Rui Edgar Franco (POR) just defeated Nick van den Berg (NED) 9:4 in the second winner’s round of the Dynamic Billard Dutch Open in Leende, The Netherlands.
His home turf does not seem to be a promising ground for van den Berg. So far, the successful Dutch top player never achieved a top finish at a Euro-Tour event in his own country. It looks like this might be continuing this year. Van den Berg was up in winner’s round two against Franco from Portugal. Rui Edgar Franco is not necessarily a blank sheet in the European pool world. He has played a few Euro-Tours and European Championships but never finished in the top ranks. Probably one of his biggest achievements was to win the qualifier in Albania this year with his friend Joao Grilo as team Portugal for the upcoming World Cup of Pool. Compared to that, van den Berg entered the match as the mile high favorite player.
Though Franco managed to win the first rack, van den Berg snatched the next four in a row and after five racks the scoreboard expected the more or less expected result of 4:1 in favor of van den Berg. Then Franco went for a time-out. After that, van den Berg continued as before but when he played the 7-ball he kicked into the 9-ball and the cue ball scratched. At that point in time nobody believed that this might be a turning point in the match; especially not such a massive one. But whatever van den Berg did – he could not win another rack. Franco leveled the match after the next two racks and the score was 4:4. He broke the balls and continued play. When he went for the 5-ball he legally pocketed it and the 9-ball was also pocketed. So Franco could take the lead for the first time in the match. Rack ten was fiercely fought over with many safety shots exchanged by both contestants.
Again it was Franco who got started first and went for the open balls after van den Berg left a shot for him. The Portuguese took his chance and also put that rack into his account. The next break shot was executed by Franco but he came up dry with no balls down. Even this opportunity van den Berg was not able to turn into a point for his score. He already missed the second shot and Franco once more ran out. To cut a long story short, the match continued exactly along those lines and van den Berg did not get one more rack. After his time-out, Franco took eight consecutive racks off van den Berg and won the match 9:4. Franco will meet German young gun Joshua Filler in his next match on the winner’s side tomorrow while van den Berg encounters the winner of Chinglong Lai (HKG) and Ralf Mrnka (GER).
Other remarkable results from today include Radoslaw Babica (POL) winning 9:6 over Francisco Diaz-Pizarro (ESP).
Today’s feature match which will be live on Facebook will be the match at 17:45 CET between Andreas Gerwen (SWE) and Petri Makkonen (FIN). It’s the battle of Scandinavia. See these two go for the Scandinavian bragging rights.
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