,000 people watching from every possible angle and the atmosphere in the arena was charged from the start. In addition, millions more were viewing in homes, bars and clubs across the Philippines as the event was aired live in its entirety on Solar Sports and CS9.

“We are very happy because we thought we were lucky. When they were leading we thought we were going to lose as the score was 9-7 and they were still playing easy run outs,” said an elated Bustamante.

“Thorsten's miss on the 5 ball meant we got lucky and that changed everything. We are very proud to have won this tournament twice.

“We didn't think we would get into the final but when we beat China, Efren said ‘we will win this tournament'. We don't play much together normally then we came together for the World Cup and it's amazing that we have won but it was very tough,” he added.

It was the second time these two have won this coveted title and they each collected checks for $30,000.

The tension was palpable as MC John McDonald introduced the two teams into the arena for the race to 11 championship match and it was the Philippines got off to a flyer as they took the first three to the delight of the massive crowd. In the fourth though, Bustamante's break was an illegal one, but Germany passed back the table and Reyes pushed out.

That left an intense, high-quality safety battle as none of the players dared to make a mistake. Finally it was the Philippines who made the error and the Germans got on the scoreboard.

The Germans took the next to go 2-3 and then in the sixth game, an excellent kicked double bank shot on the 2 ball by Reyes set the Philippines up for a good run out and they completed it to put a two rack gulf between themselves and their opponents.

Reyes and Bustamante then ran out the next to take the score to 5-2 and that left the German pair looking a little glum in their chairs. They got to the table in the next but Hohmann scratched to give ball in hand to Bustamante.

A bad miss by Busta though, on the green 6, saw the table return to Germany and they cleared to win their first rack since the fifth game.

A terrible snatch on the 7 ball by Reyes saw it miss and it rolled up table from where Hohmann deposited it to set up the run out for Germany. They then took the next from the break to tie the match up at 5-5.

The 11th game hinged on a miss on the orange 5 by Bustamante which tried to fall into the corner pocket but stayed out. Germany seized the opportunity to run out as they took the lead for the first time in the match.

Souquet returned the favour in the next as he missed the 1 ball and left it on for Bustamante. There was more 6 ball trouble for Reyes as he missed an absolute sitter. Hohmann though came to his rescue as he too missed it into the middle pocket.

It was shaky stuff but the Philippines managed to complete the run out to restore parity at 6-6. Both teams had visits in the next but it was Germany who took it, despite Souquet nearly scratching going from 8 to 9. That restored their one rack lead as the score moved to 7-6.

Reyes, who was looking increasingly tentative, missed the orange 5 and Germany needed no second invitation to run out as they increased their lead to two racks for the first time in the match.

A good break from Hohmann saw the 1 available but with the balls positioned awkwardly, the teams exchange safeties before a brilliant kicked bank shot from Hohmann put Germany in the ascendancy.

They scuppered themselves though with more safety and it was Reyes who bagged the 9 ball to give the Philippines a fighting chance as the score went to 8-7 in favour of Germany.

A crunching Bustamante break came up dry and the Souquet chose to push out. They exchanged safeties before the Kaiser jumped out of a snooker and fluked the 1 ball. Nothing was on and a very long safety battle ensued.

There was huge drama as Bustamante escaped a tough snooker and potted the 3 ball but Reyes missed once again, this time on the 4 ball. Trying to do too much with cue ball, Souquet missed the pot on the black 8 but Bustamante could only play safe.

There was more suspense as Hohmann left the 8 on but Reyes left his partner with a horrible 9 ball and he missed it. Souquet gathered himself and dropped the 9 ball to put his team 9-7 to the good.

A bad miss on the 1 ball from Bustamante let the Germans in but Hohmann missed the orange 5 ball. Reyes, recovering his confidence, banked it in and from there, the Philippines made it 9-8. They took the next to level the score at nine racks each and the crowd were almost out of control with excitement.

A dry break from Bustamante left the 1 ball on but Souquet, feeling the heat, missed a pressure pot on the orange 5. Reyes, fighting the choke, squeezed the 5 ball past the 8 and into the middle pocket and from there, the Philippines reached the hill first.

The Philippines enjoy huge good fortune as the balls rolled in their favour but at this stage it was all about nerves rather precision play. In the end, after visits from both sides, it was the Philippines in the shape of Efren Bata Reyes, who rolled the winning 9 ball home which saw the crowd erupt in delight.

“We should have won easily, 11-6, but it was just the way the match went but that's the way it is. There is nothing you can do about it,” said a dejected Souquet.

“We had enough chances, and I'm very very disappointed we didn't win. To be honest I still don't believe that it was a fantastic match as both teams made a lot of errors, but it was very dramatic for the spectators and there was a lot of tension for both teams,” he added.