Yang Downs Ibrahim For Singapore Crown

Ching-Shun Yang

July 15, 2007 (Orchid Country Club, Singapore) – Chinese Taipei pool ace Ching-Shun Yang overcame a combative Ibrahim Bin Amir of Malaysia to claim his second title this year on the Guinness 9-Ball Tour as the Singapore leg of Asia's premier pool competition concluded at the Orchid Country Club today.

Yang overcame Ibrahim 11-8 in a hard-fought battle in which surprise-finalist Ibrahim never let up the drive to push the favoured Chinese Taipei player to his limit.

Speaking after the victory, a clearly relieved Yang said: “This has been one tough tournament and the pressure has been relentless once the knockout stage commenced. I am very happy to win in Singapore again to add to my win here in 2003. What pleases me more is that this is the first time I've won twice in the same year on this Tour.”

Today's semi-final matches saw upsets with two former World Champions falling by the way side.

Yang overcame his compatriot and 2005 WPA World Champion Chia-Ching Wu 11-7 to reach the final, but it was the day's first semi-final that provided the shock result with Ibrahim knocking out 2004 WPA World Champion Alex Pagulayan 13-11.

Said Ibrahim after the final: “I enjoyed the ding-dong battle with Alex and I was determined to do my best against Yang. Of course I am disappointed not to win but I am also proud to have forced Yang to bring out his best game in order to beat me.”

Yang's win propels him to the top of the Order of Merit with 175 points, five more than compatriot Jung-Lin Chang who won in Jakarta and Genting Highlands. Ibrahim meanwhile gave his bid for a Bali appearance a huge boost moving up to seventh on the Order of Merit with the 50 points gained from his runner-up result.

The Top Ten players on the Order of Merit after the conclusion of next month's Shanghai leg will qualify for the Tour's inaugural Grand Final in Bali which will offer total prize money of US$70,000 with the Grand Champion in line for a US$36,000 pay day.

The final day's action attracted more than 1,400 pool fans who packed the Grand Ballroom of the Orchid Country Club for three thrilling matches in which the outcome was never predictable.

The Tour next visits Shanghai where the tournament will be played at the Shanghai Hotel from August 3-5. The Grand Final will be held at the Grand Hyatt in Bali from August 31 to September 2.

The Guinness 9-Ball Tour is sanctioned by the Asian Pocket Billiard Union (APBU) and organized by ESPN STAR Sports' Event Management Group (EMG). Guinness is the title sponsor for the Tour. The local sanctioning body is Cuesports Singapore. Iwan Simonis and Aramith supply the official tablecloth and official balls respectively. Brunswick Metro provides the official pool table while Predator is the official cue. The New Paper is the Media Partner. The Official Venue is the Orchid Country Club. STAR Sports is the official broadcaster while StarHub is the official Broadcast Partner.