Philippines 3–11 Austria
Austria are World Cup of Pool Champions for a second time after storming to an 11-3 victory over Philippines at the Morningside Arena, Leicester, UK
Mario He and Albin Ouschan were exceptional in the final, delivering blow after blow to the Filipino pairing of Jeff De Luna and Carlo Biado.
Both teams had won this event previously; Philippines in 2006, 2009 and 2013 and Austria in 2017. Ouschan and He lifted the trophy that year and made the final 12 months ago, but this was the first time the Filipino pairing of Biado and De Luna had reached the title match together.
Austria had defeated Croatia, Hong Kong, Greece and Spain to reach the final and only conceded eight racks from the quarter-final until the moment they lifted the trophy.
Philippines – who defeated Czech Republic, Albania, Canada, and Netherlands en-route – won the lag in the final and De Luna took the attacking shot on a risky 2-ball cut. When he missed it, Austria pounced to draw first blood. Ouschan then failed on an open 1 and Philippines cleared, only for De Luna to send the cue off the table when breaking in the third and this time it was Austria who completed the set.
Another mistake by 2016 World 9-Ball champion Ouschan allowed Philippines to level again. From that stage, though, Austria opened up a big lead, winning on Philippines’ break and running out from their own to get 4-2 ahead. Their clinical shooting took them to 6-2 but Biado responded when he needed to with a nice 5/9 combo.
Austria, though, weren’t going to allow their opponents back into it and quickly took out two more games for an 8-3 lead and soon they had 9. He then took out a 2/9 to take his team to the hill and Austria claimed their second BetVictor World Cup of Pool title in the very next rack after De Luna missed a 3/7 and Austria cleared for the win.
“I feel really great, I am really happy to win,” said He. “It means the world, especially playing with Albin. We play great together and it is a joy for me to play with him.
“I was a little nervous in the first round but Albin helped me out and after that I played really well. I didn’t feel like this when we won in 2017. It is a great feeling, and also because I had to miss the Mosconi Cup.
Ouschan added: “I was quite nervous and didn’t feel great in the final but Mario played super strong all tournament, it is great to have him. I made some positional errors but he helped me out; he played so strong, especially in the final. I am more than happy to win again.
“There is no secret. We practice doubles three days a year, so there is no big secret but we are a good pair. We know each other very well and travel around the world together all year. Maybe that is the secret, I don’t know but we are good friends and we make the perfect pairing.”
Meanwhile, the Snooker and Pool Players Alliance is making frantic effort at promoting cuesports with the accreditation of the Snooker and Pool Bar’s Circuit as a Type A event so as to standardize grassroot Pool and refocus inventive for bars to show more interest in competitive Pool.
The Alliance has adopted a computerize ranking and point system as the yardstick for measuring players playing proficiency.