Team Asia Wins Asia Versus Europe Men’s 9-Ball Team Challenge
All-star teams of Asian and European players collided January 15-17 at the Sutra Hall in Rizqun International Hotel in Brunei Darussalam, with Team Asia taking away $27,000 USD after squeaking out am 8-7 victory over Team Europe, who collected $13,000 USD for their efforts.
Team Asia was composed of Filipinos Efren Reyes and Francisco Bustamante, Chee Soon Teo of Brunei Darussalam, and Pin Yi Ko and Hui Chan Lu of Taiwan. Team Europe comprised Ralf Souquet of Germany, Darren Appleton and Imran Majid of the U.K., Dutch player Nick Van Den Berg, and Russia’s Ruslan Chinakov. The event was sanctioned by the Asian Pocket Billiard Union and the European Pocket Billiard Federation.
Day One saw Team Asia establish an advantage. The team of Pin Yi Ko and Hui Chan Lu bested Van den Berg and Chinakov 5-1, but Team Europe, consisting of Appleton and Majid, eked out a 5-4 thriller over Reyes and Chee Soon Teo. Chinakov and Souquet followed this up by besting Hui Chan Lu and Bustamante 5-2, but the rest of the day belonged to Asia. Pin Ko Yi and Chee Soon Teo doubled up on Van den Berg and Majid 5-4, and Reyes and Bustamante paired up to defeat Appleton and Souquet in another hill-hill match.
The remaining matches of the event were singles. On Day Two, Team Europe rallied and drew even with Asia. Hui Chan Lu bested Majid in the first match of the day 5-4, but Souquet soon countered with a strong 5-1 defeat of Bustamante. Chee Soon Teo dealt a resounding 5-2 blow to Chinakov, but Europe grabbed the last two matches of the day. Van den Berg defeated Reyes 5-3, while Appleton edged out Pin Ko Yi 5-4.
The teams entered Day Three tied at five matches apiece, with only five left to divide amongst themselves to decide the winner. Souquet whitewashed Reyes 5-0 in the first match of the day, but Hui Chan Lu delivered a 5-2 drubbing to Appleton. Majid earned some revenge for his fellow Brit in the next with a 5-3 defeat of Chee Soon Teo, but Pin Ko Yi won 5-3 over Chinakov. With the last match the most important of the event, Bustamante went in against Van den Berg and walked away the 5-2 victor, giving Team Asia the 8-7 triumph.