US edges China to reach semis of World Cup of PoolBy Mark Giongco
MANILA, Philippines – Rodney Morris and Shane Van Boeing of Team USA dodged a bullet as it salvaged a nerve-racking 9-8 quarterfinals win over Li Hewen and Liu Haitao of Team China Saturday to slip its way into the semifinals of the 2012 PartyPoker.net World Cup of Pool at the Robinson’s Ermita Midtown Activity Center in Manila.
China came all the way back from a 2-8 deficit to force a hill-hill match and even got to within three balls away from completing its comeback.
Li, however, scratched after making the seven ball as the cue ball rolled into the side pocket.
“We got very lucky,” said Morris in a sigh of relief. “I knew when he hit it like that the cue ball would go into the side,” added Morris.
It was a whirlwind deciding rack. Van Boeing fouled after Liu got lucky on a safety shot as the cue ball slid behind the nine ball blocking the blue two.
And at that moment, China would have had the match in the bag with an easy table before the unlikely mishap.
“When it was 8-5, I was thinking oh my god they’re coming back,” admitted Morris, who also thought China was the “toughest team in the tournament.”
China chalked up six straight racks as its break got going along with stellar shot-making by Li, who nailed a long jump shot in rack 15 and a long cross bank shot in the ensuing game that made it 8-8.
USA faces Chinese Taipei, which edged England, 9-8, in the semifinals.