In true Derby City spirit, the race was on. Joshua Filler, the younger steed broke loose to streak ahead 4-0. Jung-Lin Chang, the senior, more experienced work horse, paced himself. In the second stretch he charged ahead to 7-5.
As they jockeyed back and forth, it was neck-and-neck as they neared the finish line. At 9-9, opportunity appeared and the well-seasoned veteran, calm and composed, closed out the set. At 11 games to 9, he had secured the prestigious Diamond BIG Foot title.
Jung-Lin Chang’s exemplary accomplishment established his reputation as one of the most formidable pro players competing today. OK, the Diamond BIG Foot Challenge takes only four matches to win but look at his Accu-stats’ Total Performance Averages (TPA): .922 in the final with Filler, his gutsy .930 gouged Gorst in the semi’s, a brutal .933 battered Van Boening, and a mere .883 in his opening encounter with the irrepressible Albanian Eklent Kaci. And, let’s not forget, this was Chang’s first sniff at Big Foot.
And what about Filler? He slipped to .888 in the finals after an unprecedented .956 that demonstrated a truly lionhearted assault on the dangerous Dennis Orcullo. He dipped to .850 with Bustey and began his crash course with a crushing .919 against Corteza. Three legendary Filipinos and Filler manifested not a sliver of fear, just sheer dominance compounded by inner belief.
Chang’s semifinal encounter with last year’s finalist Fedor Gorst was easier than he expected. He strode to the hill at 10-5. The young, resilient Russian managed a couple more before being eliminated at 11-7. Gorst was the first to admit that he had struggled, today. His, normally, fierce determination had eluded him.
Filler’s command of Orcollo, which opened today’s proceedings, was the finest demonstration of pool prowess in recent years. His aforementioned .956 TPA was garnered by eight break-and-runs, plus, when Dennis broke dry, Joshua ran two more: 10 of his 11 games were run-outs.
His pace around the table was also unprecedented. It was like he hadn’t planned to be in the finals and had a plane to catch to the next event. Then, in contrast, if his cueball fell just slightly out of perfect line on the nine to ease closing position on the 10, he would pause, reflect for a minute, consciously refocus, then calmly pocket the virtually unmissable balls. Maybe he had realized, Oh yeah, I’m at the Derby. The next tournament is here.
Jung-Lin, on the other hand, has a pace so concentrated that he almost always chooses the correct strategy and pattern of play.
Their match had begun where Filler left off with Orcollo, he broke and ran the first rack and was soon ahead 4-0 with a 1.000 TPA. As was translated in Jung-Lin’s post-match interview, ”I knew to be patient. Not to rush.” Perhaps, he was also aware of the mesmerizing trap of copying your opponent’s pace.
Speaking of traps, in one instance, he actually snared Joshua. Chang had made 4 balls on the break. Being frozen against a ball, he was snookered. He pushed out to offer Joshua a make-able long shot. Perhaps, by observing his young opponent’s predilection to be at the table at all costs, he sensed that Joshua couldn’t resist the temptation to shoot. And shoot he did. The trap was that simple shape was impossible. Joshua made the difficult ball but now had an even more demanding shot than the previous one. Filler missed. That move contributed to Chang’s string of 6 games to move from down 1-5 to 7-5 ahead.
Filler, unfazed, found the inner strength to capture the next 3, and he’s 8-7. Then, 8-8, 9-8, 9-9 and, with Joshua breaking, the well was dry.
Emotionless, Chang’s deliberate pause after every shot delivered one of the most nail-biting two-rack finishes ever recorded. He pocketed balls that would have brought out the dog in most. Instead, he mustered the stud.
In his closing comments, Jung-Lin added that he wanted to thank Adrian of Cyclop Balls for sponsoring his trip and the opportunity to experience the Derby, the biggest and most challenging Pro Pool tournament in the world. He has 5 more grueling, dawn-to-dawn days. Stay tuned, we’ll keep you posted on his progress.
2019 德比城經典賽 (Derby City Classic) 最重量級的10號球10呎台挑戰賽決出冠軍。“火雲邪神”張榮麟後來居上，11-9擊敗世錦賽新科冠軍約Joshua Filler奪冠。新科美國公開賽冠軍在美國又添一冠！
德比城經典賽是全世界最重量級的傳統美式賽事之一，今年是第21屆，台灣派出謝喻雯、陳禾秐、張榮麟、鄭喻軒，以及CYCLOP歐洲代表Veronika Ivanovskaia出戰。備受關注的男子10號球10呎台項目 (10呎球台，有別於傳統美式9呎球台，比傳統球台略大，比斯諾克台小，長度3.2米) 雲集了全球最頂級的16位高手，其中包括阿爾巴尼亞天才少年Eklent Kaçi、世錦賽新科冠軍約Joshua Filler、菲律賓雙星Lee Vann Corteza和Dennis Orcollo、蘇格蘭Jayson Shaw、美國戰神Shane VanBoening以及人氣球星Chris Melling、Alex Pagulayan等。
經過三天的單敗淘汰，Joshua Filler和張榮麟分別以統治級的表現從上下半區突圍，會師決賽，其中四分之一決賽張榮麟 11-9 擊敗VanBoening、半決賽Filler 11-8 擊敗Orcollo的比賽兩人分別打出了0.933和0.956的完美數據，接近0失誤!
註：TPA評分系統（Tournament Performance Average）即比賽表現平均分，用作衡量球員在比賽中的表現。TPA=進球數量除以進球數量+失誤數量，進攻未果、走位失誤、任何犯規以及防守失誤都被計入失誤數量之中。因此，0.9以上的整場得分基本可以判定為在攻防兩端近乎完美。
EN: David Thomson – Medium Pool/AzBilliards
Pics: Alison Chang