Three Filipino cue masters scored their second straight victories to earn spots in the knockout stage of the 2017 World 9-Ball Championship being held at the Al Arabi Sports Club in Doha, Qatar.
World Games champion Carlo Biado, Jeffrey Ignacio and Jeffrey De Luna wrapped up the group stage undefeated to secure berths in the main draw of the event sanctioned by the World Pool-Billiard Association with a $200,000 total cash prize.
Biado stamped his class over Richard Halliday of South Africa, 9-4, while Ignacio survived Dang Jinhu of China via 9-6 decision.
De Luna blasted Muzammil Hussain of Qatar, 9-3.
All-Japan winner Johann Chua, Francisco Felicilda, Warren Kiamco and Roland Garcia were relegated to the losers’ bracket after absorbing defeats in the second round of their respective groups.
Chua suffered a close 8-9 decision to unheralded Jalal Al Sarisi of Venezuela so was Felicilda who fell 8-9 to Taiwanese Chang Jung-Lin.
Kiamco lost to Konstantin Stepanov of Russia,7-9, while Garcia bowed to Maximilian Lechner of Austria, 5-9.
Chua, Felicilda, Kiamco and Garcia must win their final assignment to advance to the knockout stage of the tournament, which offers $30,000 to the champion and $15,000 to the runner-up.
Chua faces Maung Maung of Myanmar, Felicilda takes on Takhti Zarekani of Iran, Kiamco battles Teck Goh Chin of Singapore and Garcia tackles Mohammad Berjawi of Lebanon.
Israel Rota is also a win away of claiming a seat in the main draw.
He will meet Andre Lackner of Germany.
Former World 9-Ball champion Alex Pagulayan was the first Filipino casualty after losing 8-9 to Akagariyama Yukio of Japan in the first round and 7-9 to Berjawi in the second round.