Sunday, September 21, 2008

Guinness 9-Ball Tour: Semifinals Preview!

Dennis Orcollo GraphicBilliards buddies and pool players, here is a very good read on the upcoming semifinals of the 2008 Guinness 9-Ball Tour, Guangzhou leg! The post comes direct from the Guinness 9-Ball Tour site! And I kid you not! Enjoy!

The two most dominant countries in the region will once again renew their rivalry as Chinese Taipei and the Philippines each booked a pair of semifinal berths in the penultimate leg of the Guinness 9 Ball Tour 2008, held att the Garden Hotel in Guangzhou, China.

Wang Hung Hsiang of Chinese Taipei became the first man to earn a ticket to the final four after he upset compatriot and defending Grand Final champion Chang Jung Lin, 9 - 4.

Chang, who won the tournament's first three legs this year, was visibly out of his element as he committed three dry breaks and two scratches, which allowed Wang to come up with the relatively easy victory. Said Wang, "Personally, it didn't matter who won this game because as long as either one of us wins, Chinese-Taipei will be in the semi final. That being said, Chang wasn't playing well at all so I managed to capitalise on his mistakes and win."

Up next for Wang will be Singapore leg champion Alex Pagulayan of the Philippines. Pagulayan overwhelmed Satoshi Kawabata of Japan, 9 - 3. Clinging on to a 4 - 3 advantage, Pagulayan turned his match into a rout as he won five consecutive racks after capitalizing on several easy misses by Kawabata.

The Japanese missed a shot on the one-ball in the eighth rack and an attempt at the eight-ball in the 10th rack and his Filipino foe easily cleaned up those racks.

With Pagulayan on the hill at 8 - 3, Kawabata failed to put pressure on his opponent as the Japanese's shot on the two-ball rimmed out of the right corner pocket. The player known as the "Lion" then went for the jugular as he formalized his entry to the semifinals for the second consecutive leg.

Wang and Pagulayan will play in the first semifinal match at 12 noon tomorrow.

Pagulayan's fellow Filipino, Dennis Orcollo, breezed through to the semifinals after he routed Singapore's Toh Lian Han, 9 - 1.

There was little drama in Orcollo's victory as he claimed the first eight racks and had a golden opportunity to score a whitewash in the ninth rack.

However, the Singapore leg runner-up flubbed a shot on the four-ball in the ninth rack, allowing the Singaporean to win the rack and avoid being shut out in the match.

Breaking in the 10th rack, Toh had a chance to claim another rack, but the 35 - year old committed a foul on the one-ball and Orcollo closed out the match with a 5 - 9combination.

"I was very confident and well-conditioned heading into this match. My break was very good this time around and my shots were very precise," said Orcollo, who needed only 50 minutes to eliminate Toh in the fifth leg of this six-city tour organized by ESPN STAR Sports.

Orcollo will be up for a highly anticipated rematch with Yang Ching Shun of Chinese Taipei in second semifinals match at 1:30 p.m. tomorrow.

Yang, who lost to Orcollo in the semifinals of the Singapore leg, defeated Ryu Seung Woo, 9 - 5, in his quarterfinal. Ryu was 4-1 ahead before the more experienced Yang caught up with him.

The player known as "The Son of Pool" broke away from a tight match as he won the last five racks to claim victory. Ryu succumbed to pressure as he suffered a dry break in the 11th rack then missed a shot on the five-ball in the 13th rack. Said Yang, "Ryu was leading but I managed to hold on and win it. It was down to who was the more experienced player."

Only the top ten players in the Tour's Order of Merit list will qualify for the lucrative Grand Final and a qualifying spot in the WPA World Pool Championship.

"9-Ball is synonymous with The Anitokid!"

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