After the disastrous day yesterday, team USA started out better today. The first two matches were mixed doubles. Leading 7:1, Europe had a big advantage and could enter the arena more relaxed than the US team. The first scotch double was played between Maksim Dudanets and Kristina Tkach versus Ricky Evans and April Larson.
Though the US players contended much better than yesterday, they still made mistakes in their pocketing and – even worse – in their shot selection. Instead of going for a good safety shot, they went for the rail shots and most of the time missed them. Still, the first match was quite close and the Europeans were able to win it in the end with 6:4. The second scotch double was even closer. Patrick Hofmann and Diana Khodjaeva went hill-hill against Shane Wolford and Sierra Reams. Rack 11 was the decider in that match. Sierra Reams broke the rack and came up with an illegal break. Both teams exchanged safety shots and none of the players was willing to take any risk while at the table. The safety shots from the European team were better in the end and Shane Wolford had no other chance but trying to hit the 2-ball without committing a foul. He succeeded in doing so but left a shot for Khodjaeva who pocketed the 2-ball and paved the way for herself and Patrick Hofmann to win the rack and the match with 6:5. That took team Europe to 9:1 over team USA. The following individual match between Wiktor Zielinski and Manny Perez also turned out to become a heartbreaker. At 5:5, Zielinski missed the 6-ball with only the 8-ball and the 9-ball on the table. The following safety exchange was won by Perez who consequently took that rack to take team USA to 2 points in the overall score.
The evening session started with another individual. Daniel Maciol was up against Nathan Childress, the youngest player of the US team. That match became a clear affair for Maciol with 6:2, mainly because Childress took the wrong shots and his nerves played a trick on him when he tried to pocket difficult or deciding balls. With that victory, team Europe was on the hill with11:2 over the US Americans. One more point needed for the Cup. That point was earned in the scotch doubles between Wiktor Zielinski and Diana Khodjaeva and Manny Perez and April Larson. Though Perez and Larson were probably the strongest of all US team players, they did not have chance against the Europeans today. 6:3 was the clear result that brought the Atlantic Challenge Cup to team Europe when the youngest team member Wiktor Zielinski pocketed the decisive 9-ball.
„Our team came here with a lot of experience already,“ stated European captain Albin Ouschan, „the team is really strong. They have won many titles at European Championships so far and I knew I had a great team.“ „The fact that most of these youngsters regularly play the Euro-Tour where they compete with the top players of the game makes these kids even stronger and better“. „The take the right decisions in the respective moments. That is what is missing with the US team. We were much more experienced than them“, added Ouschan.
Said US captain Johnny Archer „Europe definitely has the better team. That’s for sure, from top to bottom!“, Archer mentioned. „Although the score this year was one less than last year I think that this team we have something to built on. I was impressed with our team,“ Archer continued, „there’s still work to be done but I see things to be built on from this. I know we’re going to lose some players since they will be too old next year but there are players ready to come on.“ „One reason for this huge loss was we had a horrible day yesterday. 0:5 was just a dagger in the heart“, Archer explained. „Today we played better in the mixed doubles and we lost quite close. This shows that Europe does not give many opportunities away. When you do get them, you have to get advantage!“
大西洋挑戰盃 (Atlantic Challenge Cup) 是一項由EPBF 歐洲撞球協會 (European Pocket Billiard Federation)與BCA美國撞球協會 (Billiard Congress of America) 於2015年所創辦的一項美式9球賽事，猶如莫斯考尼盃的青少年版，進行歐洲隊及美國隊的團體對抗賽，每隊由4位男子及2位女子選手組成。
比賽分為男子單打、女子單打、男子雙打、女子雙打、混合雙打、三V三 (2男1女) 以及團體對團體7個部分，總共進行21場比賽，率先取得11勝的隊伍將贏得比賽的勝利。所有比賽均采取搶6、輪流衝球的賽制。
第三屆大西洋挑戰盃近日於奧地利的克拉根福 (Klagenfurt) 落下帷幕。在經過了三日的競賽過後，由世界冠軍Albin Ouschan與Tomas Brikmanis率領的歐洲隊發揮神勇，最終以11-2的絕對優勢血洗美國隊，強勢取得三連勝。
歐洲隊領隊的Albin Ouschan說道: “我們的隊伍擁有豐富的賽事經驗，他們在歐洲賽事中斬獲了多項冠軍，隊伍也因此而十分強大，我知道這是一支非常棒的隊伍。實際上，隊伍中的大部分隊員都在各種比賽中與頂尖球員進行過對抗，這使得他們更棒、更強大，這也是我們贏得比賽的主要因素。”
出任美國隊領隊的美國名將Johnny Archer則說道: “歐洲隊確實比我們的隊伍要強大，這是毋庸置疑的。儘管輸掉了比賽，但隊員們表現很好，我為他們而自豪。我從比賽中看到了許多需要解決的問題，這也說明還有很多工作需要開展。另外，我們的隊伍將失去一些即將超齡的球員，這很遺憾，但同時我也明白，新血即將加入進來。”
Results Day 3
Dudanets/Tkach v Evans/Larson 6:4
Hofmann/Khodjaeva v Wolford/Reams 6:5
Zielinski v Perez 5:6
Maciol v Childress 6:2
Zielinski/Khodjaeva v Perez/Larson 6:3
Patrick Hofmann (MVP)
Captain Albin Ouschan
Captain Tomas Brikmanis
Manny Perez (MVP)
Captain Johnny Archer
Captain Earl Munson
That concludes the coverage from this year’s Atlantic Challenge Cup in Klagenfurt, Austria. The complete event was streamed for free on www.kozoom.com. Additionally, all matches will be shown LIVE on the EPBF Facebook page.