Souquet Versus Alcano Redux ar World 8-Ball

Souquet Versus Alcano Redux ar World 8-Ball
There are only two billiard players left on the playing field in Fujairah at the Damas World 8-Ball Championship and yes, we have seen this show before. Ronnie Alcano of the Philippines will meet Ralf Souquet of Germany to determine the next 8-ball champion of the world. These two know each other very well. They met in the world 9-ball finals less than two years ago to fight for that crown, and it was Alcano who claimed the day. Souquet is determined to prevent history from repeating itself. He felt the pressure of the fans in Manila and knows that factor will not be so overwhelming here in the UAE. And we are not playing the Philippine national pastime for rotational pool. Says Souquet, “It is a different discipline, eight-ball, and strategy plays a larger role.”
While Alcano declined an interview, his confidence is obvious. He is the defending champion of this event and is undefeated this week, while Souquet lost his first match of the tournament to Jeff De Luna. Alcano is very relaxed and has been all week. He seems to be having fun at the tables, and his total lack of nerves must be of some concern to all who face him across the green.
These two players arrived at this moment after surviving both the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds on Thursday. On the left side of the board Souquet first disposed of Chris Melling (GBR) 10-3 and then had to get past Marcus Chamat (SWE). Chamat had already lopped off Dimitri Jungo (SUI) 10-6 and was fully prepared for the battle with Souquet. This was a long, strategic match that required more than 3 ½ hours to complete. It was memorable in that Chamat did not care for a ruling by tournament officials concerning a safety war. When the players were told that after three more safeties on each side that the match would be declared a stalemate, Chamat objected, but the mildly heated exchange cooled off soon enough and Chamat went on to victory and to his place in the semis.
Alcano came from the right side of the charts. His first match of the day was against Bruno Muratore of Italy, and Alcano fell behind early to give Muratore a 2-0 lead. But then Alcano got back in gear and dominated the rest of the contest to win 10-5. In the semifinals he faced countryman Dennis Orcollo and here found the biggest threat of the tournament thus far. Alcano took an early lead and seemed comfortable enough until he accidentally pocketed the 8 ball in the side pocket when the cue ball ran into it off of his first shot of game 13. This gave Orcollo some momentum, and he won the next five racks on the trot to move into a 9-8 lead in the match. The alternating-break format brought Alcano back to the table for the next rack, and he broke and ran the table to knot the score at double-hill. Orcollo then had the opportunity to break and run a rack of his own to claim the day, but when his break came up dry Alcano took full advantage and never let Orcollo stand back up. The 10-9 win for Alcano earned him the right to face Souquet in the finals.
Quarterfinal Results:
Marcus Chamat (SWE) d. Dimitri Jungo (SUI) 10-6
Ralf Souquet (GER) d. Chris Melling (GBR) 10-3
Ronnie Alcano (PHI) d. Bruno Muratore (ITA) 10-5
Dennis Orcullo (PHI) d. Warren Kiamco (PHI) 10-6
Semifinal Results:
Ronnie Alcano (PHI) d. Dennis Orcullo (PHI) 10-9
Ralf Souquet (GER) d. Marcus CHamat (SWE) 10-8