AMERICA’S Shane Van Boening’s long wait continues. For the second successive year, he reached the final of the World 9-Ball Pool Championship, only to stumble.
But unlike last year, when he put up a gritty display before losing 11-13 to Chinese Taipei’s Ko Pin Yi in the final, he bowed out without a semblance of fight this time.
The 6-13 defeat to Albin Ouschan was a bitter pill to swallow for the 33-year-old.
“I think I ran out of gas. It just wasn’t my day,” rued Van Boening.
Perhaps, he was too exhausted after his gripping 11-9 semifinal win over Chinese Taipei’s Cheng Yu Hsuan.
The difference between the two finalists was palpable.
After his comprehensive11-4 victory against Alex Pagulayan in the semifinal, Ouschan went back to the hotel, took a breather, had a bite and his mind was free. On the other hand, Van Boening, barely took two minutes off and headed straight for the practice table, where he was seen fine-tuning his skills just moments before the final started.
“I had a bad start and made a couple of mistakes. I tried to fight my way back, but it was too late. By that time, Albin (Ouschan) had got a big lead and then he started to run away with each rack. At that point, there was nothing much I could do,” added Van Boening.
The last American to win a World 9-Ball Pool title was Earl Strickland in 2002. Van Boening hopes to be lucky the third time and thus break the American jinx.
“Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to make it to another final here and win the world title. I’m just here to have fun. It isn’t about the money. I’m just going to do the best I can. I don’t feel the pressure from American fans. I’ve won other tournaments like the World Cup of Pool, World Pool Masters and US Open. This was just another event,” he added.