Aranas-Chua on course for PH’s fourth title, bigger payday | Inquirer Sports
POOL WORLD CUP

Aranas-Chua on course for PH’s fourth title, bigger payday

Johann Chua (right) and James Aranas represent the Philippines well in Spain

Johann Chua (right) and James Aranas represent the Philippines well in Spain. —MATCHROOM PHOTO

James Aranas seems to have let out any tension felt during a roller-coaster quarterfinal victory that assured him and Johann Chua a big payday in the World Cup of Pool.

“Bukas ka na manigas! (Not this time!)” Aranas shouted after sinking the maroon 7-ball before Chua completed the run out that sealed the Philippines’ scary 9-8 win over Chinese-Taipei’s Ko Pin-Yi and Ko Pin-Chung last Saturday in Lugo, Spain.

The result, which came after the duo squandered a pair of six-rack leads, including an 8-2 advantage that put them on the hill, assured Aranas and Chua of getting $15,000 (roughly P829,110) for reaching the semifinals of the annual 9-ball team event which the Philippines skipped last year.

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But the Filipinos can get more if they can pull off two more victories, first against Austria’s Albin Ouschan and Mario He at press time and the final opposite Germany’s Joshua Filler and Moritz Neuhausen or China’s Wu Jia-qing and Wang Can.

Doing that would mean a windfall of $60,000 (around P3.32 million).

First champs

It may also give the local pool scene, at least in the short term, something to be excited about as the sport continues to slowly bring itself back to prominence.

The Philippines has won this event three times, with Efren “Bata” Reyes and Francisco “Django” Bustamante claiming the inaugural editon in 2006 and the 2009 edition in Manila and the tandem of Lee Van Corteza and Dennis Orcollo prevailing in 2013 in London.

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Carlo Biado and Jeff de Luna nearly made it four years ago, but they fell to He and Ouschan in the final.

Chua and Aranas were tapped to team up and they began their stint by defeating the two Spanish teams that took part in the field of 32.

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They then claimed the scalp of last year’s champion, the Francisco Sanchez Ruiz-David Alcaide tandem from Spain, 7-5, following a stirring comeback from a 5-3 deficit. That was before they eliminated the host country’s other hopeful in Jonas Souto and Jose Alberto Delgado, 7-2.

Things seemed headed toward an easy win over the Ko brothers in the quarters as Aranas and Chua won the first six racks before taking that 8-2 lead.

But the Taiwanese orchestrated a dramatic comeback by winning six in a row to force a hill-hill affair and Chinese-Taipei holding the break.

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An overcut shot by Ko Ping-Chung on the two, however, opened the door for Aranas and Chua to close things out and seal a place in the Final Four.

TAGS: Billiards, James Aranas, Johann Chua, World Cup of Pool

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