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Sanchez Ruiz Claims Third Euro Tour Crown

Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz

Francisco Sanchez Ruiz is the Dynamic Billard Petrich Open champion after another blistering display as he beat Klenti Kaci 9 – 6 in a high-quality final at the Petrich Arena in the southern Bulgarian town. Having won his maiden title in Lasko, Slovenia in August last year, he followed that up just ten weeks later, winning the Antalya Open for back-to-back titles.

He took a runners-up spot to Niels Feijen last time out in Austria and now completes a hat-trick of wins on the prestigious Euro Tour. The final was a pulsating affair with both players at the tops of their respective games and in the end, it was very small margins that separated them.

Sanchez-Ruiz was thrilled with his third Tour title, “I feel very excited. This year I’m playing really good and with so much confidence but to be honest in the final I was a little bit lucky but I took my chances and I’m really happy.

“My first Euro Tour was in Lasko and after that everything changed in my mind with that win and I can’t wait for the next tournament. Sometimes I play fast, especially with the shot clock where you must do but this year I’m playing really good and feel so confident every time I play. I don’t really feel too much pressure so let’s see what happens during the rest of the year,” he concluded.

The match got underway as Kaci won the lag. There was a little back and forth safety before the Albanian ran out for the early lead. They shared the next two with run outs from the break and another one from Sanchez Ruiz levelled the score at 2-2.

The Spaniard took the first rack against the break to move into a 3-2 lead as a missed 2 ball down the rail from Kaci left it hanging over the pocket. It was Sanchez Ruiz turn to miss in the next as a difficult long 2 ball, cueing off rail, failed to find the pocket and Kaci took the opportunity.

A terrific safety battle in the seventh game saw Sanchez Ruiz leave the 1 ball on which Kaci disposed of and subsequently ran out to restore his one-rack lead. Normal service was resumed in the next game as Sanchez Ruiz ran out from the break to move the score to 4-4.

Kaci made three balls on break in the next but his safety left the 3 ball on. Sanchez Ruiz potted it but saw the cue ball fall into the middle pocket and with ball in hand, the Albanian cleared to move into a 5-4 lead.

An accurate snooker from Sanchez Ruiz saw his opponent escape but leave the 4 ball on and he duly pocketed it and ran out to put them back on level terms. It was break-neck stuff and when a loose safety from Kaci left the 2 ball on, Sanchez Ruiz took it and cleared up to take the lead again at 6-5 up.

A run out from the break from both players saw the score go to 7-6 in favour of the Spanish player. A miss from Kaci, attempting a shot-to-nothing, allowed Sanchez Ruiz to move to the hill and breaking to save the match, Kaci was forced to use his jump stick with the cue ball corralled in the corner behind the 6 ball. He made connection with the 1 ball but failed to pocket it and Sanchez Ruiz was a difficult table away from victory. He worked through the balls with precision and took down his third Euro Tour title.

Kaci wasn’t disappointed with his showing, “I broke good but just didn’t have many shots after the break and he had more than me. I was a game up then he went a game up and I had my chance at 7-6 to go 7-7 – I had a two-way shot but just didn’t really spin the ball and that was it. I’ve been playing good but it doesn’t matter sometimes – you play good but you still lose but the confidence is always there.”

The Dynamic Billards Euro Tour reconvenes from 1st to 3rd October with the Slovenian Open taking place in Lasko.

As well as the prize money, there are Tour ranking points on offer as well as world ranking points, so there is everything to play for. All Euro Tour tournaments are 9-ball and players compete in a double-elimination format, playing down to the last 32 competitors, and then single elimination until the finish. All matches are races to 9 racks with alternate break.

All the matches can be viewed live at www.kozoom.com as well as selected matches on Facebook Live on the EPBF page.

Results, live scoring and draw are available at
www.epbf.com/tournaments/eurotour/draw-results/

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Day One Complete At Petrich Open

Oliver Szolnoki

The first day is complete at the Dynamic Billard Petrich Open in Bulgaria as 157 players set forth on their quest for the fourth Euro Tour title of the year. With just the semi-finals and final taking place on the final day, Monday, there are a lot of matches to get through and it certainly pays to stay on the winners’ side of the draw.

Big name players still standing with no defeats to their names include Joshua Filler, Niels Feijen, Alexander Kazakis, Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz, Wiktor Zielinski, Mario He, Sanjin Pehlivanovic and Dennis Grabe.

One young player who won three from three today was the Netherland’s 17-year-old Yannick Pongers. The Dutchman has already enjoyed a
wonderful stay in Petrich having won two golds – 8-ball and 9-ball – at the recently completed European Pool Championships for Youth, and he started where he left off with three wins from three including a victory over Klenti Kaci which wasn’t without some controversy.

Commented Yannick, “It was a very good day for me. In fact, it was the first Euro Tour event where I’ve won three matches in a row and I beat Kaci which was a tough match. At 5-5 he missed a 9 ball then when he started racking, he smashed the 1 ball on the table, so the referee gave me an extra rack for unsportsmanlike behaviour.

“Then he gave up basically, unscrewed his cue and left the venue. My goal here is last 32 at least, I guess. We’ll see if I make it but I’m already happy with what I did but let’s see how far I go,” he added.

Another young player to stay on the winners’ side was Hungary’s Oliver Szolnoki who finally made it through after a nerve-wracking contest against Germany’s come-backing Lars Kuckherm. Szolnoki lead 7-2 with the win looking a formality, but Kuckherm plugged away as his play improved and he dragged it back to 7-7 before the Hungarian finished the match off at the death.

“I went up 7-2 and my break was working perfect and then I don’t know how, I missed an easy shot and then the match totally turned,” said a relieved Szolnoki.

“Every time he missed, I didn’t get a shot after that but he played well also and took his chances. I thought if I could just make a couple of break and runs, I would win the match but it didn’t work and somehow it was 7-7. In the end, I’m glad I’m through and survived this match.

“I saw some good signs – up to 7-2 I played very well, I think. Also, at 7-7 I managed to clear two tables under pressure so that was a positive but I’ll need to improve tomorrow,” he added.

Players reconvene tomorrow morning at 9am local time where the winners’ side have one more match to reach the last 32 single elimination knockout, while players on the one-loss side have a maximum of four games to reach the knock-out stage.

Play continues down to the final four on Sunday evening with the semi-finals and then the final commencing at 17.00 on Monday.

As well as the prize money, there are Tour ranking points on offer as well as world ranking points, so there is everything to play for. All Euro Tour tournaments are 9-ball and players compete in a double-elimination format, playing down to the last 32 competitors, and then single elimination until the finish. All matches are races to 9 racks with alternate break.

All the matches can be viewed live at www.kozoom.com as well as selected
matches on Facebook Live on the EPBF page. In addition, the semi-finals
and final, played out on Monday night, will be live or highlights on the
following television stations across Europe;

SportKlub HD – Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia,
Bosnia Herzegovina, Greece
Eyecons – Netherlands
SportKlub – Poland
ORF – Austria
B1B Box – Bulgaria

Results, live scoring and draw are available at
www.epbf.com/tournaments/eurotour/draw-results/

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EPBF Petrich Open Kicks Off in Petrich Bulgaria

#1 Ranked Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz

157 players are gathered in the sunny southern Bulgarian town of Petrich for the fourth tournament on the annual roster of six events on the Dynamic Billard Euro Tour. Taking place in the Petrich Arena, 20 tables are in operation as the event is set to get underway on Saturday 6th and conclude on the evening of Monday 8th August. With temperatures outside sizzling in the mid-30’s, the arena is an air-conditioned oasis, and the current top ten players are all in attendance as they bid to consolidate their positions.

With the rankings consisting of a players’ best five finishes from a rolling six-tournament tally, the oldest event drops off the list with the completion of each tournament. Still holding the No.1 spot is Francisco Sanchez Ruiz (Spain) who is defending a semi-final finish – 480 points – from Austria in 2021 so he will need to finish deep this week to maintain his position.

Still holding the No.2 rank is Poland’s Wiktor Zielinski who, despite his youth, has become one of the feared players in world pool. He is 160 points behind Sanchez Ruiz and a further 75 points back in third is and Joshua Filler, fresh from his triumphant visit to the World Games where he took gold in Birmingham, Alabama.

Those three at the top of the rankings have dominated the Euro Tour of late, having won six of the last seven tournaments, but their
stranglehold on the trophies was loosened at the last Euro Tour event – the Dynamic Billard St Johann im Pongau Open in Austria – as veteran Niels Feijen swept all before him to move himself into the top ten.

In the single elimination stages in St Johann, the multi-titled Dutchman beat Daniel Maciol, Eklent Kaci, Zielinski and Oliver Szolnoki before defeating Sanchez-Ruiz 9-4 for the title. It was Feijen’s first Tour win since 2016 and his tenth in a stellar career that shows no signs of abating.

As well as the prize money, there are Tour ranking points on offer as well as world ranking points, so there is everything to play for. All Euro Tour tournaments are 9-ball and players compete in a double-elimination format, playing down to the last 32 competitors, and then single elimination until the finish. All matches are races to 9 racks with alternate break.

All the matches can be viewed live at www.kozoom.com as well as selected matches on Facebook Live on the EPBF page. In addition, the semi-finals and final, played out on Monday night, will be live or highlights on the following television stations across Europe;

SportKlub HD – Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia,
Bosnia Herzegovina, Greece
Eyecons – Netherlands)
SportKlub – Poland
ORF – Austria
B1B Box – Bulgaria

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Nineball Rankings Update: Niels Feijen On The March

Niels Feijen (Taka Wu/Matchroom Multi Sport)

Niels Feijen’s 11th EuroTour title at the weekend in Austria sees the Dutchman move up to 11th in the Live Nineball World Rankings after a 9-4 win over Francisco Sanchez Ruiz in the final of the St Johan im Pongau Open.

WORLD RANKINGS HERE

The St Johan im Pongau Open was the latest EuroTour tournament on the Nineball World Rankings schedule which also saw Sanchez Ruiz tighten his grip as Nineball World No.3 as Oliver Szolnoki and Dimitri Jungo formed runs to the semi-finals to cement their spots inside the top 32.

UK Open champion Joshua Filler reached the quarter-finals before defeat to Sanchez Ruiz. The Killer’s efforts sees him tighten his grip as World No.2 just under $10,000 behind World No.1 Shane Van Boening after the South Dakota Kid’s World Pool Championship win earlier this year.

2021 World Pool Masters champion Alexander Kazakis continued his good season so far in Austria whilst Mario He and Wiktor Zielinski also made inroads inside the Live Nineball World Ranking Top 10.

Attention now turns to Bulgaria for the EuroTour Petrich Open from August 6-8 ahead of the inaugural European Open Pool Championship at the Hotel Esperanto, Fulda in Germany from August 9-14 with 256 players set to battle it out for a slice of the $200,000 and vital ranking points that could well see them move into Mosconi Cup contention. Tickets start from €15 and are available right here.

The events below are all ranking events. The World Pool Masters, World Cup of Pool, and Mosconi Cup are all non-ranking events

Petrich Open – EuroTour – Petrich, Bulgaria – August 6-8 

European Open – Matchroom – Hotel Esperanto, Fulda, Germany – August 9-14 – Tickets on sale here

Slovenia Open – EuroTour – Slovenia – October 1-3 

Sandcastle 9-Ball Open – NBL – New Jersey – October 6-8

US Open Pool Championship – Matchroom – Harrah’s Resort, Atlantic City – October 10-15 – Tickets on sale here 

International Open – Accu-Stats – Virginia, USA – October 30 – 5 November

Mosconi Cup – Matchroom – Bally’s Las Vegas – November 30-3 December – Limited availability

How the Live 2023 Nineball Rankings Impact the 2022 Mosconi Cup Selection Process

The top player from each team from the Live Nineball World Rankings will be selected after the conclusion of the 2022 European Open Pool Championship at Hotel Esperanto Fulda, August 9-14 2022.

A further two players for each team will then be taken off the Live Nineball World Rankings after the conclusion of the 2022 US Open Pool Championship at Harrah’s Resort, Atlantic City from October 10-15 2022.

Both Team Europe and the USA will then have two wild card picks each as selected by the two respective captains Alex Lely and Jeremy Jones.

Read more on Feijen’s win courtesy of the EPBF

It is 21 years since the Terminator’s maiden Euro Tour win and six years since his last, and this victory was a testimony to Feijen’s endurance as one of pool’s premier players.

Said a delighted Feijen; “It’s a great feeling! I was struggling for a long time on the Euro Tour, not getting any results. It’s not that the level is better, there’s just more really good players now. I love the game but it’s more up and down now than when I was in my 20s and 30s. Sometimes I don’t care and sometimes I really, really want to win and put the effort in like now, and that is super-rewarding when it pays off.”

Feijen had enjoyed some hard-fought wins as he progressed through the tournament, none more so than his come-from-behind 9-8 win over Wiktor Zielinski in the last eight but in Sanchez Ruiz he was facing, arguably the form player in the world currently.

After dropping the opener, Sanchez Ruiz reeled off the next three racks to open up an ominous lead before Feijen ran out from the break after leaving a very makeable table. In the next, they both had visits, trying to force the error from their opponent, before Feijen potted the pink 4 with some style and he cleared to level the match.

Feijen came with a marvellous table length bank to down the 6 in the next and set up a rack-winning opportunity. It was his third rack in a row and put him into a 4-3 lead. That became 5-3 after Feijen ran a difficult table following an illegal break from Sanchez Ruiz.

The unstoppable Dutchman took the next before a magical 3/9 kicked combo increased Feijen’s lead to 7-3 and his reaction showed just how much he enjoyed that one. Sanchez Ruiz wasn’t done and a low percentage 1/9 combination table-length jump shot was executed magnificently.

However, it was the Spaniard’s last positive contribution as an unlucky scratch in the next gave Feijen ball in hand and he ran the table to put himself on the hill. With the break, Feijen delivered a solid one and was able to run out for a marvellous win.

Feijen added, “It’s down to a bit more commitment, and more hard work. I haven’t been really, really motivated these past four or five years. Then Corona came, I started some different projects so I’m extremely busy when I’m home. I felt I was playing really good the last couple of Euro Tours. I was breaking better, I won at the Europeans so that was a boost. Me and Marc (Bijsterbosch) played pretty well at the World Cup, I played good at the UK Open so I felt I was gaining some momentum and the more I play, the better I play; that’s a fact.

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Fantastic Feijen Claims 11th Euro Crown

Niels Feijen and Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz

Niels Feijen is the 2022 Dynamic Billard St Johan im Pongau Open champion after a string of rock-solid performances, culminating in a superb 9-4 victory over Spain’s Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz in the title match at the Alpina Sporthotel in the Austrian mountains. It is 21 years since the Terminator’s maiden Euro Tour win and six years since his last, and this victory was a testimony to Feijen’s endurance as one of pool’s premier players.

Said a delighted Feijen; “It’s a great feeling! I was struggling for a long time on the Euro Tour, not getting any results. It’s not that the level is better, there’s just more really good players now. I love the game but it’s more up and down now than when I was in my 20s and 30s. Sometimes I don’t care and sometimes I really, really want to win and put the effort in like now, and that is super-rewarding when it pays off.”

Feijen had enjoyed some hard-fought wins as he progressed through the tournament, none more so than his come-from-behind 9-8 win over Wiktor Zielinski in the last eight but in Sanchez Ruiz he was facing, arguably the form player in the world currently.

After dropping the opener, Sanchez Ruiz reeled off the next three racks to open up an ominous lead before Feijen ran out from the break after leaving a very makeable table. In the next, they both had visits, trying to force the error from their opponent, before Feijen potted the pink 4 with some style and he cleared to level the match.

Feijen came with a marvellous table length bank to down the 6 in the next and set up a rack-winning opportunity. It was his third rack in a row and put him into a 4-3 lead. That became 5-3 after Feijen ran a difficult table following an illegal break from Sanchez Ruiz.

The unstoppable Dutchman took the next before a magical 3/9 kicked combo increased Feijen’s lead to 7-3 and his reaction showed just how much he enjoyed that one. Sanchez Ruiz wasn’t done and a low percentage 1/9 combination table-length jump shot was executed magnificently.

However, it was the Spaniard’s last positive contribution as an unlucky scratch in the next gave Feijen ball in hand and he ran the table to put himself on the hill. With the break, Feijen delivered a solid one and was able to run out for a marvellous win.

Feijen added, “It’s down to a bit more commitment, and more hard work. I haven’t been really, really motivated these past four or five years. Then Corona came, I started some different projects so I’m extremely busy when I’m home. I felt I was playing really good the last couple of Euro Tours. I was breaking better, I won at the Europeans so that was a boost. Me and Marc (Bijsterbosch) played pretty well at the World Cup, I played good at the UK Open so I felt I was gaining some momentum and the more I play, the better I play; that’s a fact.

“In the final I was 3-1 down but my focus was really good. I’ve always had good solid routines, I’m not on the phone all the time, I meditate, and I’m really good at building my focus up and that showed these past two days. I feel that’s my weapon compared to the youngsters who are on the phone for eight hours a day.

“I’ve never been an up-and-down player, just very consistent and that’s down to a solid work ethic. When you want to be a consistent
professional for a long time, you have to make good choices,” added Feijen.

Sanchez Ruiz was the first to acknowledge Feijen’s stellar performance; “I’m not really that disappointed – I think I played good but Niels today played amazing, like perfect. I missed only one chance to go 4-2 but hats off to him because he played unbelievable. I’m happy because I played really good so let’s see what happens in the next tournament.”

As well as the prize money, there are Tour ranking points on offer as well as world ranking points, so there is everything to play for. All Euro Tour tournaments are 9-ball and players compete in a double-elimination format, playing down to the last 32 competitors, and then single elimination until the finish. All matches are races to 9 racks with alternate break.

All the matches can be viewed live at www.kozoom.com
Results, live scoring and draw are available at www.epbf.com

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Flawless Kaplan Takes Home The Title

Ina Kaplan

Ina Kaplan is the 2022 Predator St Johann im Pongau Women’s Open champion following a dominating performance in the final match as she beat Bojana Sarac (Serbia) 7-1 to lift the trophy. It is the German lady’s third Predator Euro Tour victory and following a hiatus due to Covid and giving birth to her second child, she returned stronger than ever as she finished the tournament undefeated, having never looked in danger throughout.

“I just had the feeling that I could do it and that I just had to calm down and just play my game and be focused. I really feel that when I can get this game all the time, then I can beat everybody!” said a delighted Kaplan.

The German won the lag and took the first rack in the race-to-7 final. Both had visits in the next before Kaplan ran out of position travelling to the 6 ball and her safety attempt allowed Sarac to run the table to level at 1-1. A great break from Kaplan in the next saw three balls disappear and she worked hard to complete an excellent run out and a 2-1 lead.

An unsuccessful break from Sarac allowed her opponent back to the table and Kaplan took the rack to open up a two-game lead. That soon became a three-game lead before Sarac looked on track in the next but missed a relatively easy 7 ball and Kaplan made no mistakes to increase her lead to 4-1.

Looking supremely confident and in total control of her game, Kaplan ran the next game to put herself within two of victory at 5-1. A solid break from Kaplan gave her a good look at the lowest numbered ball. She came unstuck though, missing the 6 ball but left it safe. Both players went back and forth before it was left to Kaplan to finish it off and reach the hill at 6-1.

Looking calm and composed, Kaplan completed what would be the final rack of the final as she planted the 9 ball to secure a marvellous 7-1 victory.

Commented Kaplan, “I finally got to the knowledge that I don’t have to push myself all the time and to be so intense. Just be calm and play my game as I’m excited enough and have enough adrenaline in this situation. I have to mention Niels Feijen‘s Terminator College and the mental programme I took; I finally got the rewards and it’s great!”

For Sarac it was a disappointing ending after she battled hard throughout the tournament after going to the one-loss side at the first opportunity. “I lost my first match 7-6 and felt really bad but I honestly thought I could come back and play really good which I did of course.

“I was also losing in a few matches – the quarter-finals I was losing 5-1 and I came back and I thought I could do the same but she played really great. I do feel like I can win a Euro Tour; this is about my fifth or sixth Euro Tour so I’m still at the beginning.”

Earlier, Ina Kaplan had defeated Turkey’s Eyllul Kibaroglu 7-3 on the main table to book her place in the final. Meanwhile, Sarac got the better of Tina Vogelmann, this time by 7-3.

All Predator Euro Tour Women tournaments are 9-ball and the field contest a double-elimination format, playing down to the last 16 competitors, and then single elimination until the finish. All matches are a race to 7 racks with alternate break. The next event on the Tour is the Predator Petrich Women’s Open which runs from 6th to 8th August in Bulgaria.

All the matches can be viewed live at www.kozoom.com
Results, live scoring and draw are available at www.epbf.com

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Jerry Briesath and Dennis Orcollo Elected to Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame

The Billiard Congress of America (BCA) Hall of Fame will welcome a world champion and one of the game’s most revered teachers to the Hall of Fame Class of 2022. The United States Billiard Media Association (USBMA) today announced that Filipino star Dennis Orcollo and legendary instructor Jerry Briesath have earned induction into the sport’s most prestigious club.

Orcollo, 43, was the clear choice of voters in the Greatest Players category and will be the fourth player representing the Philippines to be inducted into the BCA Hall of Fame, joining Pinoy legends Efren Reyes, Francisco Bustamante and Jose Parica.

Briesath, 85, was a unanimous selection in the Meritorious Service category. The longtime and legendary instructor is considered the father of formal billiard instruction in America, having helped develop and guide the program from concept to its current roster of more than 300 professional instructors across the globe.

Orcollo and Briesath will formally be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Friday, Nov. 4, at the Norfolk Sheraton Waterside Hotel in Norfolk, Va., in conjunction with the 2022 International Open pool tournament.

“Wow!” Orcollo said from his home in the Philippines, where he is awaiting a meeting with U.S. Immigration authorities to petition his return to action in U.S. tournaments. “I never really thought I would be in the Hall of Fame. This is a great award.

“I’m not Efren Reyes,” he laughed. “He is one of the greatest ever. I don’t think of myself that way, so I never really thought about it.”

For Briesath, an active pro player in the 1960’s and ’70s, the award is validation of years of service to players and the sport.

“This is just super,” Briesath said. “The Hall of Fame is about having the admiration of people in the sport and in the industry for what you’ve done. I’ve been to almost all of the Hall of Fame banquets and it was always wonderful to see great players and good people get recognized.”

A longtime poolroom owner in Madison, Wis., Briesath helped launch the BCA Certified Instructor Program (now known as the Professional Billiard Instructors Association) in 1992 and the BCA Summer Youth Cue Camps in 1993. He was awarded the BCA President’s Award in 1997 for his ongoing efforts to improve how players learn to play. He later helped create the BCA “How to Play Pool Right” book and video.

In addition to claiming the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) World 8-Ball Championship in 2011, Orcollo (known in pool circles as “Robocop”) won the BCA Open 9-Ball Championship (2007), Qatar World Open (2008), World Pool Masters (2010), and the China Open (2012).  He has been a dominant force at the annual Derby City Classic, winning the 9-Ball division twice (2011, 2017), the Banks division twice (2014, 2020), and the Master of the Table crown twice (2017, 2020). He holds major titles in 8-ball, 9-ball, straight pool, 10-ball, one-pocket and banks.

Voting for the 2022 BCA Hall of Fame was conducted by the USBMA Hall of Fame Board, which consists of USBMA members, elected At-Large members and living members of the Hall of Fame. In his third year on the ballot, Orcollo was named on 34 submitted ballots (80%). Holland’s Niels Feijen was named on 25 ballots (60%), while American Corey Deuel was named on 15 ballots (39%). Jeremy Jones, JoAnn Mason-Parker, John Schmidt, Vivian Villarreal and Charlie Williams completed the 2022 ballot. To be eligible for consideration in the Greatest Players category, a player (a) must be 40 years old by Jan. 1 of the year of their inclusion on the ballot; (b) must have a professional playing career of at least 10 years; and (c) must have recorded significant achievements in U.S.-based and international events recognized by the BCA.

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Chinese Taipei And Singapore Into Semi-Finals Of 2022 World Cup of Pool

Ko Ping Chung and Ko Pin Yi (Taka Wu/Matchroom Multi Sport)

Chinese Taipei and Singapore are into the semi-finals of the 2022 World Cup of Pool at the Brentwood Centre, Essex live on Sky Sports Arena in the UK, DAZN in the USA, Canada, Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Viaplay in Scandinavia, the Baltics, Netherlands, and Poland. Matchroom.Live in territories without a broadcaster.

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Niels Feijen and Marc Bijsterbosch were fresh off the back of defeating defending champions Germany and it was the Dutchmen who won the lag against Chinese Taipei before taking the first rack despite Ko Pin Yi’s best efforts with the jump cue. In the second rack, Bijsterbosch laid a snooker that Pin Yi couldn’t get out of to foul opening it up for a quick second rack for the Netherlands.

Pin Yi accompanied by brother Pin Chung on the Chinese Taipei side got back into things just before the commercials at 2-1, thanks to Bijsterbosch scratching when playing a kick on the one. The pair struggled in their win over Greece yesterday morning, but they looked more themselves as they turned the contest around to lead 4-2 thanks to some exquisite cueing.

The Dutch were sat in their seats for a while, but they changed after Ping Chung scratched when making the four ball by going in off the six in the middle pocket. The chance that was presented was converted and they were one back. Ball in hand came to the forefront of the next rack for the Netherlands as Feijen missed a thin cut to give Chinese Taipei control of the table once again to run out and be 5-3 up and over halfway.

Bijsterbosch played a lovely kick and combo on the 3-7 to give the Netherlands a fighting chance in the following rack. Feijen proceeded to play a safety and Pin Yi exposed the three for the Netherlands to come back again at 5-4 and 5-5 thanks to a break and run.

Chinese Taipei were looking to reach their eighth semi-final in the competition’s history, and they were moving one step closer to being within a shout of winning the title again after Bijsterbosch missed the six up the table in the 11th rack to hand Pin Yi and Ping Chung their moment to string three racks together and be on the hill. It was relatively plain sailing for Chinese Taipei, and it seemed they were going to run away with it.

At 8-5 up, Ping Chung missed the 3-8 combo to bring Feijen back to the table who delivered where his opponent couldn’t to keep the Netherland’s hopes alive as they trailed by two. That mistake was costly as Bijsterbosch and Feijen ran the next rack to be one behind. A further Dutch break and run brought the match to a hill hill conclusion.

Bijsterbosch broke in the decider but left Feijen with a tricky effort to stay at the table. A brief safety exchange later and Ping Chung had a shot on the one only for it to collide with the seven up table and leave the table just a complicated. After putting away the one, another safety battle ensued on the two with Feijen tucking the cue ball neatly behind the five away from the two. Ping Chung got a good hit on the two but too cleanly allowing Bijsterbosch back to slow roll the two in but again leaving Feijen short of a clear shot on the three ball this time.

Pin Yi played a beautiful safety to keep the cue ball locked up but this time behind the eight. Bijsterbosch fouled and in the process potted the six to open the table even further. Ping Chung and Pin Yi’s hopes of another title for Chinese Taipei were kept alive as they wrapped up a 9-8 victory.

Aloysius Yapp and Toh Lian Han were looking to venture into unfamiliar territory for Singapore as they met Finland’s Mika Immonen and Jani Uski for a spot in the semi-finals.

Singapore won the lag before a quick break and run helped them to an early lead. Lian Han had a wild go at the three ball to offer Finland their first chance at the table in the second rack but they couldn’t make it pay after Immonen fouled with the ball off the table when locked up behind the seven. From there, it was a relatively routine run out to put the Southern Hemisphere side two up. Rack three was more of the same as far as Singapore were concerned and they were three up at the commercials.

To his frustration, Yapp missed the cut on the three in the fourth rack and Finland had their chance only for Singapore to end up back at the table. Lian Han missed the nine and Immonen had the chance to pot Finland’s first ball of the match only to miss it. Yapp tried to slow roll it in but missed it as Uski closed it out for 3-1. Lian Han’s nerves were tested in the next rack too as he missed the two to allow Finland back in to snatch another at 3-2.

The contest seemed to be turning at that point but Yapp and Lian Han stole the next rack to asset a two-rack buffer once again. Into the seventh and Lian Han broke dry to allow Finland back to the table where Immonen and Uski reduced the scoreline to one once again at 4-3. Singapore were trying their best to pull away and they asserted a three rack gap again after the ninth rack for 6-3.

Lian Han was struggling out in the arena and a scratch on the break brought Immonen and Uski back in again at 6-4. It was a nervy affair throughout with so much on the line and Singapore couldn’t quite contain them as they lost the 11th rack. With the safety laid, Immonen went airborne and delivered a majestic jump shot on the one only to leave Uski hooked. Uski fouled to give Singapore ball in hand, but they failed to make it count as Lian Han twitched on the five.

Finland went level again at 6-6 but that was their last real moment of the match as Singapore came good eventually to seal a 9-6 victory and reach the semi-finals. Singapore taking their moment in the 13th after Immonen’s break left the Fins hooked. Lian Han’s earlier nerves were arrested, and Singapore closed it out.

Action returns from 5 pm with the USA in action against Switzerland before Great Britain meet Spain live on Sky Sports Arena as well as live on DAZN in the USA, Canada, Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Viaplay in Scandinavia, the Baltics, Netherlands, and Poland. See the full list of broadcasters here including Matchroom.Live if no broadcaster is available

Saturday 18, June – Evening Session

Sunday 19, June – Morning Session 

Sunday 19, June – Evening Session 

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Chinese Taipei, Singapore, and Netherlands into Quarter-Finals

Marc Bijsterbosch and Niels Feijen (Taka Wu/Matchroom Multi Sport)

Chinese Taipei, Singapore and the Netherlands have all reached the quarterfinals of the 2022 World Cup of Pool at the Brentwood Centre, Essex live on Sky Sports Arena in the UK, DAZN in the USA, Canada, Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Viaplay in Scandinavia, the Baltics, Netherlands, and Poland. Matchroom.Live in territories without a broadcaster. 

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Chinese Taipei’s Ko brothers, Pin Yi and Ping Chung became the third side in the quarterfinals after they put in a ballsy display to defeat a determined Greek side led by Alexander Kazakis and Nikos Ekonomopoulos in a hill-hill finish. 

The early running came from Chinese Taipei who took the opening three racks. Pin Yi and Ping Chung had lost the lag but were soon at the table with the rack concluding with a battle on the nine. Greece missed it but left it safe, Pin Yi then played an expert safety to take the cue ball down the table, Kazakis then missed the bank and Ping Chung finished it for Chinese Taipei to lead 1-0. Two quick racks later, Greece were down and cold at the break despite the sweltering conditions in England. 

Kazakis and Ekonomopoulos wanted their say on matters though and they took their first rack off Pin Yi and Ping Chung in the fourth. The break wasn’t great from Chinese Taipei and with Greece back at the table, Kazakis fluked the two whilst trying to play a cross-bank. A run out later and Greece were back in. Ekonomopoulos was showing his Mosconi Cup form of old laying a hook that Pin Yi couldn’t get out of, fouling for Greece to have ball in hand to be one back. It was Ekonomopoulos at the heart of the sixth rack as Greece levelled after another expert safety caused the table to open from Pin Yi’s efforts. 

Pin Yi was seemingly struggling, and he scratched when jumping for the four ball to give Greece the table and inevitably the seventh rack to lead for the first time. In the ninth rack, Greece were 5-3 up when Ekonomopoulos left the three in the jaws, it was an opportunity that Chinese Taipei desperately needed to come back in at 5-4. Ping Chung’s break in the tenth rack was pinpoint and it provided what was seemingly an easy table. A miss on the six brought Greece back to the table but Kazakis couldn’t do enough with the cue ball allowing Chinese Taipei back in to go level at 5-5. 

Ping Chung was cueing well and a nice safety on the three put Greece back in troubled waters only for them to steer out of it well thanks to Ekonomopoulos before running out to be on the hill first. The Greeks were three balls away from the quarterfinals but with the six glued to the eight, Ekonomopoulos missed the six and from there a decider was in the offering. 

In the deciding rack, Kazakis had to jump to make the two, he made the two, but the cue ball proceeded to keep pace and roll down into the bottom right pocket. A sickening blow for Greece in a gutsy showing, Ping Chung, and Pin Yi from there completed a dramatic comeback and victory, 7-6 to reach the quarterfinals. 

The opening four racks between Kuwait (Omar Al-Shaheen and Bader Al Awadhi) and Singapore (Aloysius Yapp and Toh Lian Han) were shared after the latter had taken an initial two rack lead. Kuwait came back thanks to errors from Yapp and Lian Han. Lian Han missed the six in the fourth rack when presented with a golden opportunity to make it 3-1 after Al-Shaheen had scratched earlier on in the rack. 

Singapore was scrapping at times to keep any hold on the game as Kuwait came through strong to come from behind at 5-4. Al Awadhi missed the five ball with the chance to put Kuwait on the hill and Singapore came back into it to win the resulting two racks to get to the hill first. 

Yapp scratched on the break with Singapore on the hill and it looked all but certain that Kuwait would force the second hill hill of the day only for Al-Shaheen to miss the vital nine ball. It was still a testing effort for Lian Han who was jacked up. The nine rattled both sides of the pocket but stayed out but the ball was still safe, and Kuwait were still alive but forced to play a dangerous safety. With Al Awadhi under time pressure, he was forced to play a shot that left the nine in the centre of the table and the cue ball at the top. 

It was Yapp who missed the corresponding nine for Al-Shaheen to force a decider at the second time of asking. Into the final rack, Al Awadhi scratched whilst trying to make the three-ball and from there Singapore got back to the table to complete the win.

Defending champions Germany (Joshua Filler and Thorsten Hohmann) met the Netherlands’ Niels Feijen and Marc Bijsterbosch in the final action of the afternoon in a battle that has been seen in so many sports over the years. After winning the lag, the Netherlands looked to have built ahead of steam if it wasn’t for Bijsterbosch missing the nine and scratching to hand their counterparts an early rack. 

Feijen and Bijsterbosch were soon level though after an uncharacteristic loss of the cue ball with three left on the table from Filler helped the Dutch along their way. The next rack saw Feijen break before Bijsterbosch missed the two, it was a quick rack for Germany then to lead 2-1. Germany had a long wait for their contest after last playing on Tuesday and it seemed they were caught cold by the Netherlands’ fight back as they whistled their way into a 5-3 lead. 

The break from Feijen is renowned and it was coming in clutch every time to provide a springboard for the Dutch resolve but that was broken in the ninth rack. Germany got back to the table and Hohmann meant business as he executed a pinpoint jump shot on the one to aid the German return at 5-4. 

Feijen is a two-time runner-up at the World Cup and he will be hoping to rewrite the stories of old in this competition with Bijsterbosch this week as the pair wrapped up an impressive 7-4 win.  

Action returns from 5 pm with Round 2 continuing live on Sky Sports Arena as well as live on DAZN in the USA, Canada, Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Viaplay in Scandinavia, the Baltics, Netherlands, and Poland. See the full list of broadcasters here including Matchroom.Live if no broadcaster is available. 

Friday 17, June – Evening Session 

Saturday 18, June – Morning Session 

Saturday 18, June – Evening Session 

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Poland, Greece, And Netherlands Into Last 16 at 2022 World Cup of Pool

Marc Bijsterbosch and Niels Feijen (Taka Wu/Matchroom Multi Sport)

Poland, Greece, and the Netherlands are safely into the Last 16 of the 2022 World Cup of Pool at the Brentwood Centre, Essex live on Sky Sports Arena in the UK, DAZN in the USA, Canada, Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Viaplay in Scandinavia, the Baltics, Netherlands, and Poland. Matchroom.Live in territories without a broadcaster. 

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Poland met Hong Kong, China in one of the most entertaining matches of the tournament so far. The Poles led by Mieszko Fortunski and Wojciech Szewczyk led early doors 1-0 but the pairing of Lo Ho Sum and Robbie Capito was always going to provide a stern test and that it did as they hit back with the next three racks to lead 3-1. Mistakes were few and far between but it was one in the fifth rack that got Poland back in. Capito lost position off the break leaving Lo with a bank on the two which he made but by then they were already scrambling. With the three ball missed by Capito, it was Szewczyk who sealed the fifth to be one back. A classy break and run in the sixth from Poland made it three-all. 

You could feel the tension as both teams went hammer and tong for victory, Poland took the seventh but Szewczyk’s break left Fortunski hooked on the one much to Hong Kong, China’s fortune who levelled this time for 4-4. 

Szewczyk and Fortunski come into the tournament much favoured, and they seized their moment in the next rack. Lo looked to be playing Capito in to move in front, but he over-egged his cue ball control on the six to scratch and allow Poland back in to lead once again. It was a costly error from Lo as Poland lapped up their opponent’s misfortune to close out a 7-4 victory and set up a tie with the USA tomorrow evening. 

“It would mean the world to do well. Playing in teams is amazing. When you can feel this emotion together. When you win individually you get so many fans that cheer you on but when you play with a partner, you get to feel that together. It was an unexpected opportunity they were playing well up until that point. He really thought he was going the safe way. I told Mieszko, let’s take it, don’t let these guys back in,” said Szewczyk 

Next up, Greece’s Alexander Kazakis and Nikos Ekonomopoulos took on Cyprus’ Anthony Brabin and Christos Meligaliotis. Cyprus, making their debut. Little separated them early on as the pair went toe-to-toe at two-all. Ekonomopoulos joined up with Kazakis for the first time in a few years and he snatched it with both hands to deliver key shots in huge moments to swing the tie in their favour after Cyprus had led 3-2.  

After eight racks, Greece took back control at 5-3. There were no more real testing moments for Greece who showed their steel to take up a 7-4 win and meet Chinese Taipei next.  

“We’re happy with our win. We played great. Nikos played some unbelievable shots which gave me some confidence. We played good. We’re both really happy. We have to find each other’s game, weaknesses, and advantages. With the shot clock, we needed to know in time what we were doing. Over the last two weeks, we’ve played together a lot to be ready for that. Team games are my favourites, you are not playing for yourself. You’re playing for your partner and your whole country.” – Kazakis. 

The Netherlands met debutants Morocco in their opening match of the contest with Niels Feijen and Marc Bijsterbosch looking to banish memories of two final defeats for their country in 2013 and 2014. Morocco meanwhile led by My Cherif Zine El Abidine and Imad lagnaoui. Feijen and Bijsterbosch’s vast experience on the international stage was always bound to shine through at some point but the quick nature they rallied up a 4-0 lead came as some surprise. Both Feijen and Bijsterbosch barely put a ball out of place to leave their counterparts with plenty to be done. An opportunity came knocking in the fifth though after Bijsterbosch scratched off the break. Morocco soon swept in to take their first rack in World Cup of Pool history. 

In truth, the damage was done early on for Morocco who struggled to adapt to the TV environment. Iagnaoui did what Bijsterbosch had done just five minutes previous to hand the Netherlands their spot back at the table to go 5-1 up. Feijen’s break is a fine art and it continued to prove clutch as Morocco faltered. The Dutchmen wrapped up a 7-1 win to face defending champions Germany on Friday morning. 

“It’s just one match at a time for us. I think we can do a lot of damage this year.” – Niels Feijen after win over Morocco 

Action returns from 5pm tonight with Great Britain A meeting Great Britain B live on Sky Sports Arena at 5pm as well as live on DAZN in the USA, Canada, Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Viaplay in Scandinavia, the Baltics, Netherlands, and Poland. See the full list of broadcasters here including Matchroom.Live if no broadcaster is available.  

5PM SESSION 

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