(From Luke Riches of Matchroom Sport -- Bob)
2004 Taiwan World Pool Championship
Sunday 18th July
World Trade Center, Taipei
Alex Pagulayan (Canada) 17 - 13 Pei-wei Chang (Chinese Taipei)
Canada's Alex Pagulayan, a runner-up last year, is the 2004 Taiwan World
Pool Champion after a marvellous come from behind 17 - 13 victory over
local hope Pei-wei Chang.
Pagulayan, who trailed 10 - 4 at one stage, put in a superb performance
as he came on strong down the home straight to get the better of Chang.
Chang, who was an unfancied player from a country that boasts the likes
of Chao, Yang and Hsia, looked good in the early stages as he made the
most of a solid break and some positive potting.
Pagulayan, though, who has had more second place finishes than he cares
to remember, was patient though as he sat in his chair and waited for
That came when he was 13 - 11 down and Chang played too loose a push out
shot from which Pagulayan pocketed the 1 ball.
"This is my first beer in two weeks," he smiled at his post-match press
conference. "The best beer I've ever had."
"The TV break before the last rack felt like an hour - I wanted to get
it over with, I couldn't take any more pressure! This was the game I've
been waiting to win my whole life."
"I couldn't sleep at all last night, I was thinking about Pei-Wei all
the time," said the effervescent Filipino-Canadian before adding dryly,
"Well, he's so good-looking!"
"I was in the zone in the semi-final but felt like something was missing
at the start. All my good friends had been saying, 'You're going to win'
so that was extra pressure.
"I was cold and I needed to get in stroke. It didn't happen until 11-5.
It feels twice as good to win from behind, picking off racks like
cherries one at a time.
"I wasn't getting any luck on the break early on so I switched to the
soft break when I was 11-7 down. I just had to change something, but
once I'd started to make a few run-outs, I went back to the hard break,
because soft breaking is bad TV I didn't want people saying I won
because of it.
"The key shot was Pei-Wei's miss on the 2-ball when he was up 11-7. I
was thinking, 'Punish him, punish him.'
"From there I got it to 11-11 but missed an easy 2-ball and I wanted to
kill myself... with a shotgun so it would be over quick!"
Asked about what he plans to spend his $75,000 first prize, Pagulayan
joked, "Are there any ***s round here?" before admitting that he
would use $30,000 dollars to clear debts.
"I actually had a large side bet on myself to win the event, " he added.
"I'd practised so hard, did not drink at all and I felt that after
reaching the final last year, this was my time."
Pagulayan had defeated four Chinese Taipei players in the knockout
phase, and placed them second-only to the Filipinos as the most
dangerous players in the world.
"They are lovely players to watch. I've played money matches
against them before and I've never beaten any of them!"
His defeated opponent Chang was disappointed but said he was
pleased to reach the final.
"I was among the worst in group play, he said, "so to get this
far was good, but I thought I would win today. But when I went
ahead in the match, my mind was racing instead of concentrating
on the table."
Chang was delighted with his $35,000 prize and was already making
plans to open up a new business and make a down-payment on a