Chile stunned Great Britain B at the BetVictor World Cup of Pool on Tuesday, dumping the hosts out of the tournament with a 7-5 first-round victory at the Morningside Arena, Leicester, live on Sky Sports and DAZN.
There were wins for Philippines and USA during the evening session, but the big story was Chile. As hosts, Great Britain have two teams in the event, and it was Enrique Rojas and Alejandro Carvajal who had the unenviable task of facing the ‘B’ team of Mark Gray and Imran Majid in front of their home crowd.
But the South American pairing rose to the occasion and matched the host nation throughout. The race-to-seven match reached 4-4 without either side opening up more than a one-frame lead. Chile moved to the hill at 6-4, and though Great Britain B pulled one back, they couldn’t force the decider as the visitors closed out the match for a memorable win and to set up a second-round encounter with defending champions China.
That came after Carlo Biado and Jeff De Luna were pushed all the way in the tournament’s first hill-hill thriller as the Philippines survived an almighty scare against the Czech Republic pairing of Roman Hybler and Michael Gavenciak.
At no point during the match did either side open up a lead of more than one rack, and it was the Czechs who reached the hill first, but their sixth dry break allowed the Philippines to run out and join them, giving a fitting conclusion to a gripping clash.
It was Biado to break in the decider, and with the 1 down the table offered an opportunity to clear. Biado, though, missed a straight 5, which came to rest back along the top rail. Hybler attempted to bank it down table but, as well as missing, he left De Luna a clear shot. This time the Philippines made no mistakes and saw out the match to set up a second-round clash with Albania.
Earlier in the evening USA had defeated Brazil 7-2. Shane van Boening and Skyler Woodward, finalists at the World Cup in 2017 and Mosconi Cup winners last December, were not at their best but still managed a convincing win over the struggling Brazilians and will meet Holland in round two on Thursday evening.
“We didn’t really play well,” said Van Boening. “We had a problem with our luggage, Skyler’s cues didn’t show up until two hours before the match. We were running around trying to get his bag so he could play, so we didn’t get much practice before the match.”
Play continues with six more first round matches across two sessions on Wednesday, including hosts Great Britain A in action against Tony Drago’s Malta. The BetVictor World Cup of Pool is broadcast live in over 100 countries around the world, including on Sky Sports and DAZN.
The BetVictor World Cup of Pool is sponsored by Rasson Billiards, who supply the Official Table; the cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis and the Official Balls are Super Aramith by Saluc. Predator are the Official Cue of the event and Kamui the Official Chalk and Tip.