World Cup of Pool: Super Poland Marches On – Holland ousts Japan

TEAM POLAND produced another great performance at the SM Mall North Annex in Manila as they took down the fancied Chinese Taipei side by 8-5 to book a spot in Saturday's World Cup of Pool quarter-finals.
The dynamic duo of experienced Radoslaw Babica and very solid up-and-coming Mateusz Sniegocki had too much for the lackluster duo of Yang and Lai, who had no real sparkle throughout and looked there for the taking.
By contrast, the two Polish players, both hailing from Poznan, looked a very tight unit in parts and seemed to be enjoying the centre stage experience.
"We practice a lot and we played good. But there was a lot of pressure for us in this match and we made some mistakes but we still advanced and I'm glad we're winning," said Sniegocki.
The Taiwanese started well, going into a 3-1 lead as they set about their task in a workmanlike way. A miss by Yang though, let the Poles back in and they took the fifth and the next two in quick succession to establish a 4-3 lead.
It was a match of two halves though as the second half of the game became bogged down with plenty of misses as the two sides struggled to gain any momentum. The Poles though kept their noses in front.
The closest Chinese Taipei came was at 5-6 down but the Poles finish off a messy final two racks to secure the victory and with it a quarter-final match against neighbors Russia or Philippines A.
In a dour encounter, Holland made their way to Saturday's quarter-final stages at the expense of Japan at the SM Mall North Annex where they will now meet Germany.
The Dutch pairing of Niels Feijen and Nick Van Den Berg seemed to take every second available from the shot clock as they methodically worked their way around the table accumulating the racks as they kept Japan at bay.
The opening stages were fairly level as the teams kept it tight at 3-3 but the ultra-prepared Dutch team, with former Mosconi Cup coach Johan Ruijsink in their corner, cashed in on some lax play from the Japanese to move into a 5-3 lead.
With some flag waving fans in the audience, Satoshi Kawabata and Hayato Hijikata, gave them something to cheer about when they took the next to keep themselves in it.
That was to be their final contribution to the game as the Dutch took the next three games to book their last eight spot.
“It should be an exciting match against Germany because they're both good guys and great players and ex World Champions,” said Feijen.
“It could be a huge advantage that we play like this a lot in practice and if we do it right we come out on top tomorrow,” added Van den Berg.