The Philippines and Germany will contest the 2023 World Cup of Pool final at Pazo de Feiras e Congresos de Lugo, Spain in partnership with The Asociación Gallega de Billar Pool (AGP), Xunta de Galicia, and EIDF Solar live on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland, DAZN in Spain, the USA, Italy, and Brazil, Viaplay in Scandinavia, the Baltics and Poland and broadcasters worldwide from 7pm CEST today, Sunday, 2 July.
Led by Johann Chua and James Aranas, the Filipino pairing set out to make history to become the first nation to ever win the title on four separate occasions but Austria’s Mario He and Albin Ouschan stood in their way looking for their own piece of history as the first scotch doubles pairing to ever win the World Cup of Pool three times.
Austria took the opening rack put it was their counterparts who led 2-1 going into the first commercial break after two quickfire racks. As expected for a semi-final, little could separate the two nations with Ouschan and He soon swinging the contest in the opposite direction at 3-2.
In the sixth, He made a poor push out from the break which allowed Chua in for a raking effort on the two ball before the Pinoys took control for three apiece and then a lead at 5-3 with Chua playing a starring role in what looked to be turning into an excellent afternoon’s work.
At 5-3, Chua played one of the shots of the tournament to cut in a five ball and squeeze the cue ball around the table for a plum position on the sixth ball, it was one of many superb efforts from the SEA Games gold medalist. In the 11th rack with the Philippines leading 6-4, a long battle on the two broke out before He went for the jugular only to leave a bank on for the ever-dependable Chua who was putting on the performance of his life. It was excellent as Chua and Aranas went to a three-rack advantage. In the 12th, the Philippines fluked safe after Chua went for the 2-9 combo after the break, Ouschan then scratched and fouled on the nine when trying to get out of the hook which brought the Filipinos to the hill first at 8-4.
Déjà vu was about to play out for the Philippines though with such a healthy advantage just like yesterday against Chinese Taipei, Austria came back fighting in the 13th for 8-5 then 8-6 after getting ball in hand from a foul. A golden break from He cut it to 8-7 before being able to go hill hill after Chua missed a six ball with only a few balls between the Philippines and the final.
Breaking in the final rack, He scratched to give the Philippines ball in hand, and from then on, it was curtains for Austria as Chua and Aranas ran the table out to secure victory and set up with a final against the winner of Germany and China.
Joshua Filler last won the title in 2021 and with a new partner in Moritz Neuhausen this year, they set out looking to claim a third title for Germany in the tournament whilst China’s Wu Jia Qing and Wang Can went out looking for a record fourth title.
Much like the opening semi-final, nothing could separate the two nations after four racks with both teams playing some exquisite stuff. In the 5th rack, Wang made a simple 2-9 combo for China to take the lead and they pressed on from there to take the resulting rack and establish a 4-2 lead. Wu missed a two in the seventh which brought Germany to the table to clear up for 4-3 and soon 4-4 after an errant 5-9 effort from China.
The game had it all and they drew level again at 5-5 but that’s where China started to turn up the heat on their European opposition with Wang producing a brilliant kick safety to force the German’s hand. China brought up a 6-5 lead from there and then 7-5 to be two away from the final. Wu’s break at 7-5 left Wang with no position and from there, a safety battle took hold on the two where eventually Filler cut it in to allow Germany their time to run out and trail by one.
From the break at 7-6 down, Germany was always chasing position and they lost it from the five in particular which allowed Wu and Wang in only for the former to leave the nine in the jaws of the pocket for 7-7. A nervy 15th rack gave Germany the lead for the first time since 4-3 and they made it pay from there to run home in the final for a 2023 World Cup of Pool final spot and a repeat of the 2009 final.
Match Schedule – CEST
7pm – The Final – Race to 11
Germany vs Philippines
The 2023 World Cup of Pool continues from 7 pm tonight local time live on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland with those in Spain, Italy, and the USA able to watch on DAZN. Fans in Scandinavia, Baltics, Netherlands, and Poland can watch on Viaplay with further broadcasters around the world. See where to watch in your country here with more broadcasters to be announced. Action will also be live on Matchroom.Live.
The 2023 World Cup of Pool is being be alongside the 31st Galician Team Pool Billiards Championship, which will bring together more than 1,000 players in the Pazo de Ferias y Congresos de Lugo, where more than 40 tables will be in action. The participants in this tournament considered the biggest in Europe, will compete for the regional titles and the prizes arranged by the Galician Association of Pool Billiards.