Noel Malicdem appears in the second leg of a Filipino double bill at the World Championship.

Malicdem will take on Rowby-John Rodriguez for a spot in the second round. The tie succeeds Lourence Ilagan’s meeting with Cristo Reyes, which is previewed right here. Click here for the full PDC World Championship tournament schdule.

Facts and figures

Match time/date: 14:30, December 17

Head-to-head record: First meeting

Previous meeting: N/A

Best major performance this season: Last 160, UK Open (Rodriguez); N/A (Malicdem)

Previous PDC World Championship appearances: Rodriguez 4, Malicdem 1

Best PDC World Championship performance: Second Round, 2019 (Rodriguez); Second Round, 2019 (Malicdem)

Pieter Verbeek/PV-Darts

Photo: Pieter Verbeek/PV-Darts

Preview

Rowby-John Rodriguez has played in one match in a PDC major this year. He lost in the first round to an amateur qualifier, almost started a brawl afterwards, and went home without picking up any prize money. If anyone needs a strong World Championship, it’s the young Austrian.

The middle Rodriguez child broke a duck last year, finally winning a match at the Ally Pally. He did it in some style too, seeing off Ricky Evans before Cristo Reyes stopped him in his tracks. But this year, apart from a quarter-final at a European Tour event in his home country, the 25-year-old has been largely anonymous. The bags of promise he had when bursting onto the scene at a young age haven’t materialised.

From one player in a set of three, we hop to another. Noel Malicdem’s nickname is the Gentle Giant, just like Gabriel Clemens, and pretty much akin to The Gentle, a.k.a Mensur Suljovic. The Filipino isn’t quite at their level, but did a superb job again on the Asian Tour, finishing second only to compatriot Ilagan. The 42-year-old now get a return to the Ally Pally, having thoroughly enjoyed his debut. Trailing 2-1 in sets to Jeffrey de Graaf in what was at that point a very low-quality affair, Malicdem found a couple of new gears to win six of the last seven legs and prevail 3-2. He actually performed better in his second round defeat to Kyle Anderson. Malicdem has the ability to cause problems.

Whoever comes out on top here will party with Snakebite, Peter Wright, in round two.

Prediction

Could we see two Filipino players in the second round of the PDC World Championship? It’d be a huge moment for the nation, and after backing Ilagan to beat Reyes, we’re also plumping for Malicdem. He has every right to be confident going into this, and Rodriguez so often goes missing in TV events. Rowby-John Rodriguez 1-3 Noel Malicdem is definitely a prediction that could make us look daft later, but we’re willing to take that risk.

Pieter Verbeek/PV-Darts

Photo: Pieter Verbeek/PV-Darts

Tags: , , , ,

Author: Ed McCosh