Four Left With a Shot at Glory in Manila
The match of the tournament, one that had everyone on their feet, took place today between Dennis Orcullo and Jiaqing Wu. Orcullo appeared to have things well in hand, leading 7-0, when Wu caught fire and brought the match to double hill. Wu had the table but had a jump shot on the four ball. He made the table-length jump and then had to long-rail bank the five ball. That done, the rest of the table was his for the taking. But he missed a routine shot on the six ball that left Orcullo an opening. But the shot was tough and he missed it. He left no cherries however. Again, the only choice left for Wu was a table-length bank. When he missed it Orcullo came to the table to the roars of the crowd and cleaned up to take the win and gain his entry to the round of the great eight.
He was joined there by the man he would face next, Carlo Biado. Biado had just destroyed Daryl Peach 9-1 and came to the table full of confidence. Our other two match-ups were Tony Drago (who had just beaten Jason Klatt 9-5) and Huidje See who had just gotten past Ko Pin-Yi 9-6 and Chris Melling (who beat Yu Lun Chang from the hill 9-8) and Yukio Akakariyama who had eliminated Tomoo Takano 9-5.
The first of these to make it through to the final four was Huidji See. See took control of the match early and never let go as he cruised to his 9-4 win over one of the best-loved players in the world, Tony Drago. The man that the odds-makers have to love best in this tournament is Carlo Biado. He showed no weakness as he galloped away from Dennis Orcullo to win 9-4. The third man to make it to the last day was Jianbo Fu. Corteza had been down in their match 7-4 when he began a charge that soon found him leading 8-7. But Fu came back to win the next rack and take us to double-hill. Fu then held on through a tough rack to win 9-8 and claim his seat. Our last man to make it to the semi-finals was Yukio Akakariyama when he took down Chris Melling 9-6.
The initial match-ups for the final day will be Akakariyama VS See and Biado VS Fu. One of these four will end the day by hoisting the crown of World Champion high above their head.