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Chinese Taipei's Yang Ching Shun rallied from a three-rack deficit and survived some shaky moments to capture the title in the Guinness 9 Ball Tour 2008 Grand Final at Mal Taman Anggrek in West Jakarta on Sunday.
Yang took home the top prize of US$36,000, while compatriot Wu Chia Ching settled for the second prize of US$10,000 in the season-ending tour.
"I haven't been in my best form throughout this year's tour. My goal coming to Jakarta was to make it to the final. Once I was in, I knew I had to focus in order to win it," Yang was quoted as saying in a statement to The Jakarta Post.
"I was a little disheartened when I was trailing 4-7 but when I started to lead at 8-7, I knew I had a shot at the championship and I stepped up the pressure. I'm happy and relieved that I'm finally the grand champion."
Trailing 4-7, Yang won six consecutive racks by capitalizing on three crucial errors by Wu. The comeback started in the 12th rack after Wu's miss on the seven-ball allowed Yang to win the rack.
After a run-out in the 13th rack, Yang again found himself in scoring position after Wu's shot on the seven-ball resulted in the cue ball falling in the side pocket. Then the player known as the Son of Pool cleaned up the table to level the match at 7.
Yang seized the upper hand in the 15th rack with another run-out then stretched it to 7 after taking advantage of Wu's corner pocket miss on the one-ball. A run-out in the 17th rack placed Yang on the hill.
Wu momentarily stopped the bleeding as he took the 18th rack on a four-nine combination to make it 8-10. Possession then swung back to the 19-year-old former World Pool champion after Yang committed a bad placing shot on the one-ball. Wu managed to win the 19th rack and trim down the lead to just a solitary rack with a golden opportunity for a hill-hill count.
However, luck was simply not on Wu's side as he missed a shot on the three-ball in the 20th rack, paving the way for Yang to pocket the remaining balls and claim his first yet sweetest victory in this year's tour.
Wu lamented his lack of concentration in the final match.
"I was too relaxed going into the final. I'm playing against a good friend so I wasn't concentrating as hard as I should have," he said. "Hopefully, I can win it in next year's tour."
Yang reached the championship match with a 9-5 victory over the Philippines' Dennis Orcollo in the semifinals. Wu made it an all-Chinese Taipei finale after downing Filipino Alex Pagulayan 9-6 in the other semifinal match in the last leg of the six-city tour organized by ESPN STAR Sports.
*Yang Ching Sun Wins Guinness 9-Ball
*Pagulayan vs. Orcollo
**Grand Finals Info
*The Guinness Semis
*Orcollo & Pagulayan Standing
*The Lion Roars
*Alex Pagulayan Video
*Orcollo vs. Chang
*Origin of Pool
*Lee Van Corteza is 1st Runner Up
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