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Both China sides lead the way into the Final 16 at the 2014 World Pool Team Championship in Beijing

Photo Courtesy Tai Chengzhe.

(Beijing)--Now, the fun begins.

After three days of round robin group play, in which 25 teams from all over the globe dueled in a veritable cavalcade of 8-ball, 9-ball and 10-ball, the 2014 World Pool Team Championship has been whittled down to the Final 16.

All matches from here through Saturday will be single elimination, and you can bet your last Chinese Yuan that the tension and drama levels inside the Tongzhou Lhue High School arena in Beijing will be thick and hot. For not only are the teams playing for $300,000 in prize money-with $80,000 going to the winning side? they are also competing for national pride. There?s something about wearing your country?s flag and having the backing and support of your fellow countrymen and teammates that takes this sport to a whole other dimension.

Leading the way in terms of support will be both China sides, both of whom completely waltzed through their group unscathed all week. But while the Chinese squads are certainly formidable on paper, they both have had absolutely no competition in their groups.

Each China side had what could be considered the easiest draws in the event. Now, however, that will all change. And while China 1?with Li He Wen, Wu Jiaqing, Chu Bing Chia, Han Yu, and Chen Siming-- and China 2?with Liu Haitao, Dang Ching Hu, Wang Can, Fu Xiaofang, and Liu Shasha-- will probably advance at least to the quarters and perhaps further, it all comes with a caveat that other teams won?t have to deal with. The pressure from the home fans placed on both China teams will be massive.

The one team that won?t have to deal with that problem are the defending champions, Chinese-Taipei. The Taiwanese, featuring a powerhouse lineup of Chang Jun Lin, Ko Pin Yi, Hsu Kai Lun, Fu Che Wei, and female player Chou Cheih Yu, have been untouchable all week here in Beijing. They are playing in that quiet, smooth style that carried them to the title two years ago in this very same arena. Today in their last match of the group stage, the Taiwanese went up against Korea, which was fighting for survival. Although Taiwan was already guaranteed a spot in the Final 16, they showed no mercy on the Ga Young Kim-led Koreans, winning the six-match showdown easily, 5-1.

Another team that looks unbeatable right now is the Philippines. Dennis Orcollo, Lee Vann Corteza, Carlo Biado and Rubilen Amit have all the winning experience in the world to see themselves to the winner?s circle on Saturday. And they have been all business so far this week. Today the Philippines went up against a very formidable Poland side and basically toyed with the Poles, winning in a rout 6-0.

The Philippines could be looking at a potential quarterfinal matchup vs. Chinese-Taipei. Everyone and their brother expects the Philippines to get past Indonesia on Thursday. Chinese-Taipei, though, will have to buckle down as they will be banging heads with a very strong Austrian team.

Great Britain, featuring Daryl Peach, Chris Melling, Karl Boyes and Allison Fisher, have the fully loaded talent and moxie to make a serious run. Against Germany today, the Brits looked their usual top class and won the match 4-2, although both sides were guaranteed a spot in the Final 16 no matter who won. The Brits will play Vietnam in the Final 16 and are heavily favored to advance to the quarter-finals. There they will probably meet up with China II which plays heavy underdog Sweden. Great Britain vs. China II promises some serious fireworks should it come to pass, as it most probably will.

One team that has flown under the radar but can definitely win this event is Japan. The Japanese are easily the loosest squad in this event, laughing and enjoying themselves on every shot. It has served them well in the past as they went all the way to the finals here two years ago before losing to Chinese-Taipei. Japan goes into their Final 16 match with the USA a big favorite. The Americans squeaked into the Final 16 and haven?t played up to standard yet this week.

The winner of Japan-USA will play the winner of Germany-Russia, which will be a very close matchup.

All matches in the Final 16 will take place on Thursday, July 31 beginning at 1PM(GMT +8). The quarterfinals will be played at 6:30PM.

*The WPA is on hand in Beijing to bring fans around the world full updated coverage of the 2014 World Pool Team Championship.

You can follow the World Pool Team Championship on our Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/worldpoolteamchampionship.

The WPA is also on Twitter @poolwpa.

Or visit our website at www.wpapool.com

*The World Pool and Billiard Association(WPA) is the governing body of the sport of pocket billiards.

The Liado U Valley World Pool Team Championship is sanctioned by the WPA, The Multi-Ball Games Administrative Center of General Administration of Sport, Chinese Billiard and Snooker Federation, Beijing Municipal Bureau of Sport, Beijing Sports Federation.


FINAL 16
July 31, 1PM(GMT +8)

China 1 vs. Singapore
Poland vs. Croatia

Philippines vs. Indonesia
Chinese-Taipei vs. Austria

China II vs. Sweden
Great Britain vs. Vietnam

Germany vs. Russia
Japan vs. USA

Quarterfinals Begin at 6:30PM July 30(GMT +8)
Semi-finals will be played on Friday, 1PM and 6:30PM
Finals will be played on Saturday at 2PM

FORMAT: In each match between two countries, the two teams play each other in a set of six matches, all alternate break; two races in 8 ball, two in 9-ball and two in 10-ball. One 8-ball match is men?s scotch doubles, race to 6. The other 8-ball match is a men?s singles, race to 6. In 9-ball, the teams compete in a women?s singles, race to 8, and a men?s singles race to 8. In 10-ball, the teams play one mixed doubles match(scotch doubles), race to 7, and one men?s singles match race to 7. The female player must play in the 10-ball mixed doubles match, and a 9-ball match. No player is permitted to play more than two matches per session.

SHOOTOUT: If a match ends up 3-3 in the knockout stage, the winner will be decided by a shootout. In a shootout the 8 ball is placed in the middle of the table down near the short rail, level with the first diamond, while the cue ball is placed way down at the head string. The three men and one woman on each team take turns trying to pot the 8-ball in either far corner. All players play in sequence and the team to score six hits first with a margin of two or more(6-4, 7-5, etc.) wins the match and advances to the next round.

TEAMS

China 1?Li He Wen, Wu Jiaqing, Chu Bign Chia, Han Yu, Chen Siming
Singapore?Chan Keng Kwang, Aloyisus Yapp, Koh Seng Ann Aaron, Charlene Chai Zeet Huey, Toh Lian Han, Hoe Shu Wah

Poland--Karol Skowerski, Tomasz Kaplan, Mateusz Sniegocki, Katazyna Weslowska
Croatia?Josip Susnjara, Ivica Putnik, Marko Lisnic, Antonijevic Zrinka

Philippines--Dennis Orcollo, Lee Vann Corteza, Carlo Biado, Rubilen Amit
Indonesia?Bewi Simanjuntak M. Bewi, Rudy Susanto, Muhammad Fadly, Silvana

Chinese-Tapei?Chang Jun Lin, Ko Pin Yi, Hsu Kai Lun, Fu Che Wei, Chou Cheih Yu
Austria?Albin Ouschan, Tong He Yi, Jurgen Jenisy, Thomas Knittel, Jasmin Ouschan, Sandra Baumgartner

China 2?Liu Haitao, Dang Ching Hu, Wang Can, Fu Xiaofang, Liu Shasha
Sweden?Anreas Gerven, Marcus Chamat, Tomas Larsson, Caroline Roos

Great Britain?Daryl Peach, Karl Boyes, Chris Melling, Allison Fisher
Vietnam?Trung Le Quang, Tuan Nguyen Anh, Quan Do Hoang, Le Doan Thi Ngoc


Germany?Thorsten Hohmann, Ralf Souquet, Sebastian Staab, Ina Kaplan
Russia?Konstantin Stepanov, Ruslan Chinakhov, Andrey Seroshtan, Ann Mazhirina

Japan?Naoyuki Oi, Sasaaki Tanaka, Hayato Hijikata, Chichiro Kawahara
USA?Oscar Dominguez, Hunter Lombardo, Corey Deuel, Jennifer Barretta

RESULTS FROM DAY 3, GROUP STAGE

SESSION 1,

Korea 4 - 2 New Zealand
Indonesia 5 - 1 Malaysia
China 1, 6 - 0 Hong Kong
Croatia 4 - 2 Sweden
USA 5 - 1 Bulgaria
Austria 6 - 0 South Africa
Vietnam 4 - 2 Singapore
Philippines 6 - 0 Poland

Session 2
Russia 5 ? 1 New Zealand
Malaysia 4 ? 2 India
Great Britain 4 - 2 Germany
China 2, 6 ? 0 Australia
Chinese-Taipei 5 - 1 Korea
Japan 6 ? 0 Indonesia
China 1, 5 -1 Sweden
Croatia 3 - 3 Mongolia


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Ted Lerner, WPS Media Officer.


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