Filipino bet Antonio Gabica wilted under pressure as German ace Thorsten Hohmann rose to a 13-7 win to claim his second World 9-ball Championship late Friday night (Manila time) before a predominantly Philippine crowd at the Al Arabi Sports Club in Doha, Qatar.
Gabica took but blew a 6-4 edge after muffing an beeline shot on the five-ball which juggled on the jaws of the pocket, according to the World Pool-Billiard Association’s official website.
Hohmann, just the second player to become a two-time WPA World 9-ball champion other than American pool legend Earl Strickland, capitalized on Gabica’s costly mistake. Another error by Gabica followed in the 12th rack – a scratch off a safety by Hohmann –knotted the count at 6.
The 34-year-old Hohmann, who won his first World 9-ball title 10 years ago, forced Gabica to commit another miscue as the steady German took complete control from there.
“I’m very lucky to make it to the final because you don’t know what can happen in the future. It’s not easy to get to the final, because there are too many good players. I’m very lucky. Maybe next year I don’t know where I’m going to finish. This was my one chance,” a disappointed Gabica told WPA Press Officer Ted Lerner.
“Thorsten (Hohmann) played very well and he’s very fit. As he got more of a lead on me, he got more confident. That’s the way it is in pool. But me, I started to feel the pressure,” the 41-year-old Gabica admitted.
Hohmman, who coasted past another Filipino in Carlo Biado, 11-4, in the semifinal round, also took home $36,000.
“I’m really proud of myself,” Hohmann said. “It means a lot to me. If I had to choose between my first World 9-ball and here, I couldn’t make that decision because winning the first world championship back in Cardiff was incredible and to do it again ten years later, I’m just speechless.”
Gabica, a 2007 Southeast Asian Games gold medalist, barged into the finals after repelling England’s Karl Boyes, 11-6.