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Quarter Final Line-Ups Set In Treviso

Wiktor Zielinski

AFTER THREE DAYS of play, we’re down to the last eight at the Dynamic Billard Italian Open, taking place at the Best Western Premium BHR Treviso Hotel. Starting out at 9.00 on Sunday morning, there have been seven rounds of matches today, the majority on the one-loss side of the draw, concluding with two rounds of single elimination.

The lowest ranked player into the last eight is Iker Echeverria at No.56 and his terrific efforts this week have kept the Spanish flag flying in the absence of Francisco Sanchez Ruiz and David Alcaide. All the other quarter-finalists are either previous Euro Tour winners or have gone deep in previous events.

Poland’s Wiktor Zielinski, currently ranked No.2 on the tour, stayed on track to steal the top spot from Sanchez Ruiz as he eased his way into the last eight with a 9-4 victory over Michael Schneider (Switzerland). The in-form Pole has yet to be extended this week in Treviso and can look forward to Iker Echeverria tomorrow.

Commented Wiktor, “I’ve been playing quite good and I think with the jet lag and being tired, I’m playing quite well.  I can make some stupid mistakes but overall, I’m breaking really well and so far, I haven’t had a really tough match – the worst I’ve lost by is 9-4 with Tomasz Kaplan and then Michael just now so hopefully I will continue like this tomorrow.

“I’m sleeping well but not deep sleep so I think I need two or three more days to adjust to the European time zone. All my results have been good so I’m confident and hopefully I can continue like this tomorrow,” he added.

Alex Kazakis

Another big gun who will be fighting it out in the quarter-finals is Alex Kazakis who enjoyed wins this evening over Marco Cordova (Italy) and Switzerland’s Dimitri Jungo, 9-2 and 9-7, respectively. He now faces Pole Mieszko Fortunski who won a thrilling hill-hill match over Roam Hybler that saw multiple attempts on the 9-ball in the deciding rack.

Kazakis, like many players in the Italian Open, has just returned from the World 8-Ball in the Caribbean and is grappling with the effects of jetlag.

“I’m pretty happy when you consider that most of the players came her from Puerto Rico and we have jet lag, me included. Today I slept only three hours but I was playing good. I made some easy mistakes but overall, I’m happy and I’ll keep fighting and this is what matters,” said Kazakis.

“I hope I can sleep five or six hours tonight and then I’m going to be happy. It’s only three more wins but there are a lot of good players and you can lose in any round but it can go the same with me; I can win any round and I can win the tournament so it would be nice to win here in Treviso.”

Mario He

Mario He also advanced to the final day, courtesy of a brace of 9-8 wins in the single elimination stage. Firstly, he overcame impressive World Junior Champion Szymon Kural of Poland in the last 32 and then Sanjin Pehlivanovic in the next round. The Bosnian looked set for victory but missed a 7-ball to clear a path for a He victory.

Commented Mario, “When you win 9-8, it’s always a good feeling and when you lose 9-8, it’s a bad feeling. I was down 8-6 in both matches and I don’t know how I turned them around, especially against Sanjin because he had me. It was a very tricky situation and I didn’t think that he’d miss the 7-ball so I guess I got lucky to get through but I feel I’m playing really good.

“I’m not really thinking about winning the tournament and right now I have some time off so I’ll try -to refocus tomorrow on my next match. I hope I can sleep tonight but I’ll just try to grind tomorrow but it’s been going well up till now,” he added.

Play continues tomorrow (Monday) with the four quarter-finals taking place at 10am and then the semi-finals at 16.00 and 17.30. The final breaks off at 19.00.

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 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

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Four Through In Ohio

Jung-Lin Chang

Alex Kazakis, Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz, Mario He and Seybert’s Michigan Open champion Aloysius Yapp are through to the last 16 of the FargoRate Ohio Open, but big names including all three Ko brothers are already heading home.

Fedor Gorst will face Mika Immonen in winners’ qualification on Friday morning but Albin Ouschan, Robbie Capito and Wiktor Zielinski have been eliminated from the event, which carries a $75,000 prize fund and is played alongside the CSI Ohio State Championships at the Roberts Center in Wilmington, Ohio.

Ouschan suffered a shootout defeat to Finnish youngster Riku Romppanen and was then eliminated 4-3, 4-0 by Eklent Kaci. Romppanen takes on Roberto Gomez tomorrow morning for a place in the last 16, while Kaci must beat Predator World 10-Ball Champion Wojciech Szewczyk to remain in the event.

Four winners’ qualification matches have already played, with the remaining four to take place at 10am on Friday. Kazakis defeated David Alcaide 4-1, 4-3 for his place in the last 16, leaving the Spaniard with one more chance to qualify.

“I am feeling really happy that I won that match,” said Kazakis. “First set everything went my way, and in the second set it went both ways. David had a chance to run out at hill-hill but he missed it and I took my chance.”

Sanchez-Ruiz won 4-3, 4-3 over America’s Justin Martin while Aloysius Yapp, a two-time winner on the Predator Pro Billiard Series, defeated Finland’s Jani Uski 4-2, 4-3. Last year’s Fargorate Ohio Open champion Mario He needed a shootout to advance at the expense of Michael Schneider. The four players already qualified for single elimination share four Pro Billiard Series titles, with only Sanchez-Ruiz yet to win a stop.

Brothers Ko Ping Han, Ko Pin-Yi and Ko Ping-Chung were all eliminated within hours of each other. Ping Han had suffered shootout defeat to Petri Makkonen on Wednesday and was again beaten from the spot on Thursday, this time by Badar Al Qrrayyan. Defeat yesterday to Jan van Lierop had left Pin-Yi on the losers’ side, where a 4-1, 4-1 win for Sharik Sayed meant that Ping-Chung was now the only member of the Ko family still in the event.

However, Ping-Chung was soon eliminated too. His tournament had opened with a shootout defeat to Robbie Capito on Wednesday. He responded with a 4-3, 4-1 win against Sanjin Pehlivanovic only to lose by shootout to New Zealand’s Sullivan Clark.

Zielinski’s tournament came to an end against Chang Jung-Lin, who won 4-2, 4-3 in the day’s final match on the TV table. Chang missed a 4 ball at 3-2 up in the second set, allowing his Polish opponent to level the match at 3-3, however when Zielinski missed the 5, Chang was back at the table and won the rack to avoid a shootout. Chang requires two more wins to reach the single elimination stage and faces Dimitri Jungo in his next match.

Among the other players coming back on the losers’ side is Konrad Juszczyszyn, who will face Aleksa Pecelj after beating Ernesto Dominguez in a lengthy shootout. Juszczyszyn took the first set 4-2 but a 4-0 shutout in the second took the match to a shootout. Neither player missed in their first four shots, before both missed their next two sudden death efforts. Another successful spot shot each took the shootout to 7-7, but Dominguez missed his next shot after Juszczyszyn had already sunk his.

The FargoRate Ohio Open continues from 10am ET on Friday with six matches streamed free on Billiard TV,  the World Billiard TVYouTube channel and at Kozoom.com

Brackets and scores can be found at https://probilliardseries.com/2022-fargorate-ohio-open/

Follow @probilliardseries on Facebook, @probilliardseries on Instagram or @PBilliardSeries on Twitter.

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Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz New Nineball World No.1 After Win

Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz (Taka G Wu/Matchroom Multi Sport)

Francisco Sanchez Ruiz is the new Nineball World Number One after clinching the 2022 US Open Pool Championship title beating Max Lechner in the final at Harrah’s Resort, Atlantic City to take home the $50,000 first-place prize.

LIVE NINEBALL WORLD RANKINGS

The Spaniard’s week in New Jersey couldn’t have gone much better finding out earlier on that he would be an automatic pick for the 2022 Mosconi Cup Team Europe side as one of the three players to come from the Live Nineball World Rankings and it ended with a memorable victory in front of a sell-out crowd over Lechner to break the $100,000 mark and overtake World Champion Shane Van Boening at the top.

Sanchez Ruiz was elated with his week’s work: “It is unbelievable how it feels. I feel so happy. Congratulations to Max. Thank you to everyone for the support, I love you guys. It’s the biggest win in my career. There are too many good feelings right now. I received the news of making the Mosconi Cup and it gave me so much. I want to say thank you to my team David Alcaide and Jose Alberto Delgado. It’s an unbelievable feeling, it really is.”

Joshua Filler was eyeing a second US Open, but it wasn’t to be as Eklent Kaçi abruptly ended the UK Open winner’s run in the Last 16. Despite that, Filler has opened up a $17,870 gap over Albin Ouschan at world number four.

Three Austrians now sit inside the top ten in the world with Lechner’s $25,000 winnings taking him from 15th to sixth just behind Mario He and Ouschan. Kaçi’s run in AC to the quarter-finals sees the Albanian break into the top ten whilst Alexander Kazakis, Wiktor Zielinski, and Abdullah Alyousef all had strong weeks to maintain their position inside the top ten.

The Ko brothers have been back in force in recent months after Pin Yi snapped off the APF Asian 9-Ball Open, Ping Chung reached the semi-finals to climb from 73rd in the world to 24th as one of the biggest movers. Poland’s Konrad Juszczyszyn steady year continued as he moved up to 15th and Sanjin Pehlivanovic moved inside the top 20.

2023 promises to be bigger and better for Nineball with the Matchroom provisional schedule revealed for the first time during the US Open. Matchroom’s calendar will begin with the World Pool Championship from February 1-5 before the World Pool Masters from May 6-9 ahead of the second-ever UK Open Pool Championship set to take place in London once again from May 30 to June 4. Both the World Cup of Pool and Premier League Pool will take place in June ahead of the European Open Pool Championship in Fulda, Germany from August 8-13.

The next US Open Pool Championship gets underway from September 25-30 before the Mosconi Cup caps off 2023 in December. See more on the 2023 Matchroom provisional schedule here.

The full Nineball World Ranking Schedule will be revealed in the coming weeks as it promises to offer more opportunities for players to earn their right to the biggest events on the calendar.

All eyes will now turn to the 2022 Mosconi Cup where both Team USA and Team Europe know three of their five-player rosters after Sanchez Ruiz and Ouschan were confirmed for Europe to join Filler. On Jeremy Jones‘ American side Skyler Woodward and Oscar Dominguez were confirmed to be joining Van Boening ahead of both Jones and Alex Lely confirming their two wild card picks.

Fans can expect to hear more soon from both skippers as they confirm their two wild card picks each to complete their sides ahead of the battle commencing in pool’s biggest battle.

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Only 16 Remain At US Open Pool Championship With Van Boening Out

Alex Kazakis (Taka G Wu/Matchroom Multi Sport)

Shane Van Boening crashed out of the 2022 US Open Pool Championship in a hill-hill defeat to Alexander Kazakis as only 16 remain at Harrah’s Resort, Atlantic City ahead of the final two days of action.

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Van Boening began the day on the hunt for a record-breaking sixth US Open but it was the case of the champagne being put on ice for at least another year. The World Champion came up Kazakis in full steam ahead mode as the Greek rattled up a 5-0 lead without breaking stride against the American great. Kazakis has had mixed fortune against Van Boening in recent times, defeating him in the final of the 2021 World Pool Masters in a whitewash before tasting defeat at the World Pool Championship semi-final stage back in April.

Kazakis lost his way in the middle of the match as Van Boening rallied to 5-5 and soon 7-5 to lead with an opportunity to reach the hill first. A scratch on the break for Van Boening though brought Kazakis back into it and 7-7. In the next rack, Kazakis missed the two ball and Van Boening reached the hill first.

At times, Kazakis has been doubted and questioned but today wasn’t going to be one of those days, back at the table at 8-8 breaking for the match, he was hooked when looking to make the two ball. One bank later from Kazakis and the table was clear for him to run out and secure a memorable win. For Van Boening, the wait goes on but all is not lost with the conclusion of the inaugural SVB Junior Open set to unfold tomorrow afternoon.

In the last 64, saw Jayson Shaw toppled by Lee Vann Corteza 9-2 whilst Wojciech Szewczyk downed Albin Ouschan. David Alcaide fell down to Ko Ping Chung 9-5 with one of the stories of the stage coming from Table 1 live on the Matchroom Pool Facebook where Tyler Styer staked his claim for a Mosconi Cup spot on Team USA by ending Fedor Gorst‘s hopes of reaching the next round 9-7. It was a watershed showing from Styer but he faced Joshua Filler to reach the Last 16. Last year’s runner-up Aloysius Yapp was spectacularly knocked out by Sanjin Pehlivanovic 9-1.

Skyler Woodward will have mixed emotions after today after the two-time Mosconi Cup MVP fell at the hands of Chang Jung-Lin who was on a rampage at times in a 9-4 win but with results going his way, the Kentucky Kid ensured a Mosconi Cup automatic spot to avoid leaving it up to Jeremy Jones‘ wild card picks. Greg Hogue was also in the Mosconi Cup reckoning for an automatic spot until defeat to Marc Bijsterbosch saw the American bow out 9-2. That news was good for Oscar Dominguez though who will return to the Mosconi Cup for the first time in five years off the Live Nineball World Rankings.

Francisco Sanchez Ruiz had a day to remember, before he even played Ralf Souquet in the Last 64, he knew he would be making his Mosconi Cup debut for Team Europe come November 30 to December 3 as the Spaniard secured the second automatic spot off the Live Nineball World Rankings due to Ouschan’s defeat to Szewczyk. On a high, Sanchez Ruiz took down Souquet and Wu Kun Lin to reach the Last 16.

Styer’s journey ended at the hands of Mosconi Cup foe Filler leaving his Mosconi Cup hopes in Jones’ hands. The American put on a gutsy display to push Filler all the way before the World Pool Masters champion pulled away to a 9-6 win.

Defending champion Carlo Biado will go again on his hunt for the crown in back-to-back years against Konrad Juszczyszyn. Biado coming through in a repeat of last year’s semi-final against Naoyuki Oi 9-6.

The Union Jack of Great Britain will be kept flying tomorrow by Chris Melling who is experiencing something of a renaissance in the Diamond Arena. Melling seeing off Joven Bustamante 9-4 before an impressive 9-1 win over Badar Alawadhi. The Magician’s match-up with Corteza will kick off the TV coverage tomorrow from 10am ET.
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TV Table (SEE BELOW WHERE TO WATCH TV TABLE) 

Chris Melling (GBR) vs Lee Vann Corteza (PHI)

Joshua Filler (GER) vs Eklent Kaçi (ALB)

Table 1 – Matchroom.Live and Facebook 

Ko Ping Chung (TPE) vs Jani Uski (FIN)

Hsieh Chia Chen (TPE) vs Mario He (AUT)

Francisco Sanchez Ruiz (ESP) vs Chang Jung-Lin (TPE)

Table 2 – Matchroom.Live and Facebook

Max Lechner (AUT) vs Roland Garcia (PHI)

Alexander Kazakis (GRE) vs Marc Bijsterbosch (NED)

Carlo Biado (PHI) vs Konrad Juszczyszyn (POL)

From tomorrow, the TV table will be live on Sky Sports in the UK, DAZN in the USA, Canada, Brazil, Spain, and Italy as well as Viaplay in Scandinavia, the Baltics and Poland, and other broadcasters worldwide which can be found here including on Matchroom.Live in countries without a broadcaster.

Tickets for the final day are now sold out. Sign up for 2023 Ticket Alerts here

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Dynamic Billard Slovenian Open – Down To The Final Four In Lasko

Ralf Souquet

There were seven rounds of matches today at the Dynamic Billards Slovenian Open, and we’re down to the last four men standing. After a heavy day’s play, the semi-finals are made up of Mario He against Francisco Sanchez Ruiz and Joshua Filler v Ralf Souquet.

Veteran Souquet was the story of the day as he went through the winners side, and then defeated Oliver Szolnoki of Hungary in the last 16 before taking care of Holland’s Marc Bijsterbosch 9-4 to make it through to the final day.

Souquet, 53, has won every title pool has to offer but he is still as competitive as they come, even if the results don’t come quite as often.

Commented Ralf, “It was definitely a pleasant day for me, no doubt! I had four matches and although I didn’t play perfect, I‘m quite happy with my performance today. It seems like I have found the old Ralf Souquet inside again; he was probably a little bit asleep and I woke him up and it looks like the old Ralf is back to the table.

“I always do the same preparation, I always try to practice hard, a lot and I have more practice nowadays than I ever had. I feel way more comfortable. I’ve tried several things over the years to improve my game and change some things, some for good, some not so but I’m in a good way. Being in the semi-final may bring a bit of extra pressure but on the other hand, it’s just another match like any of the other thousands I’ve played.”

He will play Joshua Filler who beat Niels Feijen 9-8 in a match where the table played a significant part in the proceedings. With some of the cushions acting a little bouncy, both players struggled with the speed.

Filler said, “The table was so bouncy and you couldn’t really calculate any shots and then it’s tough to play good. We both tried our best and both wanted to win but it wasn’t a good match as we couldn’t adjust to the table

“I’m happy to win and be in the semi-final but I want to play like it’s just for fun but if conditions are bad, I’m struggling. I’m happy for Ralf as he seemed to be struggling the last few tournaments but he’s playing well and I’ve always watched Ralf as he’s a great player,” he added.

The second semi-final will be between Francisco Sanchez Ruiz, who has stormed the Euro Tour in recent times, racking up three titles and Austria’s Mario He who will be looking to go one better than last time out in Petrich where he fell at the semi-final stage. This time he won a hard-fought contest over Sanjin Pehlivanovic.

“I’m playing very good at the moment; I’m feeling good and my break is working well so I’m very confident playing tomorrow against Sanchez. I’m looking forward to semis and give my all and I’ll try to win it this time.  Sometimes you get tired but today I felt really good, didn’t get tired and I could have played another set. Tomorrow, I’ll try to relax and focus on the semi-final.”

For Sanchez-Ruiz, tomorrow presents a golden opportunity to win his fourth Euro Tour title in 14 months but he knows Mario He represents a difficult challenge.

“It was tough day! In the last 32 I had to come back and win on the hill and now with Sanjin I played really good and felt confident but I’m so tired right now! I’ll try and get some rest tonight but don’t play till late afternoon so that will give me plenty of time. I’m really happy with my performance. I’m playing really good this year and on the Euro Tour, I like the format and the break and I really enjoy it,” said the Spaniard.

The first semi-final commences at 16.00 local time with the second following straight after at 17.30. The final gets underway at 19.00.

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

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.

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Longoni 9 Ball League – Spain And Poland Win Through To Final

Team Spain

The final of the inaugural Longoni 9-Ball League will be contested by Spain and Poland following their semi-final victories on Friday evening in Lasko. They were contrasting matches with Spain running out comfortable winners against Bosnia & Herzegovina, while Poland enjoyed a gritty battle against Germany that was altogether more strategic.

Opening the proceedings were the Spanish pair of David Alcaide and Francisco Sanchez Ruiz who were up against a Bosnia Herzegovina team of Sanjin Pehlivanovic and Ajdin Piknjac. Spain took an early 2-0 after a couple of BiH misses allowed them the opportunity.

The Bosnians though rode their luck to complete a run out for 2-1 and then a dry break from Alcaide gave them the chance to run all 9 balls on the table which they executed perfectly to draw level at 2-2. A couple of small but critical errors from BiH gave the table to Spain in the next two racks and they opened up a 4-2 lead.

A great break from Piknjac set up a run out and they made no mistakes to reduce arrears to 4-3. Spain though, took the next for 5-3 and that soon became 6-3, leaving Bosnia Herzegovina with it all to do. It was becoming a romp for the Spanish duo as they raced through the next rack for a 7-3 lead.

There was more woe for BiH in the next as Piknjac’s break was illegal although dry as well. Playing with a degree of telepathy, Spain cleared the table to reach the hill. With Bosnian resistance all but gone, the Spanish pair concluded an easy 9-3 win.

Commented Sanchez Ruiz, “It wasn’t easy because we know they’re good but we played so comfortably as we’ve practiced two months together. We’ve both played good this year so let’s see what happens in the final. The most important thing is that we really enjoy playing together.”

Added Alcaide, “When you feel so confident in your partner, you feel so good so you don’t worry if you miss a ball as we’ll have more chances. We’re trying to focus on our games and that’s the most important thing.”

Team Poland

The second semi-final was a different story as Poland pulled away from Germany in the closing stages following a tight encounter. Neither side really got their respective breaks going and that led to plenty of safety play and few run out opportunities.

With fruitless breaks and plenty of safety, the match found itself at 2 racks apiece before Poland then took the next with the break to take the lead for the first time. Two balls went in off the break from Filler in the next but the 2 ball was blocked and Bongers pushed out. A jump shot from Zielinski left the 2-ball on for Bongers and he made it to set up a runout for Germany for 3-3.

Nothing down on the break for Zielinski gave Germany a chance but the unluckiest of scratches on a very tight angle from Filler gave a grateful Poland ball-in-hand. They then restored their one rack lead at 4-3. Germany cleared what was a difficult table, following multiple visits to square it up at 4-4. It was becoming an absorbing match as neither team was getting much from the break and the racks were becoming increasingly tactical.

Poland took the next after some back-and-forth safety and then made it 6-4 following a safety-packed tenth rack. Another fruitless break, this time from Zielinski, got Germany back to the table and with the balls out in the open the score moved to 6-5.

Another unfortunate scratch from Filler pocketing the 1-ball, handed the table back to Poland and from there they restored their two-rack lead at 7-5. That soon became a three-rack lead as the Poles ran out from the break to put themselves within one of victory at 8-5.

Another break left a safety – this time from Filler. The Germans were patient and, in the end, got ball-in-hand as Szewczyk failed toextricate himself from an impossible snooker, and they cleared to get the match to 8-6. Just when he needed it, Zielinski delivered an excellent break, downing 2 balls and leaving an open table. There were a couple of testers along the way but the Polish pair executed them well and they cleared for a 9-6 victory.

“We were struggling with the break, both of us but from the open game we generally played quite well and Germany had two or three unlucky rolls and we took advantage of it. I’m happy that we’re in the final with Wojciech – he’s a great partner,” said Zielinski.

Szewczyk added, “I’d agree with Wiktor. It was pretty interesting – I actually like the strategic part of the game as so many racks were of this kind where we exchanged safeties and had to come up with some creative shots. In the end we managed to make three break-and-runs out of that disastrous break so it’s not really a bad score.”

Szewczyk is no guarantee for a spot in the final. Teams are made up of the two highest ranked players prior to the final and with a Euro Tour to compete in this weekend and a few other Polish players snapping at his heels, anything could happen.

Full results from the evening’s play:

Semi Final 1: SPAIN (Alcaide/Sanchez Ruiz) 9 – 3 BOSNIA HERZOGOVINA (Pehlivanovic/Piknjac)

Semi Final 2: POLAND (Szewczyk/Zielinski) 9 – 6 GERMANY (Filler/Bongers)

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Sanchez-Ruiz moves closer to Mosconi Cup selection with undefeated win on home felt in Spain

Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz

Going into the PRP Nineball Open last weekend (Sept. 14-18) at the Exe Boston Hotel in Zaragoza, Spain, the struggle for a 3rd place spot on the Mosconi Cup’s European team, defined, as of August 31, by the Nineball World Rankings, was something of a race between Austria’s Mario He and Spain’s Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz. Both made it undefeated through two separate knockout rounds of the 128-entrant field in Spain. They both went on, undefeated to the finals where Sanchez-Ruiz prevailed to claim the event title, his fourth major title of the year.

With the USA’s Shane Van Boening and Germany’s Joshua Filler holding the top two spots in those Nineball World Rankings and being too far ahead in the rankings to be unseated, each Mosconi Cup team will select two more from the list at the conclusion of the final three ranking events; The Euro Tour Dynamic Billiards Slovenia Open in Lasko, Slovenia (Oct. 1-3), the Sandcastle 9-Ball Open at Sandcastle Billiards in Edison, NJ (Oct. 6-8) and the US Open Pool Championship at Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City, NJ (Oct. 10-15). With Austria’s Albin Ouschan, who did not compete in Spain, currently in the #3 position in the World Rankings and in the driver’s seat to claim a second spot on the Mosconi Cup team, the third selected seat continues to be a struggle between Sanchez-Ruiz (currently #4) and He (#5). Though at the moment, Sanchez-Ruiz has a commanding lead and seems likely to draw the third pick, it might well continue into next week’s Slovenia Open and depending on whether the two opt for a trip to New Jersey afterwards, it could end up on this side of the Atlantic. 

Sanchez-Ruiz and He emerged from separate brackets to advance to the PRP Nineball Open’s final draw of 32. Sanchez-Ruiz, after being awarded an opening round bye, defeated two of his fellow countrymen, Manuel Fernandez and Gabriel Carral 9-2 to qualify for the single-elimination Phase Two (well over 50% of the field was from Spain). He was joined from the winners’ side of the bracket by countrymen Jose Alberto Delgado and Jose Castillo, Lithuania’s Pijus Labutis, Poland’s Wiktor Zielinski and Mieszko Fortunski, Marc Bijsterbosch from the Netherlands and Hungary’s Oliver Szolnoki. 

In the other Phase 1 bracket, Mario He (also awarded a bye) defeated Spaniards Amalia Matas 9-4 and Mayte Ropero 9-7 to be among the winners’ side competitors to advance. Germany’s Ralf Souquet was on that list, too, as were Poland’s Konrad Juszczyszyn, Switzerland’s Ronald Regli, Spain’s David Alcaide and Jonas Souto, Estonia’s Denis Grabe and, also in the running for that 3rd spot on the Mosconi Cup team, behind He, Alex Kazakis from Greece.

Sanchez-Ruiz’ toughest battle advancing to the event’s quarterfinals came in the opening round of the single-elimination Round 2, when Francisco Diaz chalked up eight racks against him. From there, it was relatively smooth sailing through Ivan Nunez 11-3 for Sanchez-Ruiz to arrive at his quarterfinal matchup versus Delgado. He, on the other hand, began his single-elimination advancement with two double hill matches against Portugal’s Sara Rocha and Spain’s Iker Echeverria, which he successfully negotiated to face Bosnia-Herzegovina’s Sanjin Pehlivanovic. Three competitors lurking behind Sanchez-Ruiz and He on the rankings list, appeared in the other two quarterfinals. Kazakis, immediately below He on the list, faced Denis Grabe (in the 20s on the list), as Szolnoki, immediately below Kazakis, met up with Zielinski, immediately behind him.

Sanchez-Ruiz downed Delgado 11-5 and in the semifinals, picked up Zielenski, who’d eliminated Szolnoki 11-8. He defeated Pehlivanovic 11-2 and drew Kazakis, who’d eliminated Grabe 11-7.

Assuring their spots on the rankings list, Sanchez-Ruiz and He advanced to the finals; Sanchez-Ruiz 11-5 over Zielinski and He 11-2 over Kazakis. 

It was clear from the outset of the finals that Sanchez-Ruiz and He were playing for more than bragging rights at their local pub. He broke the initial rack and ran the table to open the scoring. Sanchez-Ruiz broke and won the second to create the first of only two ties in the race to 13. 

Sanchez-Ruiz won the next four to go ahead 5-1, at which point the two of them embarked on a series of runs that narrowed that lead down to between two and three racks. He got within a single rack three times in that stretch, at 6-5, 7-6 and 8-7, but He’s win of rack #15 opened the door for Sanchez-Ruiz to head on out on a four-match run that put him on the hill, ahead by five at 12-7. 

He, though, came right back and matched Sanchez-Ruiz’ longest run of the game at the start, winning five racks to force a single deciding game. He broke, but left himself with a low-percentage shot at the 1-ball, sitting north of and at a sharp angle to a side pocket. He played safe and began a two-ball safety battle that took up nearly half of the final match-time. Sanchez-Ruiz broke it up after He had given him an opening on the 2-ball that also opened the table. Sanchez-Ruiz ran them from there and claimed the event title.

The battle for the two remaining European Mosconi Cup slots (not counting the coach’s two wild-card picks), moves on to Lasko, Slovenia.

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Longoni 9-Ball League Semi-Final Line-Ups Set For Slovenia

The Longoni 9 Ball League reconvenes at the end of this month in Lasko in Slovenia and is now down to the semi-finals which both take place on 30th September. The event got underway in February at the same Slovenian venue and the event has featured 12 nations playing in four groups of three teams. The format is scotch doubles and the two representatives of each country have been the two highest ranked players on the Euro Tour prior to each round of matches.

With group play complete, there are four teams remaining and they compete in two semi-finals with the prize of a spot in the title match which takes place in Italy prior to the final Euro Tour event of the year. The opening match will see Spain take on Bosnia & Herzegovina in the first Longoni 9 Ball League semi-final which gets underway at 20:00 local time.

With the EuroTour rankings determining the players in each team during the course of season, the ever-reliable Spanish duo of Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz and David Alcaide have stayed at the top throughout. Ranked No.1 and No.8 respectively, they are, understandably, hot favourites for the title.

Standing in their way are Bosnia’s young talented team of Sanjin Pehlivanovic and Ajdin Piknjac who are currently ranked at No.25 and No.45. The pair have played all matches together and, in the process, have defeated two strong teams already in Greece and Norway. That means the Spaniards will need to come with their best to negotiate the tie.

With its scotch doubles format, the Longoni 9 Ball League now becomes a race to 9 for the semi-finals with alternate break and alternate breaker. The second semi-final, scheduled at 21:30 local time, features Poland against Germany.

Germany’s top ranked player, with a host of titles to his name this year including gold at the World Games, is Joshua Filler (ET ranked No.3) and he will be partnered by the improving Tobias Bongers (ET No.20) as they attempt to overcome the strong Polish pairing of Wiktor Zielinski and Wojciech Szewczyk.

Zielinski (ET No.2) and Szewczyk (No.10) have gelled perfectly over the two matches they’ve played, beating Austria and Italy in the group stage. Germany, however, have seen a change of personnel, as Filler and Thorsten Hohmann started the campaign but Bongers produced the better results on the EuroTour to take the spot and has not looked back.

Each team, having won their respective group, will now play for a place in November’s final and a shot at the first prize of 3900 Euro. Add that to the group earnings and the eventual champions will collect a cool 4500 Euro for playing four matches. The runners-up receive 2500 Euro plus group earnings and as with all the teams, the total prize money will be divided into match shares with one share for each team appearance.

Following the semi-finals, the final will take place on Friday 25th November in Treviso, Italy.
Matches can be viewed live on the free Kozoom platform, TV.kozoom as well as on the Longoni 9 Ball League & EPBF Facebook pages.

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2022 European Open Day 4 – Only 16 Remain In Germany

Joshua Filler (Taka Wu – Matchroom Multi Sport)

Joshua Filler passed the test of Mosconi Cup teammate Eklent Kaçi and the USA’s Oscar Dominguez to reach the Last 16 of the inaugural European Open Pool Championship at Hotel Esperanto, Fulda, Germany live on the Matchroom Pool Facebook/YouTube and Matchroom.Live.

Schedule / Scores

Filler had a good day of it coming from behind to defeat Kaçi 9-8 when his goose had looked cooked when Kaçi had a 5-9 combo to seal victory at 8-7 only for the Albanian to offer the gift that the Killer needed to get back into it. Kaçi didn’t get a look in from then on as Filler broke in the final rack but it was far from easy with the 7, 8 and 9 all glued together and the rack penned underneath it. Filler kept his cool in the moment though despite the glaring problem to complete victory and set up a Last 32 tie with Oscar Dominguez of the USA.

Dominguez had came from 4-1 down against Tyler Styer to peg him back at 5-5 and 6-6 before pulling through to meet his old Mosconi Cup rival to reach the Last 16.

Filler came into the contest on the back of two hill-hill showings in his last three matches in the tournament and he was in no mood for a similar scenario. Filler hit the front early on but Dominguez was playing freely and causing the German a whole heap of problems. The home crowd were out for their star man and he delivered a 10-7 victory to book his spot in the Last 16 in what proved to be a successful day that also saw him become the first player on Team Europe for the 2022 Mosconi Cup off the Live Nineball World Rankings.

Francisco Sanchez Ruiz was the only player who could beat Filler to the first Mosconi Cup spot with $14,000 separating the pair heading into the tournament but his hopes were ended in the Last 32 at the hands of Albania’s Besar Spahiu who mounted an impressive comeback to steal it 10-8 and confirm Filler’s spot on Team Europe for the 2022 Mosconi Cup at Bally’s Las Vegas from November 30 to December 3.

Jayson Shaw (Taka Wu – Matchroom Multi Sport)

Jayson Shaw is next up for Filler after the two-time Mosconi Cup MVP saw off Petri Makkonen earlier on in the day before a grueling battle with Italy’s Daniele Corrieri to book his place in the Last 16. Corrieri took the game to Shaw and had the better of the opening exchanges with a 1-9 combo the pick of the bunch as he found his rhythm early doors with Shaw not doing too much wrong.

Eagle Eye found his mojo at the midway stage and he didn’t do too much wrong from then on as he led for the first time in the match at 7-6. Shaw from there was imperious as he set up a mouthwatering clash on Table 1 with Filler next.

Team USA‘s charge for glory on home soil will be led by Nineball World No.1 Shane Van Boening who came through his own tests against Germany’s Sebastian Staab in the Last 64 before Wojciech Szewczyk stood in his way of a weekend appearance. Szewczyk took the early initiative to lead 2-0 before Van Boening pulled back to 2-2. The pair were entertaining the crowd with some of the best safety play witnessed all week as Van Boening came back to lead only for Szewczyk to soon lead 5-4 and be at the halfway point. Van Boening was dominant to lead 9-5 only to break dry in the next and Szewczyk to bite back. The Pole was struggling for position on the 1 ball. and had to play safe and from there Van Boening played a kick and stick that would rival any in history to leave Szewczyk in knots. A short safety battled ensued for Van Boening to come on top and meet Sanjin Pehlivanovic in the Last 16 tomorrow.

Alexander Kazakis defeated David Alcaide 9-2 to reach the Last 32 and meet John Morra. The Greek had a battle on his hands against Morra who lead at various points and most importantly was 8-6 up in the Race to 10. The Canadian looked to have control but Kazakis has demonstrated in recent times his steely nature with some clutch pots to pull it back and looked to be in to level at 9-9. Kazakis lost position on the penultimate ball to leave it over the pocket and give Morra the easiest route into the Last 16 to meet Konrad Juszczyszyn next.

Session 1 from 12pm (CEST)

Table 1 – Sky Sports / DAZN / Viaplay / Matchroom.Live / See the full where to watch list here

Joshua Filler (GER) vs Jayson Shaw (GBR)

Shane Van Boening (USA) vs Sanjin Pehlivanović (BOS)

Table 2 – Matchroom Pool YouTube / Matchroom.Live

Mieszko Fortunski (POL) vs Tomasz Kaplan (POL)

Jonas Souto Comino (ESP) vs Mateusz Sniegocki (POL)

Albin Ouschan (ESP) vs Denis Grabe (EST)

Table 3

Ronald Regli (SUI) vs Jose Alberto Delgado (ESP)

John Morra (CAN) Vs Konrad Juszczyszyn (POL)

Mario He (AUT) vs Besar Spahiu (ALB)


Tomorrow and Sunday, Table 1 action is available on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland, DAZN in the USA, Canada, Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, and Switzerland as well as on Viaplay in Scandinavia and the Baltics and various other broadcasters worldwide including Matchroom.Live in relevant countries. Table 2 will be on the Matchroom Pool YouTube channel. See the full where to watch list here.

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Josh And Pia Filler To Meet In European Open Winners Qualification Round

Joshua Filler (Taka Wu – Matchroom Multi Sport)

Joshua and Pia Filler will meet in Winners Qualification tomorrow after the Posh and Becks of Pool overcame two matches apiece to make it through day two of the inaugural European Open Pool Championship at Hotel Esperanto, Fulda in Germany live on the Matchroom Pool Facebook/YouTube and Matchroom.Live.

Bracket / Scores

Joshua began his tournament with an emphatic 9-0 win over GJ Oyangoren in one of the opening encounters of the day to make the winners’ side whilst Pia came from behind to defeat Talal Abdullah Shaheen in a hill-hill finish. The stars were beginning to align as the evening got into full swing as Pia got her second W of the day, this time against Ramazan Akdag 9-6.

At the same time as Pia’s win, Joshua was under the cosh, and 5-0 down to fellow compatriot and former sparring partner Raphael Wahl. Wahl reached the hill first at 8-4 and it looked like he would get the better of Joshua like old times but the pair have had different paths since their juniors days. Joshua showed his grit and experience with over 100 fans crowding around their table to see the conclusion as the recent UK Open and World Pool Masters champion closed out an impressive comeback to steal it and meet his wife Pia for the first time at this level of the sport.

“I am super excited. I really wanted to play Josh in this tournament. I was fighting hard to get here and now here we are. I can’t wait.” – Pia Filler

Pia Filler (Taka Wu – Matchroom Multi Sport)

“That match was almost in jepordy. I knew she was winning and I was sown. I was more nervous then. We wanted to play each other. I gave it my best and luckily I won it. I was 6-1 down. I’ve known Raph since we were juniors. He won a few finals against me and I won a few against him. The atmosphere was crazy. I enjoyed it. I really enjoyed it. I got luck on my side in the end. I am delighted to be through.” – Joshua Filler

“We just do business as usual. It’s no secret he’s the love of my life but tomorrow he will be my biggest rival for 90 minutes.” – Pia Filler

Tony Drago returned to the Nineball arena with a win over Ivan Nunez Perez 9-2 before losing out to Sanjin Pehlivanovic to be sent to the Losers side whilst the Bosnian moves into Winners’ Qualification tomorrow. Neils Feijen overcame  Harold Stolka and Flavian Glont to make lightwork of his day to meet José Alberto Delgado tomorrow for a spot in the Last 64.

There was no sign of jet lag for Nineball World No.1 and World Champion Shane Van Boening who beat Martin Breuer and Aref Awadi 9-1 and 9-0 respectively to barely break sweat and set up a Winners’ Qualification match live on the Matchroom Pool Facebook page with Jani Uski tomorrow afternoon. Meanwhile, Francisco Sanchez Ruiz fresh off the back of snapping off another EuroTour title on Monday beat Christian Prager and Ioan Ladanyi to be one away from the Last 64 and compatriot David Alcaide reached the same stage with wins over Fabian Breuer and Great Britain’s Benji Buckley.

Hometown favourite Thorsten Hohmann kept his tournament alive with a 8-2 win over Cyprus’ Antonis Brabin whilst German legend Ralf Souquet stayed alive after defeating Veronika Ivanovskaia 8-5 on the losers bracket.

Day 3 Streamed Matches Below 10 am (CEST)

Table 1 – Matchroom Pool Facebook / Matchroom.Live

10am – 319 – Chris Melling (GBR) vs Uwe Kaiser (GER) – Losers Round 3

NB 11:30am – Francisco Sanchez Ruiz vs Michael Schneider (SUI) – Winners’ Qualification

NB 1:00pm – Joshua Filler (GER) vs Pia Filler (GER) – Winners’ Qualification

NB 2:30pm – Shane Van Boening (USA) vs Jani Uski (FIN) – Winners’ Qualification

NB 4:00pm – TBC

NB 6:30pm – TBC

Table 2 – Matchroom Pool YouTube / Matchroom.Live

10am – Robbie Capito (HKG) vs Mika Van Berkel (NED) – Losers Round 3

NB 11:30 – Thorsten Hohmann (GER) vs Rattapol Sassmann (THA) – Losers Round 3

NB  1:00pm – Aleksa Pecelj (SRB) vs Ronald Regli (SUI) – Winners’ Qualification

NB 2:30pm – Jayson Shaw (GBR) vs Bader Alawadhi (KUW)  – Winners’ Qualification

NB 4:00pm – TBC

NB 6:30pm – TBC

The final two days are available on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland, DAZN in the USA, Canada, Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, and Switzerland as well as on Viaplay in Scandinavia and the Baltics and various other broadcasters worldwide including Matchroom.Live in relevant countries. See the full where to watch list here.

Tickets start from €15 for the day or €90 for the week. Secure yours here

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