Italy replace Phillipines in World Cup of Darts

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The Philippines team have withdrawn from the Betfair World Cup of Darts, and will be replaced by Italy for the event in Hamburg from February 1-3.

The pairing of Lourence Ilagan and Christian Perez have pulled out of the three-day, £150,000 event due to travel problems.

Their place in the Group Stage draw will be take by Italy’s Daniele Petri and Matteo Dal Monte.

The duo will take the Philippines’ place in Group D alongside Wales and Spain for the Group Stage of the tournament, which begins on Friday February 1 at the Alsterdorfer Sporthalle in Hamburg.

The tournament begins with a round-robin Group Stage, which will be played on Friday afternoon and evening and in Saturday’s afternoon session.

The lower-ranked nations will compete in the opening group games in the afternoon session on Friday, with the losers of the opening games playing the seeded nation in the second games on Friday evening.

The seeded nation will then play the winners of the opening game in the final group match on Saturday afternoon, before the top two nations from each group progress to the knockout Last 16 on Saturday night.

The Quarter-Finals will be held on Sunday afternoon, with the Semi-Finals and Final taking place on Sunday evening.

England’s Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis, the reigning champions, will play Austrian pair Mensur Suljovic and Maik Langendorf and Japan’s Haruki Muramatsu and Sho Katsumi in Group A.

The Netherlands’ Raymond van Barneveld and Michael van Gerwen, the number two seeds, were drawn with Gibraltar’s Dyson Parody and Dylan Duo and Poland’s Krzysztof Kciuk and Krzysztof Ratajski.

Australia’s Simon Whitlock and Paul Nicholson, the number three seeds and last year’s runners-up, will face old rivals New Zealand – represented by Phil Hazel and Craig Caldwell – as well as Croatia’s Robert Marijanovic and Tonci Restovic in Group G.

Number four seeds Scotland, represented by Gary Anderson and Robert Thornton, face a tough task in Group C against Canada’s John Part and Jeff Smith and the Swedish pair of Magnus Caris and Par Riihonen.

2010 finalists Wales, the number five seeds who will be represented by Mark Webster and Richie Burnett, will meet Spanish pair Antonio Alcinas and Carlos Rodriguez – the semi-finalists in the inaugural event – and Italian debutants Daniele Petri and Matteo Dal Monte.

Northern Ireland’s Brendan Dolan and Michael Mansell, the number six seeds, were drawn with Belgian siblings Kim and Ronny Huybrechts and Hungary’s Nandor Bezzeg and Meszaros Zsolt.

Host nation Germany, the number seven seeds who will be represented by Jyhan Artut and Andree Welge, were drawn with Finland’s Jani Haavisto and Jarkko Komula and the American pairing of Darin Young and Larry Butler.

The Republic of Ireland’s William O’Connor and Connie Finnan, the number eight seeds, were drawn against Denmark’s Per Laursen and Jann Hoffmann and South Africa’s Charl Pietersen and Shawn Hogan.

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