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Ivanovskaia Snatches Victory from Defeat’s Jaws to Advance to World Games Semifinal

Veronika Ivanovskaia

WOMEN’S POOL
Veronika Ivanovskaia 9-8 Rubilen Amit

Thursday night, Rubilen Amit of the Philippines stunned Germany’s Pia Filler with a pressure-packed, come-from-behind 9-8 victory, winning three consecutive racks to secure a spot in the quarterfinals.

A mere 24 hours later, it appeared history might be repeating itself, as Germany’s Veronika Ivanovskaia jumped out to an early 6-2 advantage, only to watch it all evaporate as a handful of missed shots allowed her opponent to climb back into the match and tie the score, 8-8.

“I couldn’t finish easy tables anymore,” said Ivanovskaia. ”I was shaking and my head was all over.”

While the Filipino used a heavy dose of luck to advance the night before, this time her luck ran out, as Ivanovskaia received a timely roll after a missed shot to defeat Amit, 9-8, and advance to Saturday’s quarterfinals.

With the score tied at eight games each, Amit scratched on the break and gave the ball-in-hand to her opponent, who promptly missed a routine 3 ball minutes later. Fortunately for the German, the object ball rolled to a safe place on the table and forced her opponent to execute a kick shot. Amit’s kick left a wide-open table and, despite the rattled nerves along with the memory of a handful of missed shots, Ivanovskaia closed out the final rack with authority, rifling each ball into the pocket with confidence.

“I said to myself, ‘this is your final chance and if you don’t take it, then you’re just stupid,’” she said. “I just tried to stay committed on my shots and focus on my cue action and just make the
balls.”

Chieh-Yu Chou 9, Eunji Park 1
Chinese Taipei’s Chieh-Yu Chou led start-to-finish in her match against Korea’s Eunji Park and coasted to a commanding 9-1 victory in the quarterfinals of the World Games in Birmingham.

“I think I had a pretty good break today at the beginning and at the end,” said Chou.

After winning the first two racks, Park climbed onto the scoreboard to cut the deficit to 2-1. That would be her lone win of the match, as Chou won seven straight games to close out the set and advance to the semifinals.

Park’s play was the polar opposite of what she had exhibited a day earlier when she battled to the wire to defeat Monica Webb of the United States, 9-8, in the opening round, struggling with her break and ball pocketing throughout the evening session match.

“Yesterday, I think I had a good influence on the game by preparing my mind before the game and today, unlike yesterday, I lost because I was nervous,” said Park.

MEN’S POOL
Sanjin Pehlivanovic 11-9 John Morra
Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz 7-11 Aloysuis Yapp

Aloysius Yapp will meet Sanjin Pehlivanovic in The World Games semi-finals. Pehlivanovic overturned a 5-1 deficit to beat John Morra 11-9, while Yapp defeated Spain’s Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz 11-7.

Morra opened an early 5-1 lead over his opponent, but a scratch on the 7 ball allowed Pehlivanovic back in and the European 10-Ball Champion seized his moment, putting together a four-pack to tie the match.

The Canadian responded in the 11th to regain the lead at 6-5 but missed the 9 in the subsequent game. Pehlivanovic could only go safe and Morra made an up-table bank to lead 5-7.

The Bosnian took the next game and a golden break had him level at 7-7.  The match continued to swing back and forth before it was the Bosnian who arrived first on the hill, and he wasn’t going to let his opportunity slip and he closed out an 11-9 victory.

“I was down 5-1 because I started badly. The last couple of months every match I was losing, I won, so that is good and gives me confidence. I had a little bit of luck, the same as him but I am happy to be in the semi-final. When he scratched on the 7, that was the turning point and I tried to play every rack as if it was the last one.

“It would be a dream to win The World Games. This is an important match tomorrow so I will look forward to it. To be the first player from Boznia to win a billiards gold, for the country, I cannot find the words to describe how big that achievement would be.

Yapp earned his place in the semis with an 11-7 win against in-form Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz of Spain. Sanchez-Ruiz had early leads of 2-1 and 4-2 before Yapp found his stride to open up an 8-5 advantage. Despite winning games on his break, Sanchez-Ruiz wasn’t given chances by Yapp, who closed out an 11-7 win.

The Olympic Channel is live streaming The World Games and billiards will feature on July 16 and July 17 when the finals take place. A full streaming schedule and links are at https://www.theworldgames.org/pages/twg2022streaming. The match schedule, results, and live scores are at esnooker.pl

Follow @wcbsbilliards on social media for full coverage of the billiards program from our team in Birmingham, Alabama.

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Amit Advances with Come from Behind Victory in The World Games First Round

Rubilen Amit and Pia Filler

WOMEN’S POOL
Rubilen Amit 9-8 Pia Filler

When Rubilen Amit missed a 9-ball in the corner pocket in the 14th game and allowed her opponent, Germany’s Pia Filler, to snatch the rack and build an 8-6 lead, it appeared her chances to advance to the quarterfinals of the World Games were all but gone.

“I just it seemed as if I lost hope of winning,” she said after the match. “That was actually a crucial shot.”

Thankfully for her, a small group of Filipinos from the Birmingham area were in attendance encouraging her to keep fighting – which she did, using safety exchanges mixed with a little bit of luck to win three straight racks and defeat Filler, 9-8, Thursday night.

“I’m very grateful for them because they kept the energy for me, because there were times where my energy was quite low and I was kind of down,” she said.

Amit missed the 1 ball in the 16th rack but watched as the cue ball rolled into an accidental safety, which allowed her to regain control of the table, clear the rack and pull within one game. She would add on another win when her opponent scratched while attempting to kick at the 7 ball. With the score now tied,

Amit broke open the rack and left the 1 ball perfectly nestled in the jaws of the far corner pocket.

There was just one issue: the cue ball did not have a path to the object ball, instead blocked by a nearby 3 and 7 ball. Amit opted to use the “push out” rule, allowing her to push the cue ball anywhere on the table and offer the shot to her opponent, who can then either take it or decline.

When Filler declined the shot, Amit soon realized she’d pushed the ball into an area of table that the vertically-challenged women could not reach, ultimately kicking at and failing to contact the object ball.

“When Pia returned a shot back to me, I was like smiling because I couldn’t reach the shot,” said Amit. “But then I was still quite still quite hopeful because the rack isn’t that easy to clear.”
Which is exactly what happened, as the German scratched after missing a sharp cut shot on the 3 ball. Amit the cleared the table to secure the win, as her newfound crowd of supporters erupted. “Their cheering was what was what kept me on was what kept me in the game,” said Amit.

Veronika Ivanovskaia 9-1 Soledad Ayala 

Fellow German Veronika Ivanovskaia jumped out to an early 4-0 advantage and cruised to an easily 9-1 victory over Argentina’s Soledad Ayala in the opening match of the evening session of Thursday night’s round-of-16 competition.

“I played quite solid I would say,” said Ivanovskaia. “I made the right shots and stood calm. All in all, I would say it was a good performance.”

The German experimented with her break during the match due to the cue ball reacting differently on the left side of the table in comparison to the opposite side, ultimately finding a spot which worked for her down the stretch.

After climbing onto the scoreboard in the fifth rack, the Argentinian continued to battle throughout the match but was unable to capitalize on many opportunities.

Ivanovskaia will now face Amit in the quarterfinals on Friday.

MEN’S POOL
Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz 11-8 Ko Ping-Chung

Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz produced six break and runs as he defeated Ko Ping-Chung 11-8 to reach the quarter-finals of Men’s Pool at The World Games in Birmingham, Alabama, USA.

The Spaniard is enjoying the most fruitful year of his career to date and produced a confident display to overcome a tough opponent in what was a tricky first-round draw.

It wasn’t until the 10th game that either player pulled more than one ahead of his opponent, and it was Sanchez-Ruiz who went 6-4 ahead before extending that lead to 7-4, benefitting from a little luck along with the way. Ko fought back to 7-6 but Sanchez-Ruiz arrived on the hill with a 10-7 lead.

Ko took the next game on his break, but Sanchez-Ruiz came up with his sixth runout of the match – the most by one player so far at The World Games – to complete the victory.

“It was an exciting match and I think I played really well but I had some luck in the middle of the match; I made two flukes,” said Sanchez-Ruiz. “I always take it round-by-round and I know Ko Ping-Chung is a champion so I stayed focused.

“A medal at The World Games would be like a dream, this tournament is so important for me. In the first half of the year I have won the Derby City Classic and a few weeks ago won the biggest title of my career [The World Cup of Pool] with my partner David Alcaide. I give 100 percent to every tournament and have played a lot, so I have to stay focused but I will keep trying my best.”

Sanchez-Ruiz has been taking advantage of the chance to compete alongside fellow Spaniard and three-time carom Gold medalist Dani Sanchez. “I learn a lot from Dani, he is one of the best players in the world. You have all disciplines here, lots of sports, and I am really happy to be here.”

Aloysius Yapp 11-3 Matt Edwards

Aloysius Yapp will form Sanchez-Ruiz’s opposition in the quarter-finals after an 11-3 win over New Zealand’s Matt Edwards. Yapp moved into a quick 3-0 lead before Edwards was on the board, but three games later Singapore’s Yapp was 6-1 ahead.

Edwards, struggling to get balls on the break, pulled himself back to 6-3 but Yapp took advantage of the New Zealander’s struggles and put five games together to complete a comfortable victory.

“Yapp is always a tough opponent,” said Edwards. “It’s the second time I have played him and he got revenge on me because I won last time. He is getting a lot of good results at the moment and I struggled a lot with the break. I was down early on and it is very difficult to comeback. I knew going down early on and him breaking quite well and shooting well would make it difficult to come back, so it was difficult to stay in the match.

“Without the break you have very little opportunity and when you do get one, a player like Yapp can play very good safety shots. I think he missed one ball but still hooked me, so it is frustrating when you’re not breaking well and then can’t execute the few opportunities you do get.”

The Olympic Channel is live streaming The World Games and billiards will feature on July 16 and July 17 when the finals take place. A full streaming schedule and links are at https://www.theworldgames.org/pages/twg2022streaming. The match schedule, results, and live scores are at esnooker.pl

Follow @wcbsbilliards on social media for full coverage of the billiards program from our team in Birmingham, Alabama.

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Wu and Chen Earn China Open Titles

Wu Jia-Qing (Photo courtesy of Erwin Dionisio)

With back-to-back hill-hill wins (Shane Van Boening in the semifinal and Anthony Raga in the finals), Wu Jia-Qing has won the 2019 World 9-Ball China Open. Wu actually lost his first match of the event to Filipino Johann Gonzales 9-8 in the group stages, but he came back to defeat Marc Bijsterbosch and Oscar Dominguez to qualify for the final single elimination bracket. In the single elimination bracket, Wu had wins over Naoyuki Oi, Mateusz Stiegocki and Chinese countryman Zheng Xiao Huai before the wins over Van Boening and Raga for his second career China Open win. 
 
In the ladies division, Chen Siming won her third China Open title with an undefeated run that includes wins over Chezka Centeno, Kelly Fisher, World #1 Han Yu and Rubilen Amit in the finals. Chen had won the title in 2017 and 2010. 
 
The wins were worth $40,000 for Wu and $36,000 for Chen. 

China’s Siming Chen gets by Britain’s Kelly Fisher twice to win 2019 WPBA Masters

Kelly Fisher and Siming Chen (Photo courtesy of WPBA)

In what proved to be her best recorded earnings year, to date (2017), China’s 24-year-old Siming Chen won five major events between March and November, opening with a win at the Amway Cup in Chinese Tapei, followed by victories in the China Open (June), the Dynamic Klagenfurt (part of the Euro Tour in Austria; Oct.)  and a week apart in November, the Women’s World 9-Ball Championships (Nov. 8-11) and the All-Japan Women’s Championship (Nov. 16-26).
 
In the Women’s World 9-Ball Championships that year, there was only one competitor among the top eight finishers who was not from China or Chinese Taipei. That lone competitor, who finished in the four-way tie for 5th place was Britain’s Kelly Fisher. Five months earlier, Fisher had finished in the four-way tie for 5th place at the China Open, sharing the spot with Chihiro Kawahara (Japan), Rubilen Amit (Philippines) and Xiao-Ting Pan (China).
 
And this is just that one year, her best recorded earnings year, to date. Chen’s been winning money on the international pool scene since 2009, when she was 16. All this, by way of an introduction to who she is – the #1-ranked female pool player in the world right now – and why, to no one’s surprise, she went undefeated through a field of 64 entrants to win the 2019 WPBA Masters, held from February 27-March 3 at the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mount Pleasant, MI. Also to no one’s surprise, Kelly Fisher recovered from an early round loss to Chen and fought back though nine matches on the loss side to face her a second time in the finals.
 
It’s not unusual for fans of the billiard sports to be more keenly attuned to players from their own countries and/or players who compete regularly in their country. We here in the US of A are aware of many female competitors who are not native to this country, but are well-known by virtue of their presence competing (and in some cases, living) here. Allison Fisher (Britain), Karen Corr (Ireland), Kelly Fisher (England), Ga Young Kim (South Korea), and Jasmin Ouschan (Austria), as just a few examples of those who competed at this year’s WPBA Masters. The home-grown female talent on hand was larger and made its presence known, just not for as long, as the visiting competitors flexed their considerable muscle and advanced toward the finals.
 
Jennifer Baretta made it to a winners’ side semifinal (right after defeating Janet Atwell), and made it to the quarterfinals before giving way to Kelly Fisher. Gerda (Hoffstater) Gregerson, a member of the WPBA Hall of Fame, originally from Austria, later from Sweden and currently residing in Charlotte, NC made it to a winners’ side quarterfinal against Siming Chen.
 
Siming Chen’s trip started with the proverbial bang, as she shut out Indiana’s Tonya Wiser and then ran right into Kelly Fisher for the first, though not the last time. Chen gave up only a single rack to Fisher in their first meeting and then defeated Billie Billing 9-1 to arrive at her winners’ side quarterfinal match against Gregerson. A 9-3 victory over Gregerson gave Chen a 36-5 game winning record moving into her winners’ side semifinal match against Jennifer Baretta.
 
Chinese Tapei’s Tzu Chien Wei, in the meantime, who’d cashed in three of the four events won by Siming Chen back in 2017, worked her way through a slightly more resistant field of competitors, downing Caroline Pao 9-2 in her opening match, and Jessica Barnes 9-3 in her second. She then survived a double hill battle against 20-year-old Russian Kristina Tkach to sport a 27-13 game record, going into her winners’ side semifinal match against Allison Fisher.
 
Chen advanced to the hot seat match with a 9-2 win over Baretta, as Wei defeated Fisher 9-5 to join her. Chen claimed the hot seat 9-7 over Wei and waited for what turned out to be the return of Kelly Fisher.
 
Fisher, over on the loss side, was working on a nine-match winning streak that would carry her all the way back to a finals rematch against Chen. She started that trip with three victories in which she gave up only a single rack each to Ewa Mataya Laurance, Caroline Pao and Kaylin Wykoff. Jenna Bishoff put up a bit of a fight in the following round, chalking up more racks against Fisher (5) than her first three loss-side opponents combined. Fisher returned to form with a 9-1 victory over Janet Atwell and then gave up three to Kristina Tkach. This put Kelly Fisher into a match against Allison Fisher, fresh from the winners’ side semifinal.
 
Jennifer Baretta drew Jasmin Ouschan, who’d been defeated by Allison Fisher 9-7 in a winners’ side quarterfinal and then defeated Helena Thornfeldt 9-4 and Line Kjorsvik 9-7 to face Baretta.
 
Everybody got caught up in a double hill fight for advancement to the quarterfinals. Baretta eventually defeated Ouschan, and Fisher eliminated Fisher (that’s Kelly over Allison). Kelly Fisher ended Jennifer Baretta’s run 9-5 in those  quarterfinals and then got wrapped up in another double hill fight, which she won, against Tzu Chie Wen in the semifinals.
 
As she’d describe it later from an airport in Detroit, awaiting a flight to Newark, and eventually, home to England, three matches in a row on that last Sunday just about did Kelly Fisher in, and “the wheels sort of came off.” Siming Chen completed her undefeated run at the 2019 WPBA Masters with an 11-2 victory over Kelly in the finals.
 
WPBA representatives thanked the Soaring Eagle Resort & Casino for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Outsville AccuRack, Aramith, PoolActionTV, Simonis Cloth and Diamond Billiard Products.

Biado, Amit End “Beijing-Miyun” 9-Ball International Championship Campaign Without Gold

Carlo Biado

The Philippines' Carlo Biado and Rubilen Amit’s gold medal quest ended on Thursday, September 27, 2018, after they lost in their semifinals of the 2018 China Billiards and Snooker Association (CBSA) "Beijing-Miyun" 9-Ball International Championship being held at the Miyun Youth and Children's Palace, New South Road in Miyun District in Beijing, China.
 
Biado bowed out to Kong Dejing of China 3-11, in the men's final four, while Amit succumbed to Fu Xiaofang of China 8-9, in the women's final four. Biado and Amit pocketed each 60,000 RMB ($8,734 USD) for reaching the semis.
 
Kong Dejing will face Naoyuki Oi of Japan in the men’s finals. Oi downed Xu Xiaocong of China 11-5 in the other semi-final match. In the ladies division. Fu Xiaofang will take on Wang Xiaotong in an all-China finals. Fu edged Chou Chieh Yu of Chinese-Taipei 9-8 in the other ladies final four matche.
 
The champion in each division (men's and women's 9-ball singles competition) will receive the top prize of 240,000 RMB ($34,939 USD) while the runner-up settles for 120,000 RMB ($17,469 USD) in the event organized by Sports Bureau of Miyun District, Beijing, Sports Federation of Miyun District, Beijing and Billiards Association of Miyun District of Beijing, hosted by China Billiards and Snooker Association (CBSA).
 
Biado made it to the semis after beating Duong Hoang of Vietnam 11-8 in the Round of 16 and Chang Jung Lin of Chinese-Taipei 11-9 in the Round of 8, while Amit toppled Bai Ge of China 9-8 and Han Yu of China 9-5, respectively.
 
Jeffrey Ignacio and Johann Chua landed at top 32, while Roland Garcia and Jeffrey De Luna finishes at Top 64.

Amway Cup Day 2 – Surprising Whitewash on TV Table

Kelly Fisher (Photo courtesy of Samuel Lai)

The Amway eSpring International Women 9-Ball Championship 2017 continued its action today (Mar 3 local time) at the Taipei Gymnasium.  All matches in the round robin stage were completed, with the leader of the respective group advancing directly into the last 16, while the players in second and third place will have to play in the last 24.
 
FURY sponsored Kelly Fisher (GBR) won the last match on the TV table against WEI Tzu-Chien (TPE) to gain a direct entry to the last 16 of the tournament.  Kelly was one of the players that had 4 wins in her respective group after the initial round robin stage.  Wei and Veronika Ivanovskaia (GER) came in as 2nd and 3rd place respectively in Group H, hence advancing to play in the round of last 24.
 
Sandy LIU ShaSha (CHN) and Angeline Ticoalu (INA), the other two FURY sponsored players, were drawn into the same group.  They finished off 2nd and 3rd respectively in Group B, thus advancing into the last 24.  Even though Sandy was leading most of the time throughout the stage, Allison Fisher (GBR) took her down on TV table to equal their scores in games and had a better rack-difference to snatch the first place and advanced directly into the last 16.
 
In Group D, PAN XiaoTing (CHN) was another player that had 4 wins after whitewashing the three times Amway Cup champion and the local favourite Rita CHOU Chieh-Yu, giving as much pleasure as well as shock to the audience both at the stadium and on TV.  During an interview earlier on, Pan reviewed that this was a match long expected, while the result was a pleasant surprise as she expressed in the post-interview.  Oliwia Czuprynska (POL) came in as third and will follow Rita into the next round.
 
In the other groups, despite the fact that Jasmine Ouschan (AUT) lost to the defending champion Chezka Centeno (PHI) yesterday, Jasmine had more wins in the end and therefore became first place in Group A.  Chezka finished second after making a couple of critical errors to lose two hill-hill matches against Kristina Tkach (RUS) and WU Hsiso-Wen (TPE).  Wu successfully made it into the last 24 after qualifying from stage 1.
 
Japanese leading lady Chihiro Kawahara had a rough ride in Group C, with only one win against Claudia Von Rohr (SUI), the new face in the tour.  All of the other three players had the same result of 3 wins, but in the end it was Karen Corr (IRL) that secured a seat in the last 16 with a 2-rack difference.  FAN Yu-Hsuan (TPE), who had made her appearance in stage 2 through qualifiers, fell short marginally by one rack against her local senior CHEN Ho-Yun.
 
Current world #1 Han Yu (CHN) gave no chance to HSIEH Yu-Wen(TPE) on the TV table yesterday, then went on to win all the matches in Group E.  HSIEH, who came through from the Taiwanese qualifier, and LEE Woo-Jin, the rising star from South Korea that made her way through stage 1, were on the same page before their last encounter with each other.  In the end, it was HSIEH that had a better day, turning an hill-hill excitement into an entry ticket to the last 24 for herself, leaving her opponent out of the tour.  Two times world champion Rubilen Amit (PHI) finished second in the group.
 
KIM Ga-Young (KOR) stood out in Group F with 4 straight wins, thus advancing to the last 16.  For the remaining players, it was a close call amongst Natalia Seroshtan (RUS), CHEN Chia-Hua and qualifier Bean HUNG Meng-Hsia, with all three of them winning 2 games and losing 2.  Natalia was the lowest one after rack counts and therefore the two Taiwanese girls went through to the last 24.
 
It was not exactly a joyride but CHEN SiMing (CHN) still surfed through Group G by winning all of her matches.  Twice Amway Cup winner LIN Yuan-Chun had a close one, lost in the decider against Chen, but still managed to win all of her other matches to go through to the next stage.  Kristina Grim of Germany, who took down qualifier KUO Szu-Ting (TPE) on the first TV match yesterday, came third in the group.
 
Upon the completion of the last match on the day, all players gathered at the TV table to draw for the positions tomorrow in the last 16 to 24 stage.
 
Round-robin stage Results & Draw for last 16 to 24 stage: click here

Amway Cup Day 1 – Han Yu, ShaSha going strong

Chieh-Yu Chau (Photo courtesy of Samuel Lai)

The Amway eSpring International Women 9-Ball Championship 2017 started its official matches of stage 2 at 10:00 this morning (Mar 2 local time) back at the good old Taipei Gymnasium again this year, with the first 6 matches featuring players from 8 different countries and regions.
 
      FURY, the official cues of the tournament, immediately felt the excitement as two of their sponsored players, former world #1 Sandy Liu (ShaSha) of China and South-East Asian gold medalist Angelina Ticoalu of Indonesia, also being a semi-finalist in 2015 after taking down Sandy two years ago, faced each other again this year in one of the opening matches in Group B.
 
     Angelina managed to snatch the first point on the scoreboard but her opponent soon settled down and took over to lead the match all the way.  In the end, Sandy was the better one in the FURY derby and took her “revenge” with the final score standing at 7-4.  Later on during the day, Angelina recovered her lost ground by beating the Japanese Triple-Crown winner Joana Wu (Zhi-Ting) of Chinese Taipei, as well as the all-time multiple world champion “Duchess of Doom” Allison Fisher, who is also a 5-times winner of the Amway Cup, in a hill-hill thriller on TV table.  Sandy then extended her lead overnight in the group by beating Joana Wu 7-4 in the evening session.
 
      The 2013 Amway Cup winner as well as multiple world champions Kelly Fisher of England, came back from behind to beat LIM Yun-Mi of South Korea 7-5.  Kelly, also sponsored by FURY, is coming back in good form after her surgery and is looking to stay strong against her other opponents in Group H.  These shall include Longasy Tips sponsored WEI Tzu-Chien as well as her Taiwanese comrade HO Hsin-Ju who came through from the qualifiers.
 
      In the other groups, even though Kristina Tkach of Russia had a bad opening after scratching on her first 8-ball and eventually losing the match to the 2004 Amway Cup champion LIU Sin-Mei of Chinese Taipei, she was able to re-strengthen her position in Group A with two hill-hill wins over qualifier WU Hsiao-Wen (Chinese Taipei) and the 2016 Amway Cup winner Chezka Centeno of the Philippines respectively.  Earlier on, the defending champion had a relatively comfortable win over European Jasmine Ouschan of Austria.
 
      Multiple world champions Karen Corr of Northern Ireland had wins over Japanese #1 Chihiro Kawahara and qualifier FAN Yu-Hsuan (Chinese Taipei) to lead in Group C.  Karen will be facing the 2015 Videoland Year-End Champion CHEN He-Yun, who had lost to her Taiwanese comrade Fan in another match.  Claudia Von Rohr of Switzerland made her debut in the Amway Cup this year, but lost both of her matches against Chen and Fan.
 
      Three times Amway Cup Champion Rita CHOU (Chieh-Yu) made both of her wins on TV table by taking down Oliwia Czuprynska of Poland and Molrudee Kasemchaiyanan of New Zealand.  The great PAN XiaoTing of China, who won the Amway Cup exactly ten years back, missed her action last year but now returning to the scene brighter than ever, beat Molrudee and qualifier MU Shu-Fong of Chinese Taipei to equal Rita in Group D overnight.
 
     Han Yu of China, the recently selected AZB player of the Year, current world #1 as well as a semi-finalist last year, marked the first absolute win of the day by whitewashing the Taiwanese qualifier HSIEH Yu-Wen on TV table, then moved on to beat Pia Plaeser of Germany in Group E.  Two times world champion Rubilen Amit copied Han and gave a lesson to the young South Korean rising star Woo-Jin LEE, being the only non-Taiwanese that came through from stage one.  Lee lost in an hill-hill encounter with Hsieh but was able to win over Pia that saved a last hope for her against Han in the afternoon session tomorrow.
 
      Ga-Young Kim, the two times Amway Cup winner from South Korea, stands out in Group F by beating Jennifer McCulla of Australia and qualifier Bean Hung (Meng-Hsia), who is coincidentally working in Australia.  The 17-years old Taiwanese Amber Chen (Chia-Hua), being the youngest player on board, enjoys her first direct-entry to stage 2 this year, had 1 win and 1 lost on the day, and will be facing Kim on TV table tomorrow.
 
     LIN Yuan-Chun of Chinese Taipei, also a two times Amway Cup winner, won her first match 7-4 in Group G against Kristina Grim of Germany.  Kristina, who almost broke down to tears after having a good lead but still lost to Kelly Fisher on TV table last year, celebrated her victory over a deciding rack on TV this year against qualifier KUO Szu-Ting of Chinese Taipei.  She will be playing again on TV tomorrow at 4pm against the almighty CHEN SiMing of China.
 
     Action continues tomorrow at the Taipei Gymnasium (#10, Section 4, Nanjing East Road, Songshan District, near Taipei Arena) to decide the last 24 players in the knockout stage.
 
     All Results (Group Stage) : click here
 

China Open kicks off in new venue

The 2016 World 9-Ball China Open will be held on August 21th-28th in Shanghai, China. As the qualifying tournament gets underway tomorrow with qualifiers from the 21st to 23rd, there are over 70 players in the Men's division and about 50 in the Women's division, competing for 8 qualifiers in each division to the main tournament.
 
The main tournament starts August 25th and concludes on August 28th. 64 men and 48 women will compete in groups of eight in a double elimination format, with 32 men and 16 women advancing to the single elimination phase of the evnet. The single elimination phase will see the format change to race to 11 for the men and race to 9 for the women, with alternating breaks.
 
This will be the 8th China Open, which has been supported by Peoples’ Government of Tangzhen Pudong New Area throughout the years. It is the first year the tournament will be held in Pudong Tangzhen Culture & Sports Center after 7 years in Shanghai Pudong Yuanshen Stadium.
 
This event is joined by players from over 30 countries , including the world's top 16 male players and top 8 female players. The new world 9 ball champion Albin Ouschan, the youngest winner of the Amway Cup Chezka Centeno, along with top players such as Darren Appleton, Mika Immonen, Thorsten Hohmann, Ralf Souquet, Noyuki Oi, Liu Haitao, Dennis Orcollo, Pin-Yi Ko, Chen Siming, Liu Sha Sha, Kim Ga-Young, Kelly Fisher, Jasmin Ouschan, Rubilen Amit, Chihiro Kawahara and Chou Chieh-Yu will compete for total prize money of $373,600 USD. The Men's division has $208,000 USD on offer with $40,000 USD going to the eventual champion. The women's first prize increases this year $32,000 USD to $36,000 USD for this year's winner. (Before Tax)
 
(This article orginally appeared at alison-chang.com and is used with permission.)

Asia Victorious in Dramatic Finale of AM8.com Queens Cup

Team Asia survived a dramatic comeback by Team West in the third and final day of the AM8.com Queens Cup. Asia's foursome had led each day of the event and extended to a 3 match lead, but the European/American squad bounced back and swept Asia in the first three matches of Day 3.  The 2015 AM8.com Queens Cup aired nightly on primetime hours of 6:00pm – 10:00pm on ABS-CBN Sports + Action channel. The AM8.com Queens Cup re-ignited the greatest rivalry in women's billiards April 16-18th, 2015 which featured champions vs champions as the best women from Asia will took on the best in the West! The AM8.com Queens Cup was hosted by the award winning Resorts World Manila Casino & Hotel and sponsored by Andy Cloth , Aramith Balls, Viking Cue, with live streaming by Red Cube Productions. The Queens Cup is a Dragon Promotions production.
 
The day before, the Captain for the West made an near ominous prediction,  "We started slow, but ended strong again. And tomorrow's line-up is in our favor. We are already doing better than the last Team West from the first Queen's Cup, so we know we are a different team. We can win", said Ewa Mataya Laurance, skipper for the West.
 
Captain Laurance chose to put Karen Corr to start the day. Corr had been the best player of the entire event thus far, so this was a sound decision. Captain Amit put her hopes in Korea's young Eunji Park. The last time the two had faced each other, Park had knocked Corr out of the US Open. Park and Corr dueled the first game in a cat and mouse game after Corr missed a golden chance to runout. Park played a great safety hooking Corr, but Corr came right back with a great kickshot. Park was forced to jump and made a good contact, and got a fortunate roll to re-safe Corr. Karen made a good contact but inadvertently scratched. Park took the game and the next jumping to a 2-0 lead, and things looked grim on the West's side as they had also dropped the first match of Day 1 and Day 2. A miss by Park in the third game gave Corr a chance to get on the board. Things turned around with a break and run by Corr and suddenly the tide turned. Park continued errors as Corr came on stronger and eventually took the match with 4 unanswered racks. Asia 7 West 5.
 
Corr was put right back in again with her familiar partner of the past 3 days, Jennifer Barretta. They faced Park/J.Chen.  Captain Laurance's faith in the duo paid off in a 4-0 whitewash, and suddenly the West had come back to life! They were down only 1 match at Asia 7 West 6.
 
Corr was called upon one more time as she was placed in the first 3 matches as the anchor of Team West.  This time would be the most challenging as she faced the #1 ranked player in the world in Siming Chen. Donned the "Most Dangerous Lady" in pool, Chen came out strong and making hardly an error, jumped to a 3-1 lead. Undeterred, the "Irish Invader" took each shot one by one and forced a final game to the cheers of her teammates. In the final game, a great break by Corr enabled a full clearance to not only defeat Asia's anchor, but to level the series at 7-7! This was the first time in the Queens Cup that the West had won 3 matches in a row thanks to the Irish workhorse in Karen Corr. Karen would later gain the distinction as the MVP of Team West with 6 match wins.
 
Next in the triples, Captain Laurance would finally join in along with Villarreal and Corr. Asia's Captain Amit, Jennifer Chen and Siming returned. The West's trio was not able to put anything together, and not even Corr was able to carry the rest of her teammates in her 4th straight match of the day. Asia was able to stop the West's momentum 4-1. The next match would add Barretta to her teammates in the 4-on-4, but the West was not feeling it in the big group matches unlike the day before where they excelled in the triples and quadruples. Amit was able to keep her team calm and led them to their own 2 match streak pulling away to the hill 9-7.
 
Singles was up next, and the West had Villarreal up while Amit had placed herself in this position. Villarreal had been on a hot streak during the first 2 days and next to Corr, was the second best player on the team. Also, the next match would be losing team captain's pick singles which would mean that the West would be able to choose both players from the two teams. Likely this would be a re-match of Corr and Park from what Laurance had mentioned. And if the West would win that one, it would mean a score of 9-9 resulting in a 4 on 4 finale. So, the vital importance of winning this match was mountainous upon the shoulders of both players.
 
"If I lost that match I knew that it would mean we could very well goto 9-9 for a one match decider for the event. So playing Vivian was like the finals. There was so much pressure it was crazy", said Rubilen Amit, captain of Team Asia. Amit would be declared the MVP of the AM8.com Queens Cup for her outstanding leadership bringing together 4 countries into unison. Plus her monumental contribution of 8 wins and 2 loss record, including going undefeated in both her singles matches. Amit has yet to drop a singles match in her tenure during her two appearances at the Queens Cup.
 
With the whole continent upon her shoulders, the small in stature Amit came out big the first game with a break and run. An unexpected miss by Amit on the second to the last ball in game 2 breathed life into Villarreal and she tied 1-1. Amit struck back taking the next rack to hold the lead 2-1. Villarreal made some fantastic shots in game 4, playing fast and loose. She looked to have the game easily in hand when she abruptly missed the 9-ball! Amit took full advantage to take the game and placed herself on the hill 3-1, needing only one more game to finish the match. The final game saw Amit facing a difficult rack clearance, but possible to play nevertheless. The 2-time world champion held her nerve in check each shot, making the balls and playing good percentage position for the next ball. She shot herself out of each jam perfectly. Finally came the last ball of the event, an open 10-ball that was makeable but also one that could be missed, especially given what was at stake. With her teammates waiting, praying, and holding their breath on the sidelines, Amit steeled her nerves one last time and downed the winning ball. The ecstatic Asian champions all rushed into the arena to congratulate their captain and celebrate the hard fought victory that required three days of teamwork, discipline, and faith.
 
These four ladies proved for another year that Asia is the continent to beat when it comes to the sport of women's billiards.
 
Day 3 April 18th Results Asia vs West:
 
Singles:  Karen Corr 4 vs 2 Eunji Park 
Doubles – Corr/Barretta 4 vs 0 Park/J.Chen 
Singles  -Karen Corr 4 vs 3 Siming Chen (Captains pick)
3-on-3   – Laurance/Corr/Villarreal 1 vs 4 S.Chen/Amit/J.Chen 
4-on-4  –  West 2 vs 4  Asia 
Singles  – Vivian Villarreal 1 vs 4 Rubilen Amit 
Singles – Captains pick
4-on-4 – All players
 

 

 

 

Asia Extends Lead Over West: AM8.com Queens Cup Concludes Today

World #1 Siming Chen has done her job anchoring Team Asia

Manila, Philippines-  Team Asia led by Captain Rubilen Amit managed to extend their lead over the West to a margin of 3 matches. Asia came out strong winning the first 3 matches of the day before Team West stopped the bleeding with a win in the triples. Amit and China's World #1 Siming Chen have been instrumental in Asia's success, while USA's Villarreal and Ireland's Corr have had the best performances by far for the West. The AM8.com Queens Cup concludes today with Team Asia going in up 7 to 4 against the West. Asia needs 3 more match wins to clinch the win and successfully defend their title.
 
The 2015 AM8.com Queens Cup will be airing live nightly on primetime hours of 6:00pm – 10:00pm on ABS-CBN Sports + Action channel. The AM8.com Queens Cup is igniting the greatest rivalry in women's billiards . On April 16-18th, 2015 the second installment of the AM8.com Queens Cup will feature champions vs champions as the best women from Asia will take on the best in the West! Last year, Team Asia dominated Team West during the 3 days of competition. This year the USA & Europe will be looking to even the score. The AM8.com Queens Cup will be hosted by the award winning Resorts World Manila Casino & Hotel and sponsored by Andy Cloth , Aramith Balls, Viking Cue, with live streaming by Red Cube Productions. The Queens Cup is a Dragon Promotions production.
 
 
"I'm definitely more tired than usual as the captain has so many more duties. I think it's worn me down some, that's why I might have missed those two 10-Balls tonight", said the demure World Champion Amit. Rubilen is the most successful female athlete in the history of the Philippines, winning 7 gold medals for her country in the past 10 years. Amit had missed two game win chances by missing the final ball. Still, Amit was able to seal two wins of her own for the team. 
 
Team Asia started off very strong again winning the triples 4-2.  The next match in singles pitted Barretta against Siming Chen. Barretta had a golden opportunity to take a 2-0 lead, but squandered the opportunites against the World #1 and lost 4-2. The next match with Laurance vs J.Chen was a comedy of errors as both players succumbed to the pressures of the event. In one game, both players had 2 chances at the 10-ball before it went in. 
 
Finally the West was able to stop the bleeding in the triples with Corr and Villarreal backing up the West with some superb firepower. Villarreal has been instrumental playing well and uplifting the team spirits. Corr has been the best player of the event on either sides, playing solid in all her matches with minimal mistakes. 
 
Corr and Barretta were not able to take advantage of the momentum stoppage with Barretta again missing some golden opportunities against Amit & Siming Chen. 
 
"The shot clock is fast at 30 seconds, and not really suitable to my style. I will have to adapt for it tomorrow", said Barretta.
 
In the final match of the day the 4 on 4, Team West came together once again playing well with some help from errors from Asia's Eunji Park who had a weak performance on Day 2. West won 4-2 which relieves some pressures off of Karen Corr who will go in today first in the singles against Park.  
 
Day 2 Results:
 
 
Triples:  Corr/Barretta/Laurance 2 vs 4  S.CHEN/ PARK/ AMIT 
Singles – Jennifer Barretta(USA) 2 vs 4 Siming Chen (CHN)
Singles – Ewa Mataya Laurance 1 (SWE) 4 vs Jennifer Chen (TPE) 
3-on-3 – Corr/ Villarreal/Laurance 4 vs  2 Amit/S.Chen/J.Chen
Doubles – Corr/Barretta 2 vs 4 Amit/S.Chen
4 on 4 – West 4 vs 2 Asia
 
Day 3 April 18th Line-up Asia vs West:
 
Singles:  Karen Corr vs Eunji Park 
Doubles – Corr/Barretta vs Park/J.Chen 
Singles  -Karen Corr vs Siming Chen (Captains pick)
3-on-3   – Laurance/Corr/Villarreal  vs S.Chen/Amit/J.Chen 
4-on-4  – All players
Singles  – Vivian Villarreal vs Rubilen Amit 
Singles – Captains pick
4-on-4 – All players
 
ABS-CBN Sports + Action  will be airing QUEENS CUP 2015 on the following dates : 
LIVE 
Apr. 16, Thursday at 6:00pm – 10:00pm 
Apr. 17, Friday at 6:00pm – 10:00pm 
Apr. 18, Saturday at 6:00pm – 11:00pm 
 
REPLAY 
Apr. 20, Monday at 2:00pm – 6:00pm 
Apr. 21, Tuesday at 2:00pm – 6:00pm 
Apr. 22, Wednesday at 2:00pm – 6:00pm 
 

 

 

 
"We started slow, but ended strong again. And tomorrow's line-up is in our favor. We are already doing better than the last Team West from the first Queen's Cup, so we know we are a different team. We can win", said Ewa Mataya Laurance, skipper for the West.