Pool: Singapore’s Aloysius Yapp, Toh Lian Han through to World Cup final after beating USA 9-3

SINGAPORE – They are teammates, friends, coach and student, and on Sunday June 19 they made Singapore history at the World Cup of Snooker.

Aloysius Yapp, 26, and Toh Lian Han, 50, continued their fairy tale run at the Brentwood Center in Essex, England, beating second-seeded American duo world No. 1 Shane van Boening and 56th-ranked Skyler Woodward, 9-3 in the semifinals.

The sixth-seeded Singaporeans will face Spain’s fourth-seeded Francisco Sanchez Ruiz (world No. 5) and David Alcaide (No. 18) in the final later on Sunday. The winners will pocket US$60,000 (S$83,440).

Republic’s best finish at the event was a quarter-final in 2007, when Toh and Chan Keng Kwang were partners.

World number 7 Yapp said: “We are honored to achieve a historic finish for Singapore. It is great to play alongside my coach Lian Han against some of the best players in the world.

“There have been ups and downs and sometimes we have been lucky, while other times things have gone against us. We have learned to try to keep our composure and our focus, and we hope to continue to make Singapore proud.”

It’s the second time he and world number 68 Toh have knocked out former world champions this week, having beaten 2012 winners Finland 9-6 in the quarter-finals.

They played nearly a clear round to defeat the Americans, who won late to start the game. But a poor push from Woodward allowed Toh to play good safety to induce a foul as Singapore mopped up the remaining balls to draw first blood.

With this 9-ball event featuring an alternating shot and winning break format, it allows a team to achieve an extended run to the table.

Singapore did just that as Yapp and Toh broke well – pocketing two balls on each break – and missed the next three frames to establish a 4-0 lead.

Toh then scratched ball 5 while trying to play for ball 6 position to get the Americans back in the game.

Van Boening and Woodward, the 2008 champions who beat Yapp and Toh in the first round of the 2017 (7-0) and 2018 (7-5) editions, then recovered two frames but failed to build significant momentum afterwards.

Either they didn’t have clear shots after their breaks or they missed routine pots.

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