The Filipino tandem of James “Dodong Diamond” Aranas and Johann “Bad Koi” Chua emerged with an 11-7 win over Gerrmany’s Joshua Filler and Moritz Neuhausen on Sunday, July 2 (Monday, July 3, Manila time) for the 2023 World Cup of Pool title.
The Philippines embark on a Cinderella-esque run, upsetting the top-ranked Spanish squad in their first matchup, accompanied by a streak of victories against Spain B (16th), Chinese Taipei (8th), Austria (4th), before their final 18-rack date with Germany (3rd).
More than not, the Philippines is included in the conversation regarding the mecca of Pool having birthed generation talents such as Francisco “Django” Bustamante and Efren “Bata” Reyes.
The win marks the fourth title for the country – the most in the tournament’s history since its inauguration in 2006. Aranas and Chua become the third duo to achieve the feat, following 2006 (Reyes/Bustamante), 2009 (Reyes/Bustamante), and 2013 (Orcollo/Corteza).
The PH also has six finalists and two semi-finalist appearances under its belt.
Apart from their unrivaled talent, the chemistry was a prime factor in the victory, given the familiarity of Aranas and Chua on and off the pool table.
“I feel great. It feels amazing to win a world title. It’s such an honour to win with James,” Chua mentions.
“We’ve known each other since we were 13 years old. We went to school together. To win with him is amazing. This [World Cup of Pool] has always been our dream. It’s a special achievement to win the World Cup of Pool. I am aggressive at the table. I cannot sleep if I do not approach it like that. It’s my first achievement at this sort of prestigious event. It’s my first world title.”