World Cup of Pool: Favourites Philippines Edge Through – England Make Meal of Malaysia

Ronnie Alcano and Dennis Orcollo

Reigning World 10 Ball Champ, Darren Appleton and partner Imran Majid, made it through to the last 16 of the World Cup of Pool as they made hard work of beating Malaysia after a blistering start.
The English pair stormed into a 5-0 as they raced through the racks and Majid had an easy 9 ball to make it 6-0 but missed it to give the Malaysian team of Ibrahim Bin Amir and Lee Poh Soon a glimmer of hope.
Another miss by Majid, this time on the 5 ball, gave the Malaysians another chance which they took and things looked even better for them as they ran out the next from the break to make it 5-3.
England relieved the pressure by winning the next but it was an Appleton miss that gave a chance to the Malaysians and they made it 4-6 but it was to be their last meaningful contribution to the match.
England took the next and when Bin Amir fouled trying to escape from a complex snooker, it was all over for the Malaysians.
Taking place over six days at the SM Mall North Annex in Manila, the World Cup of Pool features 32 x two player teams chasing a $250,000 prize fund. The entire event is live on Solar Sports and CS9 in the Philippines.
"In 2007 I had to qualify for the World Pool Championships in the Philippines and unfortunately didn't do so, but then I came here the next year and won the World 10-Ball Championships so I love coming here,” said Appleton.
"Something like this event you have the best players in the world and when you play in the Philippines you have to bring your best play," he added.
IN THE final match of the day, highly-fancied Philippines A, made up of '06 World Champion Ronnie Alcano and former WPA World No.1 Dennis Orcollo, had a real scare against the brave Thai team of Nitiwat Kanjanasri and Surethep Phoochalam.
The unfancied Thailand team showed no nerves while their more illustrious opponents were clearly feeling the pressure of the great expectation upon them.
There was no trouble in the early stages as the Philippines moved into a 4-1 lead but that lead slowly crumbled as the Thais won four racks on the spin to move into a shock lead.
A stroke of luck helped the home side's effort as Alcano fluked the 1 ball to set up the tenth rack and they regained the lead following a fine break shot to shake some of the nerves.
There was no further trouble for the Philippine pair as they closed out the remaining two racks to set up a last 16 clash with Denmark or Russia.
"We needed to do everything right but we made a few mistakes and got nervous. But Ronnie said to me to not think about the mistakes and just win this match," said a relieved Orcollo after the match.
First Round Results To Date
Philippines A 8 – 5 Thailand
England 8 – 4 Malaysia
Germany 8 – 0 Hong Kong
Japan 8 – 6 Croatia
Italy 8 – 5 Austria
Finland 8 – 3 Sweden
Philippines B 8 – 3 Qatar
USA 8 – 7 Malta
Indonesia 8 – 3 India
Spain 8 – 3 Australia
China 8 – 5 Korea
France 8 – 1 Canada