Ten veteran cue masters have secured spots in the knockout stage of the prestigious 2016 World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) World 9-Ball Championship being held at the Al Arabi Sports Club Sports Club in Doha, Qatar.
Former world champions Alex Pagulayan and Dennis Orcollo scored contrasting victories in their respective do-or-die games in the $200,000 tournament, which offers $40,000 to the champion and $20,000 to the runner-up.
Pagulayan, the 2004 World 9-Ball titlist, stamped his class over Luong Chi Dong of Vietnam with an easy 9-4 victory while the 2011 World 8-Ball champion Orcollo hurdled past Christian Goetmann of Germany, 9-7.
Also earning tickers to the main draw are Jeffrey Ignacio, Roberto Gomez, Jeffrey De Luna, Carlo Biado, Johan Chua, Warren Kiamco, Ramil Gallego and Lee Vann Corteza.
Ignacio ousted Francis Crevier of Canada, 9-7; Gomez clobbered Francisco Sanchez of Spain, 9-3; De Luna outclassed Naoyuki Oi of Japan, 9-1; Biado survived Hayato Hijikata of Japan, 9-8; Chua outplayed Petri Makkonen of Finland, 9-4; Kiamco stunned Oliver Ortmann of Germany, 9-7; Gallego toppled Imran Majid of Great Britain, 9-6; and Corteza defeated Abdulla Al Shemmari of Saudi Arabia, 9-7.
Not as lucky were 2006 Doha Asian Games gold medalist Antonio Gabica, Francisco Felicilda and Rogelio Sotero, who were booted out in the respective do-or-die games.
Gabica lost to Daryl Peach of Great Britain, 7-9; Felicilda succumbed to Shane Van Boening of US, 3-9; and Sotero bowed to Salah Eldeen Al Remawib of United Arab Emirates, 5-9.
In the main draw, Orcollo battles Thorsten Hohmann of Germany while Pagulayan faces Irsal Nasution of Indonesia.
The other pairings are Ignacio versus Albin Ouschan of Austria, Chua versus Artem Koshovoj of Ukraine, Gallego versus Biado, De Luna versus Nikos Ekomonopoulos of Greece, Kiamco versus Van Boening, Corteza versus Yu Cheng of Taiwan and Gomez versus Dang Jin of China.