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World Cup of Pool semi-finals: Filipinos oust Taiwanese

James Aranas and Johann Chua of Team Philippines beat brothers Pin Yi and Ping Chung Ko of Taiwan 9-8 in a hill-hill match at the Pazo de Feiras E Congresos de Lugo in Spain on Saturday night to stay on track for a record fourth World Cup of Pool crown.

Filipinos triumphed in a thrilling race-to-9 match to advance to the semifinals of the sport’s premier team event.

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Their quarterfinal opponent will be the winner of the match between Austria and Great Britain at press time.

Despite holding a commanding 8-2 lead, Aranas and Chua blew a commanding lead when the Taiwanese won a safety battle to snatch the 11th rack, and the Taiwanese went on to rack up a string of run-outs.

The Filipinos won the match with superb control and preparation after missing on No. 2 in the deciding rack.

Germany and Poland will also meet in the Last 8 duels, while China and Japan will face off.

Previously, Aranas and Chua defeated Spain A, 7-5, last Tuesday, and Spain B, 7-2, in a race to seven. A top purse of $60,000 will be awarded to the winner.

It was Dennis Orcollo and Lee Van Corteza who dominated the event in 2013 for the Philippines’ third title. Carlo Biado and Jeff de Luna defeated the Austrians in 2019, when they reached the finals.

During the first staging of the event in 2006 in Wales, the Philippines won behind Efren “Bata” Reyes and Francisco “Django” Bustamante.

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