Philippines defeated Great Britain 3-0 in the final in Klagenfurt, Austria to be crowned 2022 Predator World Teams Champions, eight years after finishing runners-up the last time the event was staged.
The team of Rubilen Amit, Carlo Biado and Johann Chua won 4-3, 4-3, 4-1 against the British trio of Kelly Fisher, Jayson Shaw and Darren Appleton. Both Biado and Amit were part of the silver-medal winning team of 2014, when they lost to China in the final.
Philippines had reached this year’s final with a shootout victory over Germany, who fought back from 2-0 down to force the decider. Britain’s semi-final was against Chinese Taipei, who were defeated 3-1 with Shaw in practically good form for his nation.
The final was much closer than the scoreline might suggest; the first two sets – women’s singles and a men’s match contested by Shaw and Biado – both finished 4-3, before the victory was completed by Amit and Chua in a 4-1 mixed-doubles win over Fisher and Appleton.
“It feels amazing to be champions,” said Amit. “We’re, we’re very, very happy, and very and relieved. Finally, no more matches, we can rest and just enjoy it and enjoy Austria and Klagenfurt!
“Last time we placed 2nd and now we are finally the champions. I am very happy that I have Johann and Carlo as my teammates because they are awesome, they are very good players.”
Biado added: “Finally we made it. My job was to win in this event and with my team, and I want to thank them because we all played well. We have to celebrate now!”
The final’s first set went the way of Amit, but it would have been easier had she not missed the 7 at 3-2 up. Fisher made it with a great shot to the corner and then took a difficult 9 to the middle before rolling in the 10 to make it 3-3.
The Brit had the break but after she missed a 3-ball jump, control passed to Amit, who produced a solid run out to take the first set of the final.
Shaw had been imperious in the semi-final, beating Wu Kun Lin 4-0 and Chang Jung-Lin 4-1. He fired himself to a 2-0 set lead in no time against Biado, before the reigning US Open champion escaped a safety with a 1-ball bank to open the table and pull it back to 2-1.
A kick shot on the 3 opened up the next rack for Biado, who drew level at 2-2. He had the break next but with a chance to lead for the first time, snookered himself on the 7 and a hopeful double bank failed, allowing Shaw to steal the point.
Shaw came up dry on the hill. Biado made the 1 and went safe on the 2, but when Shaw’s reply went wrong, Biado was able to join his opponent on the hill.
The Filipino was put back in after a push out and what followed was a high-quality safety battle. A great kick from Shaw made the 2, but there was no shot on the 3. After a visit from Biado, Shaw made another great shot – a 3/8 carom – only to be left still without a shot on the 3. Biado’s failed jump finally gave Shaw an opening but there was still work to do and he caught the 10 coming back for position on the 9. Eagle Eye played safe but Biado produced a great bank down the length of the table to take Philippines within a set of the title.
Clearly, the team didn’t want to wait for their crowning moment. The doubles pair of Chua and Amit were quickly 2-0 ahead against Appleton and Fisher. Britain were up against it but produced a calm clearance to cut their deficit in half. The fourth rack went to Philippines, and after Appleton lost the cue ball and Fisher then missed the 5, the title belonged to the Philippines, and the winning 10 ball to Johann Chua.
“I am so happy and so proud,” said Chua. “It is my first medal from a World Championship, and I am so thankful and so happy to make it with this team. We knew our opponents are really tough, but we came here to enjoy it.”
In yesterday’s Predator World Women’s 10-Ball Championship semi final, Kelly Fisher had suffered a 9-4 defeat to eventual champion Chou Chieh-Yu. The opening set of the Chinese Taipei vs Great Britain semi-final threw up a repeat of that semi-final, and Fisher was able to exert a small amount of revenge with a 4-2 win.
Jayson Shaw was next up in men’s singles, facing Wu Kun Lin. The Scot is a ruthless operator and had his Eagle Eyes set on title, and wasting no time in dispatching Wu 4-0 as he produced a masterclass performance.
Taipei needed a response and Chang Jung-Lin alongside Chou brought it with a hill-hill win in mixed doubles against Fisher and Darren Appleton. That left Chang needed a win against Shaw to force a shootout, but the Brit brought his fine form from the earlier set against Wu to deliver a 4-1 win.
Rubilen Amit’s 4-2 women’s singles win against Pia Filler gave Philippines first blood in the second semi final. Biado then came from 2-1 down to reach the hill first against Thorsten Hohmann. A masse around the 2 then saw Biado escape from a safety and make the 1, playing a lot of draw to come back and make the 2. From there he ran the rack for a 4-2 set victory and to take Philippines to the hill of the match.
But Germany fought back; first the Fillers against Amit and Johann Chua, and then Joshua Filler in singles against Chua won 4-0 to force the fifth set shootout.
In the shootout, Biado and Joshua Filler both opened with successful shots from the right. Amit and Pia Filler then both made their shots from the left. Shooting from the right, Chua found the very heart of the pocket but Hohmann missed his. That afforded Biado a chance to take Philippines to the final, and he made no mistake from the spot.
Matches from the Predator World Teams Championship can be replaying in full on the World Billiard TV YouTube Channel.
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