Netherlands 6-9 Philippines
Austria 9-3 Spain
Austria trounced an out-of-sorts Spain 9-3 to set up a BetVictor World Cup of Pool final against Philippines, who defeated Netherlands 6-9 in their semi-final at the Morningside Arena, Leicester.
Jeff De Luna and Carlo Biado had too much for Dutch duo Niels Feijen and Marc Bijsterbosch, pulling away at 6-6 to take the race-to-9 clash before David Alcaide and Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz saw their hopes ended by 2017 champions and last year’s runners-up Austria; Mario He and Albin Ouschan becoming the first pair to make three consecutive World Cup finals.
The first eight racks of the opening semi-final went the way of the break and it was Philippines who broke that first taking back-to-back games from 4-3 down to lead 5-4. Netherlands hit back with two of their own and parity was restored when Philippines made it six apiece. Biado and De Luna then put together another two racks to establish the first two-point lead of the match, reaching the hill in the process.
Netherlands broke next but were dry, and there was a 1/9 sat nicely for De Luna, who took it out to book Philippines a place in the final, where they will be aiming to become the first team to be crowed World Cup champions on four occasions.
In the second semi-final Spain and Austria shared the opening four racks before the latter moved three ahead. At 2-2 Alcaide screwed the cue into the bottom corner pocket attempting to play position on the 9, leaving He a simple pot to steal the rack.
With a chance to draw level, Sanchez-Ruiz missed an awkward 9 and this time it was Ouschan who rolled it in, before the 2017 champions moved to 5-2 in front and then won their fourth consecutive rack to move to within three of the final.
It looked like Spain would halt the Austrian momentum when Ouschan scratched on the 4 but they were reprieved and Spain blundered again in the following rack when Alcaide missed, putting Austria on the hill at 8-2.
Alcaide and Sanchez-Ruiz finally got their third in the 11th game of the match but it didn’t halt the Austria charge, and Ouschan and He took the next rack to complete a 9-3 victory.
The final will be a race to 11 and begins at 6.30pm UK time. 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.
Photos courtesy of JP Parmentier/Matchroom Multi Sport