World Cup of Pool – Taiwan extinguish final Philippine hopes

Team Taipei

Quarter Final Results
Thailand 9 – 6 Poland
Chinese Taipei 9 – 8 Philippines A
Korea 9 – 5 Sweden  
Germany 9 – 1 Philippines B 9
IN ONE OF those matches that make pool such a compelling sport, Taiwan put paid to the final Philippines' hopes at the World Cup of Pool as the Ko brothers defeated Dennis Orcollo and Ronnie Alcano in their quarter-final match, in front of a packed house at the SM Mall North in Quezon City, Manila.
The match ebbed and flowed and went right down to a deciding rack after both teams had clawed their way back into the game from losing positions. The final villain was Ronnie Alcano but you had to feel for the 2006 World Champion as he missed the final 8 ball to hand the table back to the Taiwanese.
His partner Orcollo looked devastated and Alcano looked shell-shocked but they only had themselves to blame. Ko Pin-yi and Ko Ping-chung dropped the 8 and 9 respectively to record a fabulous win in a match they were second favourites to win at the outset.
The match started so well for Orcollo and Alcano and at 5-1 up they looked comfortable as their nation's sole representative following the 9-1 defeat of Reyes and Bustamante by Germany earlier in the day.
The Kos though – 15 year old Ping-chun and 'veteran' brother Pin-yi, 22 – mounted a fight back as they took the racks, finding some excellent form. When they levelled at 5-5 the crowd was silent and before long the Ko brothers were 7-5 to the good.
They reached the hill at 8-6 which is when the drama started. A dry break allowed the Filipinos to get to the table and after some safeties were exchanged they completed a nervous run out.
They made a ball on the next break and with the 1 ball out in the open, Alcano and Orcollo held themselves together to run the table at the perfect time. The Taiwanese got back to the table in the last but a poor safety from them allowed the Philippines back to the table and the run out looked on. It was until Alcano's terrible miss.
"Sitting there watching them at the end, I thought maybe we wouldn't get another chance. But sometimes fortune can smile and it did for us," said Ko Pin-yi.
"It was a great match though and we're very happy to win it and looking forward to tomorrow's semi-final against Thailand.
The World Cup of Pool features 32 two-player teams representing 31 nations – hosts Philippines have two sides. The total prize-fund is $250,000 with $60,000 going to the winning pair.
Thailand, who had never won a match before at the World Cup now find themselves in the semi-finals courtesy of an excellent 9-5 win over Poland. Nitiwat Kanjanasri and Kobkit Palajin look to be solid cue men with their snooker fundamentals, and they took advantage of some poor play from the Poles – Radoslaw Babica and Karol Skowerski - to stay ahead of the game in the closing stages.
At 5-5 it was anyone's game but Thailand just outlasted their opponents to seal a memorable win and a great day for Taiwanese pool.
The 2011 World Cup of Pool is sponsored by, the world's leading online poker school. Cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis, Super Aramith balls by Saluc, tables by Star Xing Pai and the Official Cue is Predator.
Semi Final matches – Sunday 11th September
Germany v Korea
Chinese Taipei v Thailand