USA And Philippines Fill Out World Cup Final Four

Rodney Morris

USA cruised into the semi-finals to finally end the resistance of brave Hong Kong in the World Cup of Pool.

Hong Kong, dismissed as 150/1 outsiders before the tournament, had defeated seeded teams Sweden and Russia in earlier rounds but were thrashed 9-3 by America, the competition's number three seeds.

Earl Strickland and Rodney Morris will now face Vietnam in Sunday afternoon's semi-final and will be confident of securing their spot in the first ever World Cup final.

"We just stayed focused and didn't lose track of our goal and stayed ahead," said Morris.

"It was very important to come out of the gate well to set the tone for the match and that's what we did. If you get up but a couple of games in this format then you have a big advantage.

"Vietnam is the story of the tournament and they're on a high with nothing to lose so they will come at us with full force."

The Hong Kong pair of Lee Chenman and Kong Man-ho will be delighted with the $5,000 each they take home as losing quarter-finalists.

In the second quarter-final of the evening, No.1 seeds the Philippines overcame a huge scare to make their way to a quarter final match up v Germany.

Their opponents, the Czech Republic, lead 6-4 at one stage but took their foot off the pedal to allow Efren Reyes and Francisco Bustamante to claim the glory.

In the second game of the evening Team Philippines were made to fight all the way but did enough to become the final team to reach the semi-finals.

The No.1 seeds raced into an early 3-0 lead against unseeded Czech Republic but then only won one of the next seven racks as the Czechs gained a 6-4 advantage.

However, the Filipino duo of Efren Reyes and Francisco Bustamante showed their mental strength to win the next five to clinch the win at 9-6 and set up a semi-final clash against Germany.

"This was a scary match for us," said Bustamante. "We got 3-0 ahead then they came back and they beat us four times in a row then it was 5-4 and 6-4. But it's a race to nine and everybody can win. It's very important that we played badly but still won - I broke four times and never had a shot."

Reyes added: "Tomorrow we play Germany and they are good players and a very strong team so we need some luck."

Semi Finals - Sunday Afternoon
USA v Vietnam
Philippines v Germany