Johann Chua, James Aranas rally to reach 2nd round of World Cup of Pool | Inquirer Sports

Johann Chua, James Aranas rally to reach 2nd round of World Cup of Pool

/ 01:36 PM June 28, 2023

Johann Chua James Aranas

The Philippines’ Johann Chua and James Aranas at the World Cup of Pool. Photo from Matchroom Pool

MANILA, Philippines-Johann Chua and James Aranas dethroned defending champion Francisco Sanchez Ruiz and David Alcaide of host Spain with a 7-5 comeback win on Tuesday to send the Philippines into the second round of the World Cup of Pool.

Chua and Aranas bucked a 5-3 deficit that put them two racks away from a quick exit in the 32-team field by winning four consecutive racks to eliminate Sanchez Ruiz and Alcaide at Pazo de Feiras e Congresos in Lugo, Spain.

The duo will take on either Spain’s Jonas Souto Comino and Jose Alberto Delgado or Saudi Arabia’s Khalid Alghamdi and Mohannad Hamoud Alghumayz in the round-of-16 later in the week.

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The Philippines is making its return to the annual 9-ball team competition after missing last year’s edition in Newport, Wales.

Sanchez Ruiz and Alcaide ruled the 2022 event after defeating Singapore’s Aloysius Yapp and Toh Lian Han.

Chua, gold medalist in the last year’s Vietnam Southeast Asian Games, and Aranas, who has put up solid performances in recent months, are looking to give the Philippines its first World Cup title since 2013 when Dennis Orcollo and Lee Van Corteza pulled off the feat.

The previous two wins were pulled off by Efren “Bata” Reyes and Francisco “Django” Bustamante in 2006 and 2009.

Carlo Biado and Jeff de Luna made it to the final of the 2019 edition but lost to Austria’s Mario He and Albin Ouschan.

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