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Hanoi Open: Ko Ping Chung delights crowd with outrageous finish to seal quarter-final spot

US Open Pool champion Ko Ping Chung sensationally reached the quarter-finals of the Hanoi Open after a thrilling hill-hill trilogy fight with Max Lechner.

Ko, whose memorable streak of matches continued with the Austrian – the most recent of which a victory over the Austrian en-route to winning the 46th US Open in Atlantic City, New Jersey last month – had the Hanoi crowd on their feet after a remarkable recovery.

Having traded blows throughout the contest, ‘Mad’ Max looked to take the win on the hill. A mix-up in shots set-up an unlikely kick-bank 1-9 combo and the audience roared in appreciation.

At hill-hill, a 3-9 combo into the bottom right pocket saw the Chinese Taipei’s star into another WNT major quarter-final. “So lucky” he exclaimed afterwards, but there is a reason he’s sitting second on the WNT 1 year list.

In the first feature match of the day, brother Pin Yi and Fedor Gorst collided on the main table – a showcase of two of the most popular players on the World Nineball Tour. Since arriving in Vietnam, the fans have taken Gorst into their hearts, having landed the Peri Open Pool Championship last week. Team USA’s latest Mosconi addition rewarded their loyalty with a clinic over the World Pool Masters champion.

As one of the poster boys of Asian pool, Ko Pin Yi drew a crowd with Gorst, who opened the day following a traditional drum performance in the opening ceremony. It was the ‘Ghost’ who drew the energetic performance into his game, securing passage to the last eight after a 10-4 victory.

It is there that he will meet Jayson Shaw, in one of the most hotly-anticipated fixtures in Pool. Having defeated Jan Van Lierop in the last 16, Shaw couldn’t hide his delight at the prospect of facing the 23-year-old – who have been locked in a war of worlds all week across social media.

World Champion Francisco Sanchez Ruiz, who has been recovering from a surgery from before the US Open, met a buoyant Sanjin Pehlivanovic on table one. The Bosnian, having beaten Aleksa Pecelj and Naoyuki Oi, could make a late run for Mosconi Cup contention having  beaten the WNT #1 10-5.

The 20-year-old Filipino sensation Kyle Amoroto announced himself onto the world stage earlier in the week in beating Shane Van Boening, following up with a 10-5 win over US Open finalist Aloysius Yapp to set-up a tasty encounter with Ko Ping Chung.

Sharks International Open and Peri Open finalist Michael Feliciano is the other quarter-finalist representing the Philippines, having beaten Brunei’s Ahmad Taufiq – after a magnificent debut week to remember at a Matchroom major event.

European Open champion David Alcaide was the victor over the third Filipino in the last 1, with Lee Van Corteza bowing out to Team Europe’s Mosconi Cup star.

Albin Ouschan is the other European still in contention against Shaw and Pehlivanovic, who has overturned his 2023 form to reach the final eight after a 10-6 win over Greece’s Alex Kazakis.

Hanoi Open Quarter-Finals

Fedor Gorst v Jayson Shaw

Sanjin Pehlivanovic v Michael Feliciano

David Alcaide v Albin Ouschan

Ko Ping Chung v Kyle Amoroto

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