Philippines vs Taiwan in World Cup Semi-Finals

Pin Yi Ko

TWO OF the heavyweights of world pool will contest the second semi-final of the World Cup of Pool as Taiwan and the Philippines both recorded last eight wins at Robinsons Place Mall, Manila on Saturday evening.

Taiwan, represented by Jung-Lin Chang and Pin-Yi Ko, held off brave Poland for a deserved victory while Dennis Orcollo and Roberto Gomez set the 2,000 plus crowd on fire with a 9-1 win over Mika Immonen and Markus Juva of Finland.

With assembled experts divided on who would win, it was the home nation's remaining representatives who got off to a blistering start. Juva's foul on a jump shot in the opener set the tone as the Philippines completed the run out with cue ball in hand.

Playing superbly, Gomez and Orcollo broke and ran the next two and made it 4-0 when Immonen's attempt on a 2/4 combo failed. They broke and ran out the next three, making the game look easy.

Finland, going cold sitting in their chairs, had the occasional visit but not to anything of any value to them. They had a chance to take the eighth game but Immonen missed a horrible 8 ball.

The Finns finally got a rack to make the score 8-1 but another miss from Mika, sealed the deal for a 9-1 Philippines win, much to the delight of the crowd at the mall and many more watching around the country on Solar Sports.

"We played a great game and it was our best performance but maybe we can play better tomorrow,” said Gomez after the match.

"We were trying to look for the break and I think we found it as we made it every time. The break is something we only practise two or three hours before the game here so we're ready for anything. It's really important to practise on the same table and on the same cloth.

"We have Taiwan tomorrow but for us we do not see who the opponent is. If we play the same as this then we can beat anybody and everybody but Taiwan are a really tough team."

Orcollo added, "We made our break good and there was always a shot on so that's why the confidence was there. With the audience there's a lot of confidence there as they are always very supportive of the Philippines and that's why we played really nice tonight."

Earlier in the evening, Taiwan looked all business as they disposed of the plucky Polish pair of Radoslaw Babica and Mariusz Skoneczny by 9-5. Trailing 3-0 and then 5-2, the Poles got back to 5-4 at one point but the quality of the Taiwanese play was too much in the end.

They now face the Philippines in what promises to be a humdinger of a match on Sunday afternoon.

With 32 teams representing 31 countries – home nation Philippines has two sides in the competition – the World Cup of Pool sees the gathering of some of the most decorated stars of the pool firmament. The event is taking place at Robinsons Place, in Ermita, Manila.

With a total purse of $250,000, the winning pair split $60,000 between them while first round losers are guaranteed $1,500 each. All the action will be carried live on Solar Sports in The Philippines and other broadcasters across the region.

Semi Finals 1pm Sunday

China v Germany
Philippines B v Taiwan

Quarter Final Scores

China 9-3 Indonesia
Germany 9-7 France
Philippines B 9-1 Finland
Taiwan 9-5 Poland

Second Round Scores

Taiwan 8-2 Japan
Indonesia 8-6 Philippines A
Germany 8-1 Russia
France 8-6 England
China 8-5 Italy
Finland 8-1 Holland
Poland 8-7 USA
Philippines B 8-4 Spain

First Round Scores

Russia 8–4 Canada
Indonesia 8-7 India
China 8–2 Belgium
Italy 8-6 Korea
Germany 8–4 Hong Kong
Philippines A 8-3 Thailand
England 8–7 Qatar
France 8-5 Australia
Japan 8–7 Slovenia
Poland 8-6 Malta
Taiwan 8–2 Malaysia
Philippines B 8-4 Croatia
Holland 8–3 Austria
Finland 8-2 Singapore
USA 8-7 Sweden
Spain 8-5 Vietnam