A few days ago the celebration of the World Cup of Pool took place in Essex (England). Spain has won this renowned championship and at Barcelona Pool Billiards Academy we want to explain you all the details about it.
World Cup of Pool, the genuine tournament played by national teams
The 2022 edition of the World Cup of Pool, or what is the same, the World Cup of National Pool Teams, has just been held from June 14th to 19th. The competition took place at the sports facilities of the Brentwood Center located northeast of London in Essex, very close to the English capital.
This event, organized by Matchroom, holder of the rights to most of the most relevant American Billiards (Pool) championships of the year, ended with the well-deserved victory of Spain, formed by the world-renowned couple David Alcaide and Francisco Sánchez Ruíz. How could it be otherwise, it was very disputed. In this article we take a closer look at the development of the World Cup of Pool.
After the elimination in the previous edition of 2021 of Spain in the first round at the hands of the Italian team, both Spanish billiard players really wanted to show what they are capable of. For this, they conscientiously prepared the current edition of 2022. This commitment was made clear with one of David Alcaide‘s statements in the preview of the tournament: “Francisco Sánchez Ruíz is like a little brother to me, we do everything together. To win the World Cup of Pool with him would be so special”.
The draw made by the organizer Matchroom would provide the next path to victory. The first two rounds would be played race to seven games; the quarterfinals and semifinals race to nine and the final race to eleven. The only notable mishap was the very last minute absence of the Philippines, a team made up of living legend Efren Reyes and, who is surely the strongest Filipino in recent years, Carlo Biado. The Organization sought a country to replace them at last minute: this was Thailand with the snooker specialists Thepchaiya Un-Nooh and Noppon Saengkham.
The championship begins with a victory for Spain
The first match of the Spanish team would end up being an “easy match” for a convincing score of 7-1 against Australia, where David and Francisco were very solid.
Already in the second round a more powerful rival, the Albania of superstar Eklent Kaçi. But the outcome was identical to the one that occurred against Australia, that is, a final score of 7-1 in favor of the Spaniards who once again played with hardly any weakness.
With Alcaide and Sánchez already among the top eight teams, it was time to face one of the two teams that the United Kingdom presented in this competition, who had been going strong after defeating the other British team by an incontestable score of 7-0. The Spanish continued in the same way as in the previous two rounds and got a new convincing score of 9-2. This brilliant path up to that moment led to the Sky Sports expert commenting on the event being classified as “Team to beat”.
The last day was reserved for the semifinals and the final just after. The semifinals had a great lineup, the first one with a clash of the Spanish team against the Taiwanese of the well-known brothers Ko Pin Yi and Ko Pin Chung. On the other hand, the North American team captained by the current world champion Shane Van Boening and in front a Singapore led by the emerging star Aloysius Yapp.
The long-awaited place in the final of the World Cup of Pool
The only favorite to be in the final before the semifinal dispute was the North American team. But this was clearly defeated by a score of 9-3 by Singapore in a game with few errors from the latter who knew how to take advantage of those that the Americans did make.
But before the Spanish team achieved their place in the final, which for the first time in the championship, showed some weakness in their game but they were not taken advantage of by the Taiwanese brothers who fell 9-4. The final was then to be played, Spain against Singapore in a race to 11 games, David Alcaide and Francisco Sanchez Ruiz against Aloysius Yapp and Toh Lian Han.
After a nervous start in both teams, Spain managed to take a hopeful 4-0 lead, but a mistake in a jump over the 3-ball by the Spanish team gave hope to the Singaporeans, who got closer on the scoreboard to 6-3. After some errors in the break shots on both teams, the score was at 7-4, which, followed by two great racks by the Singaporeans, the score was adjusted to a disturbing 7-6, with a minimum advantage for the Spaniards and with the decisive phase of the match pending to play.
With that score, Singapore once again made a mistake on break shot, scratching the cue ball and giving an advantage to the Spanish team, who knew how to manage it until concluding with a master shot by David Alcaide. Here he got in the last game a beautiful winning carom between the 2-ball and the 9-ball, the two Spanish billiard players merged in a hug for history.
About the champions, David Alcaide and Francisco Sánchez Ruiz
For those of you who do not know in detail the sports careers of the components of the Spanish couple, comment that David Alcaide was born in Malaga (Spain) in December 1978, therefore he is 43 years old at the date of this article.
He started practicing this beautiful sport at the age of 5 in his hometown and his first relevant achievements came at a very early age. Specifically, he managed to become the Absolute Spanish 8-Ball Runner-up at just 11 years old and Champion at 13 and repeated it at 15. Subsequently, he continued to win nationally while making the leap to international competitions, both continental and world level.
After years of adapting to the international arena, remarkable results came, such as several wins in European championships in different disciplines, four podiums in world championships also in various disciplines, three participations with the European team in the prestigious Mosconi Cup with two titles, two wins in the World Pool Masters, which annually brings together the best world specialists, and a victory in the Kremlin Cup.
Francisco Sánchez Ruiz
Francisco Sánchez Ruíz was born in Murcia (Spain) in December 1991, so he is 30 years old at the date of this article. Like most of the great champions he started playing pool at a very young age. His first great achievement would not be long in coming: specifically at the age of 16, he defeated David Alcaide in the final of the 2008 9-Ball Spanish Championship by a hefty score of 9-1 that foreshadowed what would happen in the Junior World Championship where he won the title in 2010.
He won the Absolute European 9-Ball Championship in 2016, after several excellent results in different editions of the very top USA OPEN event. His most important feat in North American territory came last January when he won the mythical Derby City Classic in 9-Ball division defeating the best specialists on the planet, but not before winning two stops on the very top professional European 9-Ball circuit at the end of 2021.
As if that were not enough, in this same 2022 he reached the final match of the recently released great event UK OPEN (the British version of the USA OPEN) only giving in to an intractable Joshua Filler who had defeated David Alcaide in the semifinals. These last brilliant months have raised Francisco Sánchez Ruíz at different times, to number one in the European and world rankings, a milestone only within the reach of a very few.
Both billiard players currently reside in Salamanca (Spain), where they train and from where they travel together to all the competitions they play. Both are sponsored by the brands Ecotisa, Predator and DS Billiards among others.
From Barcelona Pool Billiards Academy we congratulate David Alcaide and Francisco Sánchez Ruíz for this world title so longed for by both and by all the fans of the national pool, congratulations! well deserved!
If you couldn’t follow the World Cup of Pool and the feat achieved by our champions, or perhaps you would have liked to share the live experience with other pool enthusiasts, from the Barcelona Pool Billiards Academy we want to remind you that at the Academy we have a 135-inch projector to learn, improve and enjoy from these events, both live and recorded, commented on by our certified instructors.