Three more of the seeded nations won through to the second round of the 2018 World Cup of Pool at the Luwan Arena, Huangpu District in Shanghai, as first round action continued on a hot afternoon. There were wins for Alcaide and Sanchez Ruiz of Spain, Carlo Biado and Jeff De Luna for the Philippines and Cheng and Chang for Chinese Taipei.
The $250,000 tournament originated in 2006 and has since moved around the world before touching down in Shanghai. The World Cup features 32 pairs from across the globe including two from host nation China. Running from 15th to 20th May, the event is on live TV in over 100 countries around the world.
Spain opened up the proceedings with a comfortable 7-1 win over unknowns Vietnam who never looked comfortable under the TV conditions.
“I missed one position ball but for 85% of the game we played really well,” said Davis Alcaide.
“It is very important we focus on the next round because if we lose we are out. I hope in the next round we will play better.”
Sanchez boldly added, “Spain haven’t been passed round two before but I think this year we can win.”
The Philippines, one of the hot favourites for the tournament, capitalised on some misses from the New Zealand pair of Matt Edwards and adopted Kiwi, Marco Teutscher to run out 7-3 winners and move into the second round where they will play England or South Korea.
De Luna, making his debut in the event, said, “There is a lot of pressure in this tournament and it is the first time I have played World Cup of Pool. We have a lot of support in the Philippines, though.”
In the final match of the session the relaxed Taiwanese pairing of Cheng Yu-hsuan and Chang Jung-lin took Albania to the cleaners with a 7-1 victory.
Eklent Kaci and Edmond Zaja were both making their live TV debut under the lights and struggled to get to grips whilst their experienced opponents were clinical at all times.
Play continues on Wednesday evening with three more first round matches.
Greece (14) v Hong Kong
England (13) v South Korea
USA (6) v Singapore
2018 World Cup of Pool sponsored by Iwan Simonis who supply the Official Cloth; the Official Balls are Super Aramith by Saluc, and Predator is the Official Cue of the event.