Johann Chua and James Aranas reclaimed the lofty standings of the Philippines in the sport, bagging the record fourth World Cup of Pool title with a classic 10-7 win over Germany in the final on Monday morning (Philippine time) at the Pazo de Feiras e Congresos de Lugo in Spain.
The Filipino upstarts stylishly ended the country’s 10-year drought, putting an end to the wait since Dennis Orcullo and Lee Vann Corteza hoisted the trophy in 2013. Pool legends Efren “Bata” Reyes and Francisco “Django” Bustamante won the first two titles in 2006 and 2009.
Trailing at 1-2, Chua and Aranas utilized their excellent breaking and precise pocketing to compile eight straight racks, putting them two wins away from claiming the Cup.
However, the German duo of Joshua Filler and Moritz Neuhausen found their own rhythm and won five consecutive frames to narrow the deficit to two, 7-9.
From there, the Filipinos took control, including a crucial finishing kick in the final rack that required some smart placement skills from Chua to ultimately secure the elusive fourth title after two close calls in the previous rounds.
Chua and Aranas had to fend off Chinese Taipei’s Ko Pin-Yi and Ko Pin-Chung in the quarterfinals, as well as Austria’s Albin Ouschan and Mario He in the semifinals, both in 9-8 scorelines, to earn their date with destiny.