Team USA wins World Cup of Pool

The USA has won their first ever World Cup of Pool.

The US Team of Shane Van Boening and Rodney Morris remained undefeated on the final day of the event with a 9-6 upset of the #2 seeded Filipino team of Dennis Orcollo and Francisco Bustamante and then ended the event with an 11-7 win over Daryl Peach and Mark Gray from England.

The team from the Philippines had been steamrolling opponents for the duration of the event, coming into the match with the US team riding a combined score of 25-7, while the US team had not been looking nearly as dominant. That didn't stop the US team from racing to an early 5-2 lead and then stretching that lead to 7-3. The Filipino team clawed back to 7-5, but a scratch on the break by Francisco Bustamante led to a US table run as the US team reached the hill at 8-5. Two rack later, the US team notched the final game for the 9-6 win.

Team England was looking to continue the success that their players have had all year long in major events. Players from England currently own two of the four World Championships, and they were hoping to add this event to their accomplishments for 2008.

England's match with #1 ranked China was a close one. The score was tied at 2-2, 3-3 and 5-5 but then the wheels appeared to fall off for the Chinese team. Careless mistakes were the end of them, as England went on to win the next four games.

The showdown between Team USA and England started out close, with the score tied at 2-2. Team USA won the next two for a two rack lead and then raced off to an 8-3 lead. Team England drew back within three racks at 8-5, but it was too little too late as Team USA went on to an 11-7 win.

"This is a major tournament, a world event, a world title, so to win this is just awesome," said Morris.

"We didn't perform at our best in the beginning of the tournament but that's why we were seeded and we felt good and gelled nicely. Shane is a good partner because he never misses.

"I think we peaked at the right time and got a nice rhythm. Shane got me playing a little smarter and tighter and got me concentrating. It's more special for me to see Shane win and I was trying hard not to let him down.

"I'm just happy we made it and it's a relief. I didn't want to let my team down and that keeps me tight."

Shane van Boening was representing USA for the first time in this tournament and he believed him and Morris had made a bit of history.

"Winning this means we are the first American team to win it and that really means something," said van Boening.

"We didn't know each other very well at the start but we got along well and had a good time. We're looking forward to coming back next year and defending our title.

"I played good and we broke well and ran a couple of racks. We got the break figured out and played at our best."

This was the third staging of the World Cup of Pool, which was sponsored by, and this victory wipes out the painful memory of 2006 where USA lost in the final.

Morris was part of the American side, along with Earl Strickland, that lost 13-5 against Philippines in 2006 and Morris admitted he had been more determined to win as a result.

"It's a big relief but it feels really good," said Morris. "I didn't want to get to the final again and lose.

"We felt we were big favorites in our own mind and the semi-final victory over the Philippines was like winning the final for us. Obviously it wasn't but beating the Philippines gave us that extra confidence.

"The final was difficult because I gave away some games and I kept them close. We were poised to roll them out but after a couple of mistakes it ebbed and flowed.

"Once we got a two or three game lead I felt with this break and format we just had to trade games until the end. England made it a bit easy for us but they were trying and fighting but could not overcome these errors."

USA, who had been seeded sixth, claimed $60,000 for winning the competition, while England, the tournament's fifth seeds, walk away with $30,000 for coming second.