World Cup of Pool – Italy and Poland complete last 16 line-up

Team Italy's Bruno Muratore


Round 1 Results
Germany 8-1 Serbia
Thailand 8-4 Malaysia
Canada 8-7 Sweden
USA 8-7 India
Austria 8-2 Kuwait
Philippines 8-3 Hong Kong
China 8-4 Singapore
Spain 8-3 Hungary                 
England 8-2 Belgium 
Finland 8-6 Korea
Chinese Taipei 8-6 Indonesia
Switzerland 8-7 Philippines A
Japan 8-6 Russia
Holland 8-7 Croatia
Poland 8-6 Australia
Italy 8-7 Vietnam
THE final two first round matches in the World Cup of Pool completed this afternoon in Manila and there were wins for Poland and Italy as the $250,000 event reached the second round stage on Thursday night.
Of the 16 seeded nations, only one lost (Philippines A to the Swiss) as the last 16 teams have now been determined.
In the opening match of the afternoon session, the Polish pair of Karol Skowerski and Wojciech Szewcyk had to overcome a huge 5-1 deficit as the Australian pair of Ian Barber and Dave Reljic seemed to be cruising to an easy win.
But as we have seen, pool doesn’t often succumb to such pat endings and the Poles dug in winning four successive racks to level at 5-5 and leave the Aussies reeling. However Reljic and Barber gave themselves a massive shot in the arm as they won the next but the Poles scrapped out a messy 12th rack to leave it all poised at 6-6.
The Poles broke and ran the next under enormous pressure to take the lead for the first time and then repeated the same in what was the final game for a great victory against a game Australian duo.
It has been a long day so far and out of a possible 60 racks in the four afternoon matches, 58 were played.
The 2012 World Cup of Pool runs from Tuesday September 4 to Sunday, September 9 at Robinson’s Place, Ermita, Manila.  Once again the total prize fund is US$250,000 with $60,000 going to the eventual champions. Tickets for the extravaganza will be available at the venue on the day of play but with plentiful balconies offering superb views of the playing arena, organisers are anticipating crowds in the thousands rather than hundreds.
The final first round match was also a hill-hill thriller and it was Italy’s Fabio Petroni and Bruno Muratore who ground it out against the Vietnamese underdogs of Nguyen Anh Tuan and Do The Kien.
The match went back and forth until both sides stood at seven racks apiece the 15th and final rack got underway, and what a rack it was.
A good break off for Vietnam but Do scratched on the two ball, which given the circumstances was heartbreak for Vietnam.  Petroni though left a tough cut in the side for Bruno who missed the 7 ball to hand a life line to the Asians.
Luckily for Italy the leave was not easy, and then Do fouled when he completely missed the 7 ball. It went right down to the last ball as Muratore left a tough cut on the 9 after a ball in hand. Nobody seemed to want to win but in the end it was Italy.
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