CHINA CRUSH SWEDEN AS ALBANIA AND NETHERLANDS ADVANCE

Photo Credit JP Parmentier/Matchroom Multi Sport

BetVictor World Cup of Pool – Round One

China 7-1 Sweden
Russia 3-7 Albania
Holland 7-2 South Africa

Defending champions China are safely through to the second round of the BetVictor World Cup of Pool after a commanding performance over Sweden, in a session which also saw Albania beat Russia and Netherlands see off South Africa at the Morningside Arena, Leicester, live on Sky Sports, DAZN and networks around the world.

The opening session of the $250,000, 32-team event saw China’s Wu Jaiqing and Liu Haitao fire a warning shot to the rest of the field with a resounding 7-1 win as they look to become the first team to successfully defend a World Cup title.

They were gifted the first rack when Tomas Larsson missed a simple 6 and took the subsequent three racks for a 4-0 lead. Sweden, whose team also included European Mosconi Cup captain Marcus Chamat, got one on the board after Wu failed to cut a 4 up table but lost position on the 7 in the following rack. After a brief safety battle, US Open finalist Wu was left an open shot and China completed the set for a 5-1 advantage.

In winning the World Cup last summer, it was Wu who led the attack for China, with Liu perhaps not at his best. It was noticeable in this match that Liu was already performing better than he had 12 months ago, an ominous sign for the 31 teams hoping to rip the title from China’s grasp.

The final two racks required for victory came without Sweden returning to the table, and the reigning champions progressed through to round two with a 7-1 victory.

The second match saw some of Europe’s best young pool talents take to the table. For Albania Eklent Kaci was joined by Besar Spahiu, while Russia featured the fearsome pairing of Fedor Gorst and Ruslan Chinakhov.

The first six racks were shared but from 3-3 Albania opened up a two-rack advantage. They were then given ball in hand when Chinakhov missed the 5 ball, which was sat invitingly in the jaws of the corner pocket. Kaci was struggling with his cueing and couldn’t take immediate advantage, however on their next visit Albania did clear the table to move to the hill before securing their progression to round two with a 7-3 victory.

“We are very happy to progress to round two,” said Spahiu, who works as a full-time police officer. “We enjoyed the match, but we will hope to play better in the next round. The police force is good to me – if we keep winning they will let me take more time off, so let’s hope we keep winning.”

The session’s final match saw Netherlands up against South African twins Vincent and Richard Halliday. The Dutch pair of Niels Feijen and Marc Bijsterbosch raced to a 3-0 lead but the latter scratched with just three balls remaining, allowing their opponents to clear.

The Dutch moved 6-1 ahead before South Africa got another rack on the board, but it took just one more rack for the Netherlands to complete the victory and join China and Albania in round two. All three will find out their next opponents during this evening’s session, which begins at 7pm local time.

The BetVictor World Cup of Pool is sponsored by Rasson Billiards, who supply the Official Table; the cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis and the Official Balls are Super Aramith by Saluc. Predator are the Official Cue of the event and Kamui the Official Chalk and Tip.

WBC Cruiserweight Champion Tony Bellew comes to the Morningside Arena

Come join us on March 20th 2020 at the Morningside Arena for an evening with The Bomber Tony Bellew.

Tony Bellew is one of Britain’s greatest boxers over the last decade, after tuning pro in 2007 Bellew captured the commonwealth title in 2010 defeating Atoli Moore but it would be in 2016 where his greatest moment in his career fame with a stunning KO in the second in front of a huge crowd at his beloved Goodison park. A step up to heavyweight in 2017 followed with the first of 2 fights with David Haye set for March, the pre fight build up was filed with bad blood with Haye insisting Bellew was not in his class. The fight was controversial with Haye injuring his ankle and his corner throwing in the towel to give Bellew an against the odds win. The second fight in 2018 was more conclusive with Bellew stopping Haye in the 5th. 

    Bellews final match would come in November 2018 against undisputed cruiserweight king Oleksandr Usyk a spirited Bellew was worn down by the skilful and enigmatic Usyk and was knocked out in the 8th round at the 02.

A fantastic career spanning 11 years Bellew comes to leicester to meet the fans as well as photograph opportunities.

Tickets will be on Sale soon!

Champions League of Darts Players Confirmed

The eight players who will compete in the 2019 Paddy Power Champions League of Darts have been confirmed.

Six players were already assured of their places in the event heading into the World Matchplay and results from the event have now ensured that Gerwyn Price and James Wade will take to the stage at the Morningside Arena in Leicester from October 19-20.

For Wade it will be a second appearance in the BBC broadcast tournament since his semi-final berth at the inaugural 2016 staging of the event, while Price will make his debut this year.

The players are split into two groups of four for the round-robin stage of the event, based on PDC Order of Merit positions following the World Matchplay.

The opening three sessions in Leicester see the players in each group meet once, before the top two from each group progress to the semi-finals and final on Sunday evening.

2019 Paddy Power Champions League of Darts Competitors
Michael van Gerwen
Rob Cross
Daryl Gurney
Gary Anderson
Michael Smith
Peter Wright
Gerwyn Price
James Wade
*Order subject to change

Tickets for the Paddy Power Champions League of Darts are now available through this link

Leicester Riders 2019/20 BBL Fixtures Announced

The Leicester Riders Return to BBL action in September as the BBL announces its fixtures for the 2019/20 season.

Following the changes in format the season will open on Friday September 20th with the BBL Cup Group Stages. The BBL Cup will run until the weekend of November 22nd-24th with the Quarter Finals taking place the following weekend.

The BBL Championship will begin on Friday 6th December with the BBL Trophy First Round opening on the 4th and 5th of January

Full Fixtures are below (All fixtures are Subject to change)

Friday 20 September 2019 7:30pm CUP (H) Sheffield Sharks – Cup Group Stage

Sunday 22 September 2019 5:30pm CUP (A) Cheshire Phoenix – Cup Group Stage

Sunday 29 September 2019 5:00pm CUP (A) Manchester Giants – Cup Group Stage

Friday 4 October 2019 7:30pm CUP (H) Newcastle Eagles Cup – Group Stage

Friday 11 October 2019 7:30pm CUP (H) Cheshire Phoenix – Cup Group Stage

Sunday 13 October 2019 ALL All Star Championship

Sunday 20 October 2019 5:00pm CUP (A) Glasgow Rocks – Cup Group Stage

Friday 25 October 2019 7:30pm CUP (H) Manchester Giants – Cup Group

Stage Friday 1 November 2019 7:30pm CUP (A) Newcastle Eagles – Cup Group Stage

Friday 8 November 2019 7:30pm CUP (H) Glasgow Rocks – Cup Group Stage

Sunday 10 November 2019 5:00pm CUP (A) Sheffield Sharks – Cup Group Stage

Friday 6 December 2019 7:30pm CH (H) Plymouth Raiders

Sunday 15 December 2019 5:30pm CH (A) Cheshire Phoenix

Friday 20 December 2019 7:30pm CH (H) Bristol Flyers

Friday 27 December 2019 7:30pm CH (H) Glasgow Rocks

Sunday 29 December 2019 5:00pm CH (A) Sheffield Sharks

Friday 17 January 2020 7:30pm CH (H) Worcester Wolves

Friday 24 January 2020 7:30pm CH (A) Newcastle Eagles

Sunday 26 January 2020 CUP Cup Final

Friday 31 January 2020 7:30pm CH (H) London Lions

Saturday 8 February 2020 7:00pm CH (A) Surrey Scorchers

Friday 14 February 2020 7:30pm CH (H) Newcastle Eagles

Sunday 16 February 2020 3:00pm CH (A) Plymouth Raiders

Friday 28 February 2020 7:30pm CH (H) Sheffield Sharks

Friday 6 March 2020 7:30pm CH (A) Bristol Flyers

Friday 13 March 2020 7:30pm CH (H) Manchester Giants

Saturday 21 March 2020 7:30pm CH (A) London Lions

Friday 27 March 2020 7:30pm CH (H) Cheshire Phoenix

Saturday 28 March 2020 7:30pm CH (A) London City Royals

Friday 3 April 2020 7:30pm CH (H) Surrey Scorchers

Saturday 4 April 2020 7:00pm CH (A) Manchester Giants

Friday 10 April 2020 7:30pm CH (A) Worcester Wolves

Friday 17 April 2020 7:30pm CH (H) London City Royals

Sunday 19 April 2020 5:00pm CH (A) Glasgow Rocks

RECORD VIEWERS TUNE IN TO BETVICTOR WORLD CUP OF POOL

The 2019 BetVictor World Cup of Pool enjoyed record viewing figures on Sky Sports, Matchroom Multi Sport is pleased to confirm.

Viewership across the six-day event rose considerably on 2018 figures as pool fans tuned in to see Austria win the title for a second time, emphatically defeating Philippines in the final at Leicester’s Morningside Arena. In addition, the tournament reached over 1million fans globally on Facebook.

The BetVictor World Cup of Pool was broadcast live in over 100 countries around the world, including on DAZN in America, Germany, Canada, Austria, Switzerland, Brazil, Japan, Italy and Spain.

Matchroom Multi Sport Chief Operating Officer Emily Frazer commented: “The BetVictor World Cup of Pool is a unique and world class event showcasing the best teams Globally in 9-ball pool. With a tweak in the break rules for 2019, we challenged all 64 players as well as ensured close, tense matches which proved for enjoyable and wider viewership.

“Making World Cup history of tripling our peak UK viewership from previous years we are now setting the bar high at the level of the Mosconi Cup a couple years back. This event has great potential to grow further and this proves we’re on the right track to making that happen!”

The BetVictor World Cup of Pool is sponsored by Rasson Billiards, who supply the Official Table; the cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis and the Official Balls are Super Aramith by Saluc. Predator are the Official Cue of the event and Kamui the Official Chalk and Tip.

Morningside Arena, Leicester to host 2020 Weber Cup

The 2020 Weber Cup will take place at Morningside Arena, Leicester From Friday, June 5 until Sunday, June 7, Matchroom Multi Sport is pleased to announce.

After the success of the tournament’s first staging in America, the Weber Cup returns to England next summer as USA and Europe alternate hosting duties. Tickets will go on sale soon and fans can register to receive email ticket alerts at www.webercup.com.

Team USA will be defending champions after storming to a 18-14 victory at Mandalay Bay Resort, Las Vegas this week. But Team Europe will be determined to win back the trophy and will be looking for inspiration from their famous home fans.

American captain Chris Barnes said: “I am super excited to be a part of this going forward. We got great support in Las Vegas and the crowds in England have always been great for the Weber Cup. I am hoping some of the guys who supported us will make the trip next summer. European fans showed up in Vegas and it was a much more competitive crowd. I hope next year some Americans will come and give us their support in Leicester.”

European captain Dominic Barrett said: “I cannot wait to be back in front of the home fans. I can’t say enough about how great the American crowd was in Vegas and it was great to see some European support out there too, but I cannot wait to get back to Leicester and have most of the crowd on our side.

“We have some great European bowlers coming through and it will be really interesting to see exactly what sort of team dynamic we will have.

Ticket information for the 2020 Weber Cup will be available in due course. Fans can register to receive ticket alerts now at www.webercup.com.

AUSTRIA ARE BETVICTOR WORLD CUP OF POOL CHAMPIONS AGAIN

The Final
Philippines 3–11 Austria

Austria are BetVictor World Cup of Pool Champions for a second time after storming to an 11-3 victory over Philippines at the Morningside Arena, Leicester, live on Sky Sports and DAZN.

Mario He and Albin Ouschan were exceptional in the final, delivering blow after blow to the Filipino pairing of Jeff De Luna and Carlo Biado.

Both teams had won this event previously; Philippines in 2006, 2009 and 2013 and Austria in 2017. Ouschan and He lifted the trophy that year and made the final 12 months ago, but this was the first time the Filipino pairing of Biado and De Luna had reached the title match together.

Austria had defeated Croatia, Hong Kong, Greece and Spain to reach the final and only conceded eight racks from the quarter-final until the moment they lifted the trophy.

Philippines – who defeated Czech Republic, Albania, Canada, and Netherlands en-route – won the lag in the final and De Luna took the attacking shot on a risky 2-ball cut. When he missed it, Austria pounced to draw first blood. Ouschan then failed on an open 1 and Philippines cleared, only for De Luna to send the cue off the table when breaking in the third and this time it was Austria who completed the set.

Another mistake by 2016 World 9-Ball champion Ouschan allowed Philippines to level again. From that stage, though, Austria opened up a big lead, winning on Philippines’ break and running out from their own to get 4-2 ahead. Their clinical shooting took them to 6-2 but Biado responded when he needed to with a nice 5/9 combo.

Austria, though, weren’t going to allow their opponents back into it and quickly took out two more games for an 8-3 lead and soon they had 9. He then took out a 2/9 to take his team to the hill and Austria claimed their second BetVictor World Cup of Pool title in the very next rack after De Luna missed a 3/7 and Austria cleared for the win.

“I feel really great, I am really happy to win,” said He. “It means the world, especially playing with Albin. We play great together and it is a joy for me to play with him.

“I was a little nervous in the first round but Albin helped me out and after that I played really well. I didn’t feel like this when we won in 2017. It is a great feeling, and also because I had to miss the Mosconi Cup.

Ouschan added: “I was quite nervous and didn’t feel great in the final but Mario played super strong all tournament, it is great to have him. I made some positional errors but he helped me out; he played so strong, especially in the final. I am more than happy to win again.

“There is no secret. We practice doubles three days a year, so there is no big secret but we are a good pair. We know each other very well and travel around the world together all year. Maybe that is the secret, I don’t know but we are good friends and we make the perfect pairing.”

The BetVictor World Cup of Pool was broadcast live in over 100 countries around the world, including on Sky Sports and DAZN.

The BetVictor World Cup of Pool is sponsored by Rasson Billiards, who supply the Official Table; the cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis and the Official Balls are Super Aramith by Saluc. Predator are the Official Cue of the event and Kamui the Official Chalk and Tip.

AUSTRIA TO FACE PHILIPPINES FOR BETVICTOR WORLD CUP OF POOL TITLE

Semi-Finals
Netherlands 6-9 Philippines
Austria 9
-3 Spain

Austria trounced an out-of-sorts Spain 9-3 to set up a BetVictor World Cup of Pool final against Philippines, who defeated Netherlands 6-9 in their semi-final at the Morningside Arena, Leicester.

Jeff De Luna and Carlo Biado had too much for Dutch duo Niels Feijen and Marc Bijsterbosch, pulling away at 6-6 to take the race-to-9 clash before David Alcaide and Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz saw their hopes ended by 2017 champions and last year’s runners-up Austria; Mario He and Albin Ouschan becoming the first pair to make three consecutive World Cup finals.

The first eight racks of the opening semi-final went the way of the break and it was Philippines who broke that first taking back-to-back games from 4-3 down to lead 5-4. Netherlands hit back with two of their own and parity was restored when Philippines made it six apiece. Biado and De Luna then put together another two racks to establish the first two-point lead of the match, reaching the hill in the process.

Netherlands broke next but were dry, and there was a 1/9 sat nicely for De Luna, who took it out to  book Philippines a place in the final, where they will be aiming to become the first team to be crowed World Cup champions on four occasions.

In the second semi-final Spain and Austria shared the opening four racks before the latter moved three ahead. At 2-2 Alcaide screwed the cue into the bottom corner pocket attempting to play position on the 9, leaving He a simple pot to steal the rack.

With a chance to draw level, Sanchez-Ruiz missed an awkward 9 and this time it was Ouschan who rolled it in, before the 2017 champions moved to 5-2 in front and then won their fourth consecutive rack to move to within three of the final.

It looked like Spain would halt the Austrian momentum when Ouschan scratched on the 4 but they were reprieved and Spain blundered again in the following rack when Alcaide missed, putting Austria on the hill at 8-2.

Alcaide and Sanchez-Ruiz finally got their third in the 11th game of the match but it didn’t halt the Austria charge, and Ouschan and He took the next rack to complete a 9-3 victory.

The final will be a race to 11 and begins at 6.30pm UK time. The BetVictor World Cup of Pool is broadcast live in over 100 countries around the world, including on Sky Sports and DAZN.

The BetVictor World Cup of Pool is sponsored by Rasson Billiards, who supply the Official Table; the cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis and the Official Balls are Super Aramith by Saluc. Predator are the Official Cue of the event and Kamui the Official Chalk and Tip.

HOSTS OUT AS SPAIN AND AUSTRIA MAKE SEMIS

Photo: JP Parmentier/Matchroom Multisport

Quarter-finals
Greece 2-9 Austria
Spain 9–6 Great Britain A

Hosts Great Britain are out of the BetVictor World Cup of Pool after a 9-6 quarter-final defeat to Spain, who will now face Austria in the semi-finals at Morningside Arena, Leicester.

Austria were in fine form as they defeated Greece 9-2, before the host pair of Chris Melling and Jayson Shaw fell to Spain’s David Alcaide and Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz after the Spaniards pulled away in the latter stages of the match.

It looked as though the early lead would go to Spain, but Alcaide missed on the 8 allowing the hosts to steal a 1-0 lead. Spain levelled but a clumsy attempted snooker by Sanchez-Ruiz left the 6 on for Britain in the next, and Shaw and Melling cashed in.

The scrappy start continued but at 3-3 Great Britain ran out from their own break and had an opportunity to make it 5-3 until Shaw scratched in unfortunate circumstances. The teams exchanged two more racks to make it 5-5 in the race-to-9 before Alcaide spotted a 4/9 carom to put Spain within three.

At that point Melling scratched and Spain had a two-rack lead, the first time either side had earnt that margin in the match and they were soon on the hill at 8-5. Great Britain pulled one back when Shaw made a high-pressure 1/9 but it was their last rack of the tournament as Spain completed a 9-6 win to move into the semi-finals.

“My partner played an amazing match,” said Alcaide. “I missed a couple of difficult shots but he gave me a lot of confidence.”

Sanchez-Ruiz added: “Austria will be a tough match, they have two players who are two of the best in the world but we believe in our game and will stay focussed on the next round. We are only thinking round-by-round so for us, the semi-final is the final.”

Austria’s Mario He and Albin Ouschan defeated Greek duo Nick Malaj and Alexander Kazakis to land their place in the last four. Austria had complete control of the early stages of the match and raced to a 4-0 lead. They looked sure to go five up but He missed a routine 9. The cue ball was on the rail but nonetheless it was a straightforward shot and it opened the door back into the match for Greece.

However, Kazakis and Malaj couldn’t capitalise and the 2017 champions restored their four-rack advantage. In the next rack Ouschan pulled off one of the shots of the tournament, making a long one and bringing the cue back down the table via two rails for perfect position on the 2.

That helped Austria pull five ahead and more clinical shooting took them to 7-1. Greece got their second rack on the board in the ninth but it was too little, too late; Austria reached the hill in the tenth and were into the semi-finals at the end of the 11th, a 9-2 victory marking one of the standout performances of the tournament so far.

“We had a pretty good start,” said Ouschan. “Mario played some incredible shots and that gave us some confidence. They missed a few balls and didn’t look too confident, but we took our chances.”

He added: “I played well before the missed 9 and I was able to forget it afterwards. It was important but I was able to forget it because we had a good lead.”

The semi-finals take place from 1:30pm on Sunday afternoon with the final a race-to-11 which begins at 6.30pm. The BetVictor World Cup of Pool is broadcast live in over 100 countries around the world, including on Sky Sports and DAZN.

The BetVictor World Cup of Pool is sponsored by Rasson Billiards, who supply the Official Table; the cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis and the Official Balls are Super Aramith by Saluc. Predator are the Official Cue of the event and Kamui the Official Chalk and Tip.

CHAMPIONS CHINA CRASH OUT OF BETVICTOR WORLD CUP OF POOL

Quarter-Finals
China 5-9 Netherlands
Philippines 9
-5 Canada

Defending champions China have been knocked out of the BetVictor World Cup of Pool after losing their quarter-final clash with Netherlands 9-5 at Morningside Arena, Leicester, live on Sky Sports, DAZN and networks worldwide.

It remains, therefore, that no team has ever been able to successfully defend their title and Niels Feijen and Marc Bijsterbosch will go on the play the Philippines in Sunday afternoon’s first semi-final after the three-time winners defeated Canada in their last-eight encounter.

After six racks China and Netherlands were locked at 3-3 with neither losing from their own break but in the seventh the Dutch took the lead after China had the opening shot and in the very next rack Feijen made it a two-game lead with a golden break, the third of the tournament.

The Dutch duo opened up an even greater lead when they moved 7-4 ahead, and though China (Wu Jiaqing and Liu Haitao) narrowed the gap, Netherlands reached the hill 8-5 up.

Bijsterbosch had the break but Feijen needed to play safe on the 2 and Wu made an impressive jump to bank the object in response. However, Haitao’s subsequent jump to reach the 3 sent the cueball off the table and the Netherlands were in for the win.

“We are extremely happy, of course,” said Feijen, twice a finalist at this event. “We are happy to be back in the semi-finals. We are gelling incredibly well and Marc is a brilliant player, so I am looking forward to tomorrow.”

They’ll meet three-time World Cup winners Philippines on Sunday afternoon after Carlo Biado and Jeff De Luna came from 4-1 down to beat Alex Pagulayan and John Morra of Canada.

Canada raced to a 4-1 lead but Philippines fought back and took six consecutive racks. The Canadians looked set to stop the Filipino momentum until Pagulayan got a tough roll in making the 4. The cue ball kissed the 9 into the jaws of the right corner pocket and scratched to the left, leaving De Luna an easy 5/9 to get to the hill.

Canada finally got their fifth the following rack but it didn’t spark the revival they wanted and Philippines expertly ran the next to make the semi-finals.

The remaining two quarter-finals take place from 6.30pm this evening as Greece take on Austria and Spain come up against hosts Great Britain. The BetVictor World Cup of Pool is broadcast live in over 100 countries around the world, including on Sky Sports and DAZN.

The BetVictor World Cup of Pool is sponsored by Rasson Billiards, who supply the Official Table; the cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis and the Official Balls are Super Aramith by Saluc. Predator are the Official Cue of the event and Kamui the Official Chalk and Tip.