Thursday, September 3, 2009

Bata-Django drops Italian duo, gains QF

MANILA, Philippines - Efren “Bata” Reyes and Francisco “Django” Bustamante shook off a rickety start and surged past the Italian pair of Fabio Petroni and Bruno Muratore, 8-5, to earn a spot in the quarterfinals of the World Cup of Pool at the SM North Edsa Activity Center last night.

With help from a controversial call, Reyes and Bustamante finished off the Italians in 13 racks to advance to the quarters against the winner of the England-Spain match today.

The Italians had a chance to narrow the gap at 5-6 but referee Cielo Lopez called a foul, claiming Muratore’s hand hair touched the 6 while looking to pocket the 2. Muratore questioned the call but head referee Michaela Tabb, from Scotland, upheld it.

The Filipinos instead made it 7-4 and went on to close the match two racks later.

“We can’t play good because we’re not handling the pressure well,” said Reyes.

Reyes was shaky but Bustamante was always there to bail his partner out.

“We promised ourselves we’ll be in the finals,” said Bustamante.

Reigning champions Rodney Morris and Shane Van Boening were the first to make the quarterfinals, rolling past Indons Muhammad Bewi Simanjuntuak and Muhammad Zulfikri, 8-5.

Earlier in the day, Holland and Chinese Taipei topped separate opponents to become the latest fancied bets to make the Final 16.

Hollanders Nick Van Den Berg and Niels Feije, the sixth seeds, whipped Vietnamese Luong Chi Dung and Thanh Nam Nguyen, 8-3, while Taiwanese Lai Chia-hsiung and Yang Ching-shun, the seventh seeds, tripped Singaporeans Toh Lian Han and Chan Keng-kwang, 8-6, to make the next round of the elite event presented by Matchroom Sport in cooperation with local partner Solar Sports.

Russia and Poland won their respective matches to complete the Round of 16 cast, each one assured of at least $5,000 out of the total cash pot of $250,000.

The Russian pair of Konstantin Stepnanov and Ruslan Chinakhov had an easy time disposing of the Danish side of Kasper Kristoffersen and Bahram Lotfy, 8-3.

But Polish Mateusz Sniegocki and Radoslaw Babica were far more impressive in their 8-0 whitewashing of Belgium’s Pascal Budo and Serge Das.

“If we can play like this, we have a good chance to win the championship. For us, this will be a good chance to show our countrymen that we can win something and we will be doing our best,” said Babica of their swashbuckling win.

“I know Chinese-Taipei will be favorites in our second match but we watched them earlier and they made a few mistakes. I think we can handle them,” Babica added.

In hurdling the Danish side, the Russians, meanwhile, will be next up against the highly-touted RP mix of Dennis Orcollo and Ronnie Alcano in the Final 16.

Orcollo and Alcano, the second seeds, overcame tense performance Wednesday night to beat the unheralded but fighting Thai team and join the other RP pair of Efren “Bata” Reyes and Francisco “Django” Bustamante in further contention in the tourney.

Stepnanov and Chinakhov arranged a battle with Orcollo and Alcano with hardly a problem against Kristoffersen and Lofty.

The 15th ranked Russians won the first three racks and sustained the hot charge to the finish.

“We just enjoyed a good rhythm,” said Stepnanov.

Cool and efficient were the Russians who stormed into a 3-0 lead on three straight run-outs before yielding a rack to their rivals.

The Russians finished off the Danish side winning five of the next seven racks.


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