Philippines Take First Ever Partypoker.Com World Cup Of Pool

Efren Reyes and Francisco Bustamante

The Filipino dream team of Efren Reyes and Francisco Bustamante become the inaugural World Cup of Pool Champions as they hammered Team USA 13-5 in front of a packed arena at the Newport Centre, South Wales.

The American duo of Earl Strickland and Rodney Morris were expected to make a match of it but a combination of bad luck and loose shots on the part of the Americans and unrelenting skill from the Filipinos meant there was only one winner.

With upwards of 900 people in the arena including a large contingent of expatriate Filipinos, the atmosphere was electric and the tension mounted as the two teams shared the first eight racks of the race-to-13 final.

From there though things unraveled for the Americans. They lost control of the cue ball on the break and consequently found it difficult to get anything going.

By contrast the Philippines turned up the heat with Reyes in particular playing a series of stunning shots to get out of jail and pot some seemingly impossible balls.

The second half of the match became something of a procession as the Philippines won seven consecutive racks to leave their opponents in no mans land.

Team USA got one back to take the score to 11-5 but Reyes and Bustamante knocked off the final two racks to take the magnificent silver trophy, the title and a cheque for $60,000.

"It's funny that every time there is a new big tournament, I win it but all week I thought if we could get to the final we can win, said a delighted Efren Reyes after the match.

"The USA is a good team but they were unlucky and that made it easy for us. The support of the fans was brilliant, they've come from all over Britain and have looked after us all week."

Bustamante was thrilled to take pool's first ever World Cup event; "In the beginning there was a lot of pressure on us but when we went three games ahead it all lifted, he said.

"Efren played lots of unbelievable shots; some of them I've never seen in my life! That's why we won.

"They were unlucky because they didn't get the shots after the break but when he plays perfect and I play good we knew we had a great chance and it is a great feeling to be World Cup of Pool champions."

For the Americans, Rodney Morris summed up their feelings; "That was pretty disappointing. After 4-4 it didn't go our way although the match was closer than the score suggested but when it went to 7-4 we were both pretty deflated and felt it slipping away.

"We never really got a clear shot off the break and it was a tough hill to climb but they played great - the way they were supposed to so congratulations to them," he added.

First Round
Canada 9 - 5 Thailand
Malaysia 9 - 3 Qatar
Czech Republic 9 - 6 Poland
Philippines 9 - 0 Malta
Taiwan 9 - 6 India
England 'B' 9 - 6 Korea
Russia 9 - 3 Hungary
Hong Kong 9 - 8 Sweden
Japan 9 - 0 Indonesia (Walkover)
Spain 9 - 8 England A
USA 9 - 6 Singapore
Germany 9 - 2 Wales
Finland 9 _ 5 Ireland
Italy 9 - 2 South Africa
Vietnam 9 - 8 Croatia
Holland 9 - 5 Scotland
Losers receive $3,000 per team

Second Round
Philippines 9 - 5 Malaysia
USA 9 - 3 England B
Taiwan 9 - 4 Japan
Hong Kong 9 - 8 Russia
Czech Republic 9 - 8 Canada
Italy 9 - 2 Finland
Germany 9 - 5 Spain
Vietnam 9 - 8 Holland
Losers receive $5,000 per team

Quarter Finals
Germany 9 - 4 Taiwan
Vietnam 9 - 8 Italy
USA 9 - 3 Hong Kong
Philippines 9 - 6 Czech Republic
Losers receive $10,000 per team

Semi Finals
USA 9 - 7 Vietnam
Philippines 9 - 7 Germany
Losers receive $16,000 per team

The Final
Philippines 13 - 5 USA
Losers receive $30,000 per team, winners receive $60,000 per team