Philippines Survive Scottish Scare
Defending champions Philippines scraped into the last 16 of the 2007 PartyPoker.net World Cup of Pool.
But Efren Reyes and Francisco Bustamante held on to secure a thrilling 8-6 triumph against the brave Scottish pairing of Pat Holtz and Michael Valentine.
It looked a simple task for the Filipinos as they raced into a 6-1 lead but the Scottish duo then won six of the next seven racks to leave the number one seeds sweating.
Once again, the Philippines were playing in front of a large crowd as Filipino fans at the Outland Nightclub in Rotterdam, Holland were desperate to catch a glimsp of their heroes.
Philippines won the lag but with no shot after the break Reyes had to play safe and the same player later kicked in the 1-ball and Bustamante finished off the rack by sinking the 9-ball.
However, both Bustamante and Reyes missed shots in the second rack, on the 1-ball and 3-ball respectively to give the Scots a chance, which ended with Michael Valentine making the score 1-1.
If they were to have any chance of causing a huge shock, they would have to play at their best and not make any mistakes.
But when Holtz undercut an attempt on the 2-ball it looked like being costly – and it was as the score moved to 2-1. It quickly became 3-1 as Philippines broke and ran through the fourth rack.
Scotland had a rare opportunity in the fifth as Reyes scratched off the break to give the Scots ball-in-hand.
It all went wrong for the British pair though as Valentine over-hit a positional shot to give Holtz a tough pot. He sunk the ball but made life difficult for Valentine on the 7-ball as he was shooting into a blind pocket.
Valentine missed to gift Philippines another rack for a 4-1 lead and they then ran out the next for 5-1 and on course for a comfortable victory.
With the winners-break format, Scotland would be lucky to get another shot against two of the best players in the world. Philippines extended their advantage further by running through the next as well for a 6-1 lead.
After spending a long time in their chairs, Holtz and Valentine were given another opportunity when Bustamante fouled on the break and sent the cue-ball crashing to the floor.
Scotland, with ball-in-hand, did the rest to bring a bit of respectibility to the scoreline. Valentine and Holtz had not done much wrong but were still a long way behind, due to the talent of their opponents.
After Bustamante missed with a cheeky 1-9 combination, Scotland were back at the table and reduced the deficit to 3-6.
The turning point of the tenth rack came when Valentine attempted a jump shot and was aiming to clear the 9-ball to hit the 3-ball. But it went wrong as he clipped the top of the 9-ball to give Philippines ball-in-hand and they capitalised to move to the hill at 7-3.
There was to be another twist as a rare Bustamante mistake, when he left the 1-ball hanging over the bottom right pocket, kept the match alive and Scotland continued fighting as the scoreboard ticked over to 4-7.
It was a brave performance from Scotland as they would not give up as they also claimed the next two racks to make it 6-7 and leave the defending champions sweating.
The Scottish dream ended in the next rack when Valentine missed a long pot on the 7-ball and Philippines delighted their fans by securing a tense 8-6 victory.