RP battles England for World Pool crown

By Francis Santiago – Team Philippines proved too classy for Russia as the Filipinos carved out a masterful 4-1 win and claimed the first finals berth in the 1st World Team Pool Championship Saturday in the Hannover, Germany.

After the tandem of former double world champion Ronnie Alcano and Marlon Manalo dropped the first match of the day, 3-6, in the 8-ball Scotch doubles, the Filipinos struck hard and dominated the next four matches with Alcano icing the sweet victory with a 7-1 thumping of Ruslan Chinahov in the 10-ball play.

“Parang panggising yung talo namin ni Marlon sa 8-ball Scotch Doubles,” the Calamba, Laguna native Alcano said. “Hindi ka talaga pwedeng maging over confident sa ganito kalaking event. Kahit sino pwede kang talunin.”

With the victory, the Philippines is now assured of $50,000 (P2.3 million) and will next face powerhouse Great Britain, which booted out Greece, 4-2, in the other semifinal pairing. The champion team gets the top purse of $100,000.

The British team is bannered by former 9-ball champion Daryl Peach and former world 10-ball champion Darren Appleton.

After yielding the first match, the Filipinos went on a roll with the pair of Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Warren Kiamco and former world No.1 Dennis Orcollo levelling the count at 1-all by pulling off a 6-4 win in the second 8-ball match.

That win was followed by consecutive wins by Lee Vann Corteza, who dumped Roman Pruchai, 8-4, and Antonio Lining, who trounced Egor Plishkin by the same score, in the 9-ball play, before Alcano capped the win with his triumph against Chinahov.

The final match of the day – a 10 ball play – pitting Orcollo and Konstantin Stepanov was called off since the Philippines has already chalked up four wins in the race to four battle.

On the way to the finals, the undefeated Filipinos blanked Great Britain II, 4-0, in the opener, downed Czech Republic, 4-1, thumped Norway 4-2 and clobbered Poland, 4-2 before humbling Russia.

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