What follows are the thoughts of Charlie Williams, aka The Korean Dragon, on the exciting pool showdown which pitted the very best of the Philippines against that of the world! Charlie sent it the post via e-mail - and I’m posting it in its entirety, in four installments, for everyone to enjoy!
Truth be told, this is one interesting read, everyone! And I kid you not!
By Charlie Williams
The World Team came back from behind the final day of the Quezon City Invasion against the awesome Filipino home team in a thrilling 9-8 finale fit for the history books. The event took place at the Trinoma Mall and was also titled "The Grand Villar Showdown" in honor of host sponsor Senator Manny Villar who has become a staunch supporter of billiards in the Philippines. Premier management groups Bugsy Promotions, Puyat Sports, and Negros Stables helped orgainze the event under the sanctioning of the BMPAP. The Quezon Invasion paid out $60,000 in prize money between the two teams for 1st and 2nd place. The first team to win nine matches would be crowned champions in this race to seven games per match with alternating breaks.
A jam packed crowd of 1,500 spectators sat, stood, and wiggled their way to get a glimpse of the international superstars of the game. The star studded Filipino team consisted of Francisco Bustamante, Ronnie Alcano, Alex Pagulayan, Warren Kiamco, Lee Van Corteza, Roberto Gomez, Dennis Orcullo, and legendary Captain Efren Reyes. The diverse challengers included Captain Rodney Morris (USA), Charlie Williams (USA), Mika Immonen (FIN), THorsten Hohmann (GER), Wu CHia Ching (TPE), Yang Ching Shun (TPE), Raj HUndal (IND), and Fu Jianbo (CHN). The three day event showed blood,sweat,and guts from both sides in a see saw battle of will and heart.
"It's hard to look at their roster of players and not feel a little awed. I think this is the greatest pool team ever assembled in history." commented Charlie Williams on the who's who of packed pool studs that Team Philippines had to offer.
The first day of the event had The World Team leading in three unanswered wins with the 4-on-4 team of Hohmann, Morris, Wu, and Immonen winning 7-5. Then Yang battled Alcano for a 7-5 win. Next the dynamic duo of Hundal and Williams put down Bustamante and Kiamco 7-4. The final match looked good as Pagulayan raced to a 4-0 lead, but that quickly diminished as Fu made two 9-ball golden breaks. Ironically when the referee racked for Pagulayan, the 9-ball never moved. Fu once more for the third time made the 9-ball on the snap to tie the match at 6-6. Finally Philippines got on the board with Pagulayan scoring a 7-6 escape against Fu after making a tricky 6-ball and coming 2 rails and clipping the 9-ball for perfect shape on the 7-ball for the out. The first day went to the World Team 3-1 with the foreign stars in good spirits. Maybe too good.
"I was thinking that we might actually have a chance at dominating the event like 9-1 or 9-2 the way the momentum was swinging. But then you have to stop and remind yourself this was no ordinary team you're up against," said Morris who captained the World Team.
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*Grand VILLARds Showdown Launching
*World Grand VILLARds Showdown Pictures
*9-Ball Grand Billiards Showdown
*ACKDO Issues Support
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