Just like the first two parts, this is one very good read, everyone! And I kid you not!
By Charlie Williams
The final day had everything a Hollywood pool script would want. The day started off bad it seemed for Team World as Hohmann dropped the first three games and found himself a 4-1 loser to Kiamco. And then the wheels came off as Kiamco missed an easy 9-ball. Incredibly, Kiamco missed the 9ball again the next game, and then hung up the 8-ball the next. Hohmann earned a win on his own in between and then Kiamco created gasps in the throats of hundreds of Pinoy watchers as he missed the 9-ball for the third time. Hohmann ended his misery with a break and run for the 7-4 win.
"The table is playing faster than I expected and I missed position on every shot in that match." said the 2006 World Straight Pool Champion incredulously. "But I'm happy I got the win for the team." World Team 6 to Philippines Team 4.
Next the two captains would face off as Efren Reyes and Rodney Morris took to the table. "c'mon Rocket, US Open finals!" his teammates whispered loudly in his ear referring to Morris's breakthrough win over Reyes at the US Open in the 90's. Morris seemed to hear well as he zoomed to a 4-0 lead. Then Morris made an error and let Reyes back in for a win. Then what happened to Kiamco seemed to curse Morris as he made unforced error after unforced error and found himself a victim to the Magician's seven unanswered games in a row for a 7-4 loss. Philippines 5 to World Team 6.
"When Rocket got to four games, I thought he was going to run over him. But Rocket has been sick all week and he's trying to pump himself and the team for the final day. I know he's tired." said Hundal.
Next Hundal took on his own personal idol, Bustamante. The match was exciting with back and forth leads by both with a culminating 6-6 finale. Hundal played a great safe on Bustamante, but then he came with an amazing escape kicking two rails and making the ball. Seemingly an easy out, Bustamante misread the speed and hooked himself. With time running out on the shot clok and only five seconds to spare, Bustamante kicked again, this time one rail and again making the ball to the screams of the thousand fans. He then ran over and kissed Hundal on the face before laughing and running away to make the final two shots for the win. The Filipinos had officially came back to tie at 6-6.
"We all need to pull Yang though this match. This is big," said Immonen walking over to support the Taiwanese pool legend.
Gomez had fell to Taiwan's Wu the day before, and today the buffed Pinoy known as Superman" showed why he was chosen for the team as he commanded the lead from start to end and defeated Yang 7-3. His teammates roared with the crowd with approval and the Philippines had now taken the lead for the first time in the event 7-6. The momentum had swung three matches in a row in their favor, and the World Team was feeling it.
The next match was 4-on-4 with World Team's heavy guns Immonen, Wu, Yang, and Hundal taking on Pagulayan, Bustamante, Gomez and Orcullo. The World Team played the best match of the event without making one error or missed shot throughout. Williams sat and watched expressionlessly and seemingly tired as he watched his teammates play a perfect set and still lose 7-6 as the Philippines team maintained their composure for a break and run at hill hill.
The Philippines were now on the hill 8-6 and seemingly the overall victory. The World Team sat quiet with four consecutive losses, and need to win three in a row against the now seemingly invincible titans of pool. Williams was scheduled next to take on the heavy burden of having to turn the tide and stop the momentum of the Philippines
Williams seemed to wake up with a steely look of determination and focus as he took on Orcullo. Orcullo would have the honor of making the winning 9-ball to end the event, with the cushion of two more chances just in case he didn't. The first game looked good as Orcullo won the lag and played a great safe off the break. Williams kicked and played safe but Orcullo came with a great 2 rail kick. Williams was left an opening and ran out and from there broke and ran and then took advantage of a scratch from Orcullo's kickshot to lead 3-0. His teammates gave him fists of congratulations for each win, as had been customary the entire event. But Orcullo could not be counted out yet as he took advantage of a Williams scratch to run out and then break and run and a missed shot by Williams made the score 3-3. Williams fought for a shot in a safety battle to lead again at 4-3 and then broke and ran again for a 5-3 lead. Orcullo again broke and ran back and won the next to tie at 5-5. Williams took advantage of another safety battle to reach the hill and both players went into another dog fight safety battle with Williams on the hill 6-5. The safety battle went in favor of Orcullo as he made a bankshot to give himself a long shot on the five ball with the cueball near frozen off the backrail. If he makes it, the score would go 6-6 with his break. Orcullo missed and left Williams an open three balls.
Williams called to his teammates, "Do I have an extension?" They all shook their heads "no" for an answer in which Williams took his time anyway and very carefully shot each one for the victory as he pumped his arm and fist and high fived his team. World Team 7 to Philippines 8.
"Charlie looked at me before this match and said get the guys ready for the next match because I'm going to beat him." said Hundal. "And I believed him."
Williams was up again back to back, this time with the help of his teammates in the 4-on-4 with Morris, Fu, and Hohmann. They faced Alcano, Reyes, Van Corteza, and Kiamco. The World Team found themselves in dire straits as Reyes led his team to a 5-2 lead that seemed insurmountable in the alternate break format, with both teams making the corner ball near 95% of the time. Williams faced a tricky 7-ball which he had to run into the 9-ball next and left Morris a thin cut or bank option. "I'm banking it "said Morris confidently and then he smoothly sliced the razor thin 9-ball down the rail to make the score 5-3. Williams and his team laughed at his trick as Morris relieved some tension for the team.
Next it was Hohmann's turn to be the hero as Fu overran position and left him a backwards cut shot on the 9-ball with the cueball frozen to the side rail. Hohmann took his time and cut the 9-ball blindly into the pocket perfectly and avoided the side scratch. Score was now 5-4. The Philippines team was still in command though as they broke and ran the next to reach the hill 6-4. World Team would need to run out and hope for another error from the Philippines to have a chance. Williams was once again called upon as Morris came short on position on the 6-ball and Williams was left a thin cut shot and also had to spin the cueball to reach up table for position. He hit it perfectly and left Fu straight in and the score stood at 6-5. Could the World Team come back? Reyes the next game was left an open out on his turn and picked himself to shoot a routine position shot off the siderail. The table was open and it looked over. Unbelievably to both teams and thousands of Filipinos, Reyes scratched in the side pocket.
"Wow, you never, ever see him do that." murmured several members of the World Team.
The World Team careful ran the rack to tie the score at 6-6, and now the fever of hope was running rampant among everyone. Steel faced Taiwanese Yang and Wu could be seen cheering, smiling, and laughing along with their western counterparts. The World Team made a ball on the break but was left with no shot on the one ball save for a push or a kickshot as the oneball was frozen to the 9-ball. "Charlie, you shoot. Kick the 9-ball in, hit it hard!" Williams lined up the kickshot for the sidepocket, and swung hard sending the 9-ball flying two rails but missing the pocket. Fortunately, the 1-ball was not left open, and the World Team laughed and sighed with relief.
Fortune smiled on the World Team again when Fu missed a tough 3ball and left Kiamco safe. Kiamco kicked 2rails, hit the3ball but left Williams half a pocket. Morris looked and said "just shoot it in. You got plenty of pocket." Williams looked at the shot and wide eyed 'really?". Williams trusted Morris and shot the 3-ball in, falling to his knees as the 3-ball bypassed the impeding 8-ball and fell in. The team proceeded to run out and take the event to the final match to the cheers of the entire World Team!
*Philippines vs. The World – Day 2
*Philippines vs. The World – Day 1
*Grand VILLARds Showdown on YouTube
*Grand VILLARds Showdown Launching
*World Grand VILLARds Showdown Pictures
*9-Ball Grand Billiards Showdown
*ACKDO Issues Support
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