Finland sends PH out of World PoolBy Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
FINLAND last night took out the last—and most loved—Philippine side in the World Cup of Pool after Mika Immonen and burly Petri Makkonen dominated Efren Reyes and Django Bustamante in a 9-5 quarterfinal victory at Robinson’s Manila Activity Center.
Immonen-Makkonen trailed 1-2 before coming up with the brilliance that eventually led to the duo showing a second fancied team the door after Finland had ousted defending champion Germany just two nights ago.
Next up for the Finns will be the American pair of Shane Van Boening and Rodney Morris, who scored a 9-8 victory over China in the afternoon.
Reyes and Bustamante, who were seeking to become the first tandem to win this event thrice, never got to settle down, bungling so many golden opportunities early to trail big, and then some easy shots in the middle of the match that left a huge hometown crowd stunned.
Immonen, the former World and United States 9-Ball champion, dramatized his side’s dominance of the Filipinos by draining a difficult 7-9 combo to wrap up the match.
Taiwan’s Hsu Han-en and Chen Hsin-ting eked out a 9-8 victory over the English pair of Darren Appleton and Chris Melling to advance opposite the Polish team of Karol Skewerski and Wojciejk Srewyckz, 9-6 winners over Italy’s Fabio Petroni and Bruno Muratore.
Van Boening-Morris almost blew an 8-2 lead before eliminating two-time champion China’s Li He We and Liu Haitao.
The Taiwanese, playing the $250,000 event for the first time, clash with Poland at 1 p.m. today before the other Final Four match pitting the US against Finland.
The title match is scheduled at 6 p.m.
“We got lucky there at the end,” the burly Morris said. “But if you look back, they got really lucky too when they were coming back. So these things even out.”
“It’s awesome because all we have to do is win two more matches and we win the World Cup of Pool,” Van Boening said.