Johann Chua, James Aranas lead Philippines to record fourth World Cup of Pool title

Filippino duo Johann Chua and James Aranas took home the top purse of US$60,000 despite coming into the 32-team tournament unseeded.

Jonas Terrado

Jonas Terrado

Philippine Daily Inquirer


Johann Chua, left, and James Aranas celebrate the Philippines’ fourth World Cup of Pool title. Photo from Matchroom Pool

July 4, 2023

MANILA, Philippines – Johann Chua and James Aranas gave the Philippines a record fourth World Cup of Pool title after defeating Germany’s Joshua Filler and Moritz Neuhausen, 11-7, in the final held Sunday (early Monday Manila time) in Lugo, Spain.

The Filipino duo leaned on a string of eight consecutive rack victories before preventing another near-collapse to secure the country’s first title in the annual 9-ball team event since Dennis Orcollo and Lee Van Corteza’s triumph in 2013.

Chua and Aranas took home the top purse of $60,000 (P3.32 million) despite coming into the 32-team tournament unseeded.

But the two immediately defied the odds by ousting last year’s winners Francisco Sanchez Ruiz and David Alcaide, 7-5, of host Spain before defeating another duo from the host country in Jonas Souto and Jose Alberto Delgado, 7-2.

That set up an anxious windup to the crown as Chua and Aranas defeated Chinese-Taipei’s Ko Pin-Yi and Ko Pin-Chung and Austria’s Albin Ouschan and Mario He by similar 9-8 scores in the quarterfinals and semifinals despite squandering huge leads in both matches.

But it didn’t deter Chua and Aranas from completing their run towards history as they buck some early jitters and a 2-1 deficit to take control of the race-to-11 final with a commanding 9-2 advantage.

Germany, however, tried to erase the big gap as Filler and Neuhausen capitalized on some faulty pocketing by the Filipino pair to win five in a row and cut Chua and Aranas’ lead to 9-7.

A push shot after the break enabled the Philippines to get a chance to close things out, with Chua and Aranas completing a run out of the final two racks to seal the deal.

Chua and Aranas enabled the Philippines to break its tie with China for most World Cup triumphs.

Two of the four titles were produced by Efren “Bata” Reyes and Francisco “Django” Bustamante in 2006 and 2009.

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