Anton Raga and David Alcaide will contest the 2023 European Open Pool Championship final in Fulda, Germany live on Sky Sports in the UK, Tap GO in the Philippines, Sport 1 in Germany, DAZN in the USA, and networks worldwide from 6pm local time. (CEST).
Joshua Filler 9-11 Anton Raga
Shane Van Boening 7-11 David Alcaide
Home favourite Joshua Filler took on Raga in what promised to be an epic battle, and it didn't disappoint. Filler, buoyed by the home crowd, made the quicker start to lead at the first commercial break 3-0 before Raga took the fourth from him to get on the scoreboard for the first time. In the sixth rack at 3-2 up, Filler looked to be in muddy waters with the cue ball tucked behind the nine when going for the seven, but that didn't deter him as the German made a 7-8 combo to establish a two-rack lead again.
Filler knew a deep run would aide his Mosconi Cup automatic selection hopes, with the 2022 Cuetec MVP taking further control at 6-2 to be over the halfway mark for the 11 for victory. A carom on the nine from Raga in the 11th rack proved vital towards the comeback trail to be one behind at 6-5. Raga still knew he was up against it with the sold-out crowd craving a Filler win, but he was undeterred as he got on level terms for the first time for 6-6 and then 7-7.
Despite Filler's early flow, Raga was proving tough to shake off, and the Filipino, making his maiden Matchroom major berth, was there to upset the apple cart taking a 9-7 lead to be two from victory. Raga reached the hill first at 10-9, and a run out from the Dragon secured a memorable victory that sees him take on the biggest challenge of his career tonight in Alcaide.
A battle of two of the stars of the last 15 years of pool was next up for a spot in the final, with Shane Van Boening tasked with stopping David Alcaide from reaching a first major final since his 2019 World Pool Masters glory whilst the former was hoping to put to bed the heartbreak of defeat to Albin Ouschan in last year's final.
Fresh off the back of beating close friend and World Cup of Pool winning partner, Francisco Sanchez Ruiz, Alcaide came out firing to take the opening three racks off Van Boening. The momentum from Alcaide continued to a 5-1 lead leaving his American counterpart well and truly grounded.
Every time, Van Boening tried to establish himself in the contest, Alcaide shut him down, and it was a familiar woe of untimely scratches from Van Boening that was proving to be the undoing in his armour. Alcaide had amassed an 8-3 lead by the time Van Boening got some real table time to counteract, and he did so for 8-4, only to see his efforts of a 3-4 combo at the start of the 13th rack go astray and bring Alcaide in to be two away from the final.
At 10-5, Van Boening fouled by touching the seven when airborne, and with ball in hand, Alcaide raced to the hill. Van Boening got two back on the board but it was curtains for him in the final rack after a scratch then a loose kick shot brought the cue ball right on point for Alcaide to settle matters for the W.
Match Schedule (CEST)
Final - Anton Raga (PHI) vs David Alcaide - Race to 13
13 August – 6 pm – 9 pm
Outright betting markets priced up Alcaide at 11/1 to win the tournament from the Last 16 stage with Raga at 9/1.
Live rack-by-rack scoring is available throughout the event at www.matchroompool.com thanks to our partners PRP.
UK and Ireland-based fans can see the final two days on Sky Sports with the opening four on Matchroom.Live and the Matchroom YouTube. Fans in the USA will be able to watch all six days live on DAZN whilst those in Scandinavia, the Baltics, Poland, and Netherlands can watch live on Viaplay.
Fans in the Philippines meanwhile will be able to sweat the action on TAP Go and those in Vietnam on VietContent channels. Those in Germany can see the final two days on Sport1.
Matt Lynch Matchroom Multi Sport