Taiwan, Hong Kong and Czech Republic Advance At World Cup

Taiwan, Hong Kong and the Czech Republic were this afternoon's winner at the PartyPoker.com World Cup of Pool and they will all take their places in Saturday's quarter-final line up.

With the alternate break format and the ultra-tight Brunswick Metro Tournament edition matches were going down to the wire as the rewards become greater in the $250,000 event.

In an intriguing last 16 clash between Far eastern pool powers, Japan took on the fancied Taiwanese pairing Yang Ching-shun and Wang Hung-hsiang for a place in the last eight.

The result though went with the form book, as the fifth seeds Taiwan completed a comfortable 9 - 4 victory. The Japanese side of Satoshi Kawabata and Masaki Tanaka gave it a good go in the early stages before the superior class ran uncontested through the last five racks.

"We played much better than in our opening match against India two days ago, said Yang.

"It's the first time we've really played doubles together but we know each other's games fairly well. This is a tough tournament and we haven't thought too much about winning the tournament, we've just taken each game as it comes," he added.

Snooker stars Ronnie O'Sullivan and Steve Davis may be out of the Tournament but the Hong Kong team of Lee Chenman and Kong Man-ho produced their second consecutive upset to book a place in the quarter-finals where they will face the might of Team USA.

Chinese-speaking Lee Chenman representing Hong Kong, was born in Scotland and lived in England for more than 15 years until last year when he moved back to home city of his parents in the Far East.

The Hong Kong side were dismissed as 150/1 outsiders by bookmakers before the competition but have been the story of the tournament so far as they have beaten two seeded teams to reach the last eight.

Hong Kong defeated 11th seeds Russia 9-8 at the Newport Centre, only two days after they had knocked out sixth seeds Sweden by a similar score in round one.

"This is the first time I have played under the Hong Kong banner and it is a proud feeling," said 27-year-old Chenman, whose parents and brother still live in Leicestershire.

"We had all the rolls of luck against Russia but this is the best feeling I've ever had in pool."

Chenman and team-mate Kong Man-ho had to battle throughout their match and Chenman showed a great deal of nerve to pot the decisive 9-ball in the final rack.

The victory means Hong Kong will play in the quarter-finals on Saturday evening against third seeds USA, whose team consists of three-time World Champion Earl Strickland and former US Open winner Rodney Morris.

In the final match of the afternoon, Czech Republic pairing of Roman Hybler and Michal Gavenciak booked a quarter-final match up against Team Philippines as they outlasted Canada in a tense encounter.

Canada, represented by Luc Salvas and Tyler Edey, clawed their way back into the match from a seemingly hopeless 7-4 deficit to take the lead at 8-7 but the Czechs dug deep to knock off the final two racks for victory.