Marcus Chamat SWE faced a red hot Tony Drago MLT for the rights to move into the finals of the Predator International 10-Ball Championship. Chamat had already eliminated heavy hitters such as Immonen, Niels Feijen, and Defending Champion Shane Van Boening. Drago the night before kncoked out in thrilling 11-10 fashion Alex Pagulayan who was looking to do a trifecta this week.
The first game Chamat made a terrific carom kick shot one rail on the 10-ball. Dragon came back the next. Chamat eventually took control at 7-4. But Drago's persistance was overwhelming and his lightning fast game continued to shell shock the Swede as he took the next 7 games in a row to win 11-7.
In the next semi-finals match, USA's lone hope Jeremy Jones faced the dangerous Francisco Bustamante of Philippines. Jones made several unforced errors while Bustamante looked at ease running out. The more methotical Jones seemed out of sync with the 30 sec shot clock and was soon overwhelmed with the barrage of offense from Francisco. Jones would succumb 11-3 .
"I wish I would have had a TV match earlier this week. This table plays completely different than the others. A lot slower. I couln't place my cue ball properly," commented Jones after the match.
The final match was then set with Europe vs Asia as Drago takes on Bustamante.
Tony Drago of Malta, probably the fastest pool player in the world, found himself in the biggest finals of his life against probably the world's most dangerous player, Filipino nightmare Francisco Bustamante. Drago had won one pool event, a 16 man invitational called the World Pool Masters 5 years ago, but this event, The Predator International 10-Ball Championship with a field of 96 world class pros, was on a different scale.
The first few games the nerves were showing on both players as many chances were given to each. Drgao kept the upper hand throughout to maintain a small lead early on.
Bustamante never looked comfortable, as he has been cursed over the years as bridesmaid to many events including 2nd at the World 9-Ball Championships. Francisco was not controlling the cue ball properly, had missed kicks, and missed shots way before the middle of the finals.
Drago , despite some mistakes, was still maintaing some great run outs.
Bustamante had chances to tie and take leads as he trailed 7-5, 7-6, 8-7, then tied at 8-8. Drago regained lead at 9-8, 10-8, 11-8, and then Bustamante halted the run at 11-9. Drago took the game to get on the hill at 12-9 and made two razor thin cut shots down the rail at the speed of light it seemed, knowing victory was just seconds away. A final fist pump after receiving shape on the 10-ball, Bustamante threw in the towel before Drago could shoot the 10-ball and the two combatants embraced.
"I'm sorry to my fans for playing bad. But Drago shot well, but he's crazy! He shoots so fast...crazy! But thanks to the sponsors and Drago Promotions for this event." said the good natured Francisco.
"The money is great, but really this trophy is really what means the world to me. Beating a player like Francisco to win, that's very meaningful. I have to give myself some credit, I played well and hard to win this and beat players of this magnitude" said Drago after the match. "This is one of the most organized and well run events I've ever played in. Dragon Promotions has done a class job, and I'm happy to be playing in an event like this. I'm definitely going to be playing alot more events!"