2023 Duelbits Mosconi Cup: Day Two Preview, Line-Ups and Reaction
07.12.23

2023 Duelbits Mosconi Cup: Day Two Preview, Line-Ups and Reaction

Team USA will be aiming to mount a comeback on day two of the 30th anniversary Duelbits Mosconi Cup following a miserable opening session for the visitors which left them pointless and with plenty of work to do. 

The 2023 Duelbits Mosconi Cup is broadcast live on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland, DAZN in the USA, Spain and Brazil, Viaplay in the Baltics and Scandinavia, and networks worldwide. For information on how to watch where you are, visit here. 

Hosts and title holders Team Europe swept the board on Wednesday night at the Alexandra Palace, claiming all four points on offer. It was the first time since 2013 – the 20th anniversary of this prestigious transatlantic extravaganza – that there has been an opening session whitewash.

Day One Reaction

Both captains had their say after an eventful opening night in North London.

Ralph Eckert enjoyed a dream start to his debut as the European captain. Following a perfect opening night for the defending champions, the German said: “Even for me it is a little bit of a surprise but what can you do when you get early Christmas presents from Team America; thank you!” 

For the first time in the history of the Mosconi Cup, Team Europe are fielding the same playing side for two successive editions. Eckert is pleased not to have had to change a winning combination: “Well, that was the idea when I saw that I have the chance to have the same team from last year. I’m the rookie, and I thought it’s a good idea to have a team together that already has a bond, and they already have the experience to win.” 

In terms of how Eckert has stepped into his new role and developed his captaincy style, he said: “I’ve learned just by observing. It wasn’t so much today, but when we first met as a team. I observed I have so many totally different individuals, so in the beginning as a new trainer, you try to bring your own mark into the team, but I thought and recognised this would be a mistake, so I really let them do their things and really let them feel comfortable.” 

Looking forward to day two and selecting his line-ups, Eckert added: “We stick with the plan, no need to change anything so far. I’m not afraid of our line-up, it’s the Americans’ turn to find some solution and get their best line-up.” 

After a difficult start to his fourth consecutive Mosconi Cup campaign as the USA captain, Jeremy Jones said: “When you make mistakes, you expect to get punished; it certainly happened there.” 

“I was glad to see some table time for some of the guys, I thought that was important. Skyler didn’t really get many shots against Filler; Filler put on an exhibition in that match. I thought the other matches were gettable.” 

If the challengers are to turn the tables this week, they’ll need to create history as no side that has lost the opening session to nil has gone on to recover and lift the Cup. Heading into the second day, Jones was asked about how he will approach it with his side: “We’ve got to regroup. We know against this team, just like them, they can’t miss easy ones and expect to beat us; we can’t miss easy ones and expect to beat them. So, we’ve got some things to think about on our own and we’ve got some things that I need to think about and move on to day two.” 

“We’re professionals, it’s our job to go out and win this cup, and besides staying positive, it won’t be sugar-coated, it’ll be directed how I feel it should be directed.” 

Day Two Line-Ups/Matches

  • Match Five: Joshua Filler v Fedor Gorst
  • Match Six: Francisco Sanchez Ruiz v Fedor Gorst
  • Match Seven: Sanchez Ruiz & Filler v Shane Van Boening & Gorst
  • Match Eight: Albin Ouschan v Tyler Styer
  • Match Nine: David Alcaide & Jayson Shaw v Skyler Woodward & Shane Wolford

(Action starts from 18:30GMT. Please note, these matches are subject to change)

Requiring a fast start to get back into contention, Jones has opted to play former World Champion Fedor Gorst in back-to-back singles matches at the start of the session.

Gorst – a former Team Europe member who is representing Team USA for the first time having recently gained permanent residency in the States – faces tough assignments, though, against two-time MVP Joshua Filler and current World Champion and World Nineball Tour number one Francisco Sanchez Ruiz.

Sanchez Ruiz and Filler will then combine to play doubles against Gorst and Shane Van Boening during the night’s first doubles action. Five-time US Open champion Van Boening – making a joint-record 17th consecutive Mosconi Cup appearance – endured a frustrating opening evening at the ‘Ally Pally’ and will be looking to bounce back in style.

Two-time World Champion Albin Ouschan will face 28-year-old Tyler Styer – who has already won two Mosconi Cups – in the final singles fixture of the evening, and rounding off the festivities will be David Alcaide & Jayson Shaw against Skyler Woodward & Shane Wolford.

Both Alcaide and Shaw were part of winning doubles pairings last night, while Woodward had very little to go at against a rampant Filler in singles play. Despite a tricky night for his teammates, Cup rookie Wolford performed admirably under the pressure and scrutiny of nineball pool’s most unique environment.

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