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DAY 3 : Team Asia beat Team Europe 8-7 on Final Day!
 Posted on Thursday, January 14 2010 @ 11:32:13 GMTby admin
9 Ball Asia vs Europe 9-Ball Team Challenge 2010
Sutra Hall
Rizqun International Hotel
Gadong
Brunei Darussalam
The Brunei Times

15-17 January 2010


Photo © The Brunei Times/Rudolf Portillo - & used by Pro9 with express permission.
Click the image to view larger picture (use "back" to return here).

Team Asia conquer Europe

EFREN 'THE MAGICIAN' REYES stated before the start of the Asia vs Europe 9-Ball Team Challenge tournament that Team Asia had the advantage going into the three-day event, the Filipino referring to the support from the 'sixth man' or 'home' crowd to help them stage an upset against the star-studded Team Europe.

The crowd did not disappoint as they turned out in droves, spurring Reyes and his teammates to an 8-7 victory over Europe on the final day of the tournament at the Sutra Hall of the Rizqun International Hotel in Gadong yesterday.

The whole of Sutra Hall erupted as Django Bustamante, who had lost two of his three matches, redeemed himself by winning the deciding match against Nick van den Berg 5-2, to give Team Asia the title.

"Read More..." for the details by Jason Thomas, The Brunei Times.



DAY 3





Photo © The Brunei Times/Rudolf Portillo - & used by Pro9 with express permission.
Click the image to view larger picture (use "back" to return here).



Photo © The Brunei Times/Rudolf Portillo - & used by Pro9 with express permission.
Click the image to view larger picture (use "back" to return here).



Photo © The Brunei Times/Rudolf Portillo - & used by Pro9 with express permission.
Click the image to view larger picture (use "back" to return here).



Photo © The Brunei Times/Rudolf Portillo - & used by Pro9 with express permission.
Click the image to view larger picture (use "back" to return here).



Photo © The Brunei Times/Rudolf Portillo - & used by Pro9 with express permission.
Click the image to view larger picture (use "back" to return here).

Reyes was quick to express his gratitude to the fans in Brunei: "I would like to thank the spectators, from Bruneians to the Filipinos for supporting us. We feel very good and happy here in Brunei," added the 55-year-old Filipino.

Among those to have lent their support to Team Asia was His Royal Highness Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office. An established cueist himself, the Crown Prince was at the Sutra Hall on Friday and Saturday to watch the matches.

Teo Chee Soon the sole Bruneian to represent Asia at the 9-Ball Team Challenge partnered the Crown Prince in the men's nine-ball doubles event at the 25th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Laos last year and the Tutong-native said his presence gave Team Asia a boost.

"Yeah, it did help," Teo told The Brunei Times with a wide smile.

Team Asia made up of Reyes, Bustamante, Lu Hui Chan, Ko Pin Yi and Teo received US$27,000 from the Guest of Honour, His Royal Highness Prince Hj 'Abdul Malik, for beating Ralf Souquet and his team.



DAY 2





Photo © The Brunei Times/Rudolf Portillo - & used by Pro9 with express permission.
Click the image to view larger picture (use "back" to return here).



Photo © The Brunei Times/Rudolf Portillo - & used by Pro9 with express permission.
Click the image to view larger picture (use "back" to return here).



Photo © The Brunei Times/Rudolf Portillo - & used by Pro9 with express permission.
Click the image to view larger picture (use "back" to return here).

Advantage Team Asia
by Jason Thomas, The Brunei Times.

TEAM Asia are not comfortable with their slim lead after the first day of the Asia vs Europe 9-Ball Team Challenge.

Leading Europe 3-2 after the five doubles matches played at the Sutra Hall of the Rizqun International Hotel in Gadong yesterday, Asia's captain Efren 'The Magician' Reyes insisted it was too early to start making predictions.

Each player took alternate shots yesterday, but the format has now changed.

With five singles matches to be held both today and tomorrow, The Magician believes the Europeans have plenty of time to pull a rabbit out of their hat.

"Anything can happen since it is only a race to five," said Reyes, who is widely claimed to be the greatest living player in the world.

"It is good that we have a 3-2 lead but if they win 3-2 tomorrow (Saturday) then it will be all even, we will have to decide the final on Sunday," said Reyes, who shot to fame in 1994 when he became the first non-American to win the US Open 9-Ball Championship.

The highlight match of the day between the Filipino duo of Reyes and Francisco 'Django' Bustamante against the Germany/England tandem of Ralf 'The Kaiser' Souquet and Darren 'Dynamite' Appleton was all thrills and spills.

With the scores tied at 2-2 heading into the match, the tension in the hall was palpable especially with a partisan Filipino crowd that turned out in droves to watch their idols in action.

Bustamante's powerful break on the last rack did not pocket any balls and five-time World Pool Masters champion and Team Europe captain Souquet opted to push.

US Pro Tour Champion in 2007, Bustamante did not take the option and the turn reverted back to Team Europe, with Souquet potting the one-ball in the bottom-left pocket.

The German missed the two-ball, after which Efren and Bustamante would divide up the balls among themselves.

Efren would pocket the eight-ball in the top-left pocket and Bustamante would win the match by pocketing the nine in the bottom-left pocket after which they were nearly mobbed by their adoring fans.

Europe's top cueist and the world's second-ranked player, Souquet sealed the first rack with an eight-nine combo. The reigning World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) World 8-Ball champion also finished off the second rack.

Staring at a 2-0 deficit in the face, Reyes won the third rack for Team Asia despite Bustamante's previous shot putting his captain straight onto the nine-ball.

Appleton scratched on the fourth rack and the Filipino duo made short work of the frame to even the scores.

US Pro Tour Champion in 2007, Bustamante won the fifth rack to swing the momentum back in Asia's favour but it was a stalemate once again after Appleton ranked third in the world and 10th in Europe broke on the sixth set and kept the Filipinos in their seats until Souquet bagged the nine-ball.

Caught out on a safety play, Bustamante failed to hit the one-ball in the next set and Appleton produced a one-nine combo to give Team Europe a 4-3 advantage.

Appleton didn't pocket any balls on the break and Team Asia cleaned the table up, with Bustamante making it 4-4.

The Chinese Taipei duo of Ko Pin Yi a.k.a 'The Prince of Pool' and Lu Hui Chan aka the "Whirlwind Kid" beat the Netherlands/Russia pairing of Nick van den Berg and Ruslan Chinahov 5-1 in the first match, which was held after His Royal Highness Prince Hj 'Abdul Malik declared the three-day tournament open at 9am.

England's duo of Appleton and Imran 'The Maharaja' Majid beat Reyes and Bruneian Teo Chee Soon 5-4 at 2.45pm, with Chinahov and Souquet disposing off Lu and Bustamante 5-2 in the next match.

The only player to have won two matches, Ko Asia's top rated player combined with Teo to edge past Van den Berg and Majid 5-4 to set up the nail-biting finish.


Photo © The Brunei Times/Rudolf Portillo - & used by Pro9 with express permission.
Click the image to view larger picture (use "back" to return here).




DAY 1





Photo © The Brunei Times/Rudolf Portillo - & used by Pro9 with express permission.
Click the image to view larger picture (use "back" to return here).

Kaiser vs Magician - Part II
by Jason Thomas, The Brunei Times.

CAN the 'Magician' cast his spell over the 'Kaiser' again, or will the German find a way to thwart the Filipino's tricks?

Efren 'The Magician' Reyes and Ralf 'The Kaiser' Souquet will do battle once again, both captaining their respective teams in Asia vs Europe 9-Ball Team Challenge which starts today at the Sutra Hall of the Rizqun International Hotel in Gadong.

Reyes will team up with fellow Filipino Francisco 'Django' Bustamante in the highlight match of today's action, where they will face Souquet and England's Darren 'Dynamite' Appleton.

The duo from the Philippines beat Germany's Souquet and Thorsten Hohmann 11-9 in the final of the World Cup in Manila last year, defending the crown which they won in the inaugural edition in 2006.

But when met last night during the welcoming dinner, Reyes seemed to have left his magic wand back in Manila.

The first non-American to win the US Open Ball Championship in 1994, Reyes said that a lingering back injury had surfaced again but he hoped that he would recover in time for the three-day event.

By comparison, Souquet seemed confident about conjuring up tricks of his own when met on Tuesday.

"We are going to try to play our best, like we have been doing for the past few years. It is going to be short races (race to five) and it is a different scenario playing as a team than playing as an individual," said the five-time World Pool Masters champion.

The only thing he was concerned about was the lighting at the Sutra Hall, the top-ranked player in the world and Europe claiming that it was not sufficient.

"The lighting is not ideal," he said.

"There should be some light over the table but there is none, and I don't think they (the organisers) are going to change it," added the two-time WPA (World Pool-Billiard Association) World 8-Ball Championship winner.

The tournament's director was quick to play down the matter.

"It is alright for playing, but I think there might be some problems for television," said Steven Lin Sheng Yung, who is also the secretary of the Asian Pocket Billiard Union (APBU)

"I think the sponsors might change it, maybe tomorrow (Friday)," he added when met yesterday.

The Chinese Taipei-native went on to stress the importance of the tournament which is being held for the first time.

The Mosconi Cup is an annual 9-ball pool tournament contested between teams representing Europe and the United States since 1994, and Lin was hopeful that the Asia vs Europe 9-Ball Team Challenge would be the start of a similar competition.


Photo © The Brunei Times/Rudolf Portillo - & used by Pro9 with express permission.
Click the image to view larger picture (use "back" to return here).



Photo © The Brunei Times/Rudolf Portillo - & used by Pro9 with express permission.
Click the image to view larger picture (use "back" to return here).




ARRIVAL DAY





Click the image to view larger poster (use "back" to return here).

Souquet ready to spearhead Europe team
by Jason Thomas, The Brunei Times.

RALF 'THE KAISER' SOUQUET is ready to lead a star-studded Team Europe line-up during tomorrow's (Friday) Asia vs Europe 9-ball Team Championship.

The continent will be sending the top three cueists in the world for the three-day event at the Sutra Hall of the Rizqun International Hotel in Gadong, so you know they mean business.

Captained by Souquet, who is the top-ranked player in the world and Europe, Team Europe will also be joined by the Great Britain duo of Darren 'Dynamite' Appleton (second in the world and eighth in Europe) and Imran 'The Maharaja' Majid (third in the world and second in Europe), and the trio alone should have enough tricks up their sleeves to keep Team Asia busy.

Also in the team are Dutchman Nick van den Berg, the world's No 33 and No 18 in Europe, and Russia's Ruslan Chinakhov, the world No 31 and No 19 in Europe.

Apart from Chinakhov, the rest of Team Europe have already touched down in Brunei.

Team Asia's Efren Reyes and Francisco Bustamante both arrived from the Philippines on Tuesday while the two Chinese Taipei players, Ko Pin Yi and Lu Hui Chan, reached today. Bruneian Teo Chee Soon rounds up the field of five Asian cueists.

"First of all I need to get the boys together, get them feeling comfortable and get them together to play as a team," said Souquet, who won his second world title at the WPA (World Pool-Billiard Association) World 8-Ball Championship in 2008.

"Unfortunately, not all the guys are here yet. Chinakov is only going to arrive from Russia tomorrow (Thursday).

"Basically once everyone gets here safe and in one piece, tomorrow (Thursday) I hope we can get a few hours of practice together. We need to work as a team and see what the perfect doubles (combination) are.

"Then we are going to try to play our best, like we have been doing for the past few years. It is going to be short races and it is a different scenario playing as a team than playing as an individual," said five-time World Pool Masters champion.

He added that the team will have to work on their team spirit, something that was not in full strength when Team Europe lost the Mosconi Cup to Team America last year.

An annual 9-ball pool tournament contested between teams representing Europe and the USA since 1994, Team USA won the event 11-7 when in Las Vegas last year.

Souquet would have had enough time to dwell on that loss.

Spending the best part of a day on the plane to Brunei, the 41-year-old German flew from Munich to Frankfurt and then on to Hong Kong before arriving in the Sultanate.

With bad weather affecting travel in and around Europe, Souquet said he hoped the trip to Brunei would be worth it. "As you might know, the bad weather in Europe is affecting travel and it will be hard for him (Chinakhov) since he is flying via London. Even my flight got delayed three times before I got here."

Though Team Europe look to be the favourites, Souquet downplayed suggestions that they would have an easy time.

"I think it's quite even to be honest. On paper we might seem stronger, but maybe we lead them by a few percentage points. 52/48 maybe, but I don't see us as favorites," said Souquet.

"I don't know the player from Brunei (Teo) and I have no clue about what to expect.

"If it is the Prince (His Royal Highness Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office) playing, then I would know because I have seen him play in events.

"Of course, we all know about Efren Reyes and Francisco Bustamante, and the two Chinese Taipei players (Ko Pin Yi and Lu Hui Chan) are very strong players. They are players who are rated highly in Asia and in the world, so we expect a very, very strong fight," he added.

Teo is ranked No 2 in Brunei and No 50 in the Asian Pocket Billiard Union (APBU). He teamed up with His Royal Highness Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah in the 9-ball doubles event at the 25th Southeast Asian Games in Laos.

The 19-year-old Ko is currently No 1 in Asia and No 11 in the world while compatriot Lu, a.k.a. the "Whirlwind Kid", is Asia's No 2 and No 15 in the world.

Reyes is No 15 in Asia and No 122 in the world while Bustamante is ranked 32 in both the APBU and in the world.

The Magician gained fame when he became the first non-American to win the US Open Ball Championship in 1994, and in September last year, Reyes and Bustamante became champions of the 2009 World Cup of Pool in Manila which they also won in 2006.

A welcome dinner will be held for the players and officials tonight, after which the schedule for tomorrow's action will be released.

Sponsored by GHK Motors Sdn Bhd, the tournament offers US$27,000 for the team champions. The runners-up will get US$13,000.The Brunei Times

THE TEAMS



ASIA VS EUROPE 9 BALL TEAM CHALLENGE 2010
BRUNEI DARUSSALAM
TEAM EUROPE
1.
Ralf Souquet
Germany
2.
Imran Majid
Great Britain
3.
Darren Appleton
Great Britain
4.
Nick van den Berg
Netherlands
5.
Ruslan Chinakov
Russia
-


ASIA VS EUROPE 9 BALL TEAM CHALLENGE 2010
BRUNEI DARUSSALAM
TEAM ASIA
1.
Teo Chee Soon
Brunei Darussalam
2.
Ko Pin Yi
Taipei
3.
Lu Hui Chan
Taipei
4.
Efren Reyes
Philippines
5.
Francisco Bustamante
Philippines
-


THE STATS



ASIA VS EUROPE 9 BALL TEAM CHALLENGE 2010
BRUNEI DARUSSALAM
DAY 1 - ORDER OF PLAY
First to 8 points
KO PIN YI (TPE)
LU HUI CHAN (TPE)
5
1
NICK VAN DEN BERG (NED)
RUSLAN CHINAKOV (RUS)
EFREN REYES (PHI)
TEO CHEE SOON (BRU)
4
5
DARREN APPLETON (GBR)
IMRAN MAJID (GBR)
LUI HUI CHEN (TPE)
DJANGO BUSTAMANTE (PHI)
2
5
RUSLAN CHINAKOV (RUS)
RALF SOUQUET (GER)
KO PIN YI (TPE)
TEO CHEE SOON (BRU)
5
4
NICK VAN DEN BERG (NED)
IMRAN MAJID (GBR)
EFREN REYES (PHI)
DJANGO BUSTAMANTE (PHI)
5
4
DARREN APPLETON (GBR)
RALF SOUQUET (GER)
---
Team ASIA
3
2
Team EUROPE
DAY 2 - ORDER OF PLAY
First to 8 points
LU HUI CHAN (TPE)
5
4
IMRAN MAJID (GBR)
DJANGO BUSTAMANTE (PHI)
1
5
RALF SOUQUET (GER)
TEO CHEE SOON (BRU)
5
2
RUSLAN CHINAKOV (RUS)
EFREN REYES (PHI)
3
5
NICK VAN DEN BERG (NED)
KO PIN YI (TPE)
4
5
DARREN APPLETON (GBR)
---
Team ASIA
5
5
Team EUROPE
DAY 3 - ORDER OF PLAY
First to 8 points
EFREN REYES (PHI)
0
5
RALF SOUQUET (GER)
LU HUI CHAN (TPE)
5
2
DARREN APPLETON (GBR)
TEO CHEE SOON (BRU)
3
5
IMRAN MAJID (GBR)
KO PIN YI (TPE)
5
3
RUSLAN CHINAKOV (RUS)
DJANGO BUSTAMANTE (PHI)
5
2
NICK VAN DEN BERG (NED)
---
Team ASIA
8
7
Team EUROPE


THE PRIZE FUND

ASIA VS EUROPE 9 BALL TEAM CHALLENGE 2010
BRUNEI DARUSSALAM
THE PRIZE MONEY
CHAMPIONS
US $ 27,000
TEAM ASIA
RUNNER-UPS
US $ 13,000
TEAM EUROPE
Winner Match 6
US $ 500
LUI HUI CHAN (TPE)
Winner Match 7
US $ 500
RALF SOUQUET (GER)
Winner Match 8
US $ 500
TEO CHEE SOON (BRU)
Winner Match 9
US $ 500
NICK VAN DEN BERG (NED)
Winner Match 10
US $ 500
DARREN APPLETON (GBR)
Winner Match 11
US $ 500
RALF SOUQUET (GER)
Winner Match 12
US $ 500
LUI HUI CHAN (TPE)
Winner Match 13
US $ 500
IMRAN MAJID (GBR)
Winner Match 14
US $ 500
KO PIN YI (TPE)
Winner Match 15
US $ 500
FRANCISCO BUSTAMANTE (PHI)
Total
US $ 45,000
All prize money is tax free
-





Many thanks to The Brunei Times for granting permission to reprint this article.


 

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