Souquet Survives Round
Billiard players Ralf Souquet, who won the hearts of the Philippine nation this time last year with his graciousness in defeat in the 2006 final, made his way into the last 32 with a 10-8 win over Naoyuki Oi of Japan.
The German though was not happy with his performance – mainly due to some back pain he is suffering from. He arrived in Manila late last week and had a massage to see if it could remedy the situation.
It’s still not right, said Souquet. I feel a few inches out when I’m standing over the table and I’ve got a long way to go before I feel I’m at my best.
Souquet suggested that he may have some more treatment ahead of tomorrow’s last 32 match against Niels Feijen (Holland) who eliminated America’s Charlie Williams 10-7.
However, despite not being at his best, the 1996 champion was too much for the flamboyant Japanese as Souquet came back from a 5-3 deficit to set the pace.
Oi though came back at him and even lead 8-7 but ‘The Kaiser’ closed out the last three racks for victory. He will now play Niels Feijen of Holland for a place in the last 16.
In an excellent all-Filipino clash, Jeff ‘Bata’ De Luna got the better of Lee Van Corteza on TV Table 1. For many De Luna could be the future of Filipino pool. He is flashy, confident and possesses a monstrously hard break shot that sees him leave the floor as he launches his full body weight behind it.
The match was nip and tuck at 5-all and although De Luna was making three and four balls off the break, he lost control of the white on two many occasions.
It was a sweet victory for De Luna who had been left upset earlier this year when Van Corteza was selected for the Filipino team in the 2007 South East Asia Games ahead of him, despite De Luna winning a silver medal in the 2006 competition.
That was my inspiration going into the match, said De Luna. I wanted to prove that I’m the better player and deserving of a South East Asia Games spot.
To emphasize this, I want to go all the way to the championship. Any one standing in my way – I will murder them.
He began to pull away though as Corteza failed to assert himself and in the end ran out a 10-7 winner to set up a match against either European No.1 Konstantin Stepanov of Russia or the legend that is Efren Reyes.