Four veteran Filipino cue masters led by former world champion Dennis Orcollo marched into the Last 16 of the World Pool Series First Leg – The Molinari Players Championship on Monday at the Steinway Billiards in Astoria Queens in New York City, US.
Orcollo, the 2011 World 8-Ball Championship winner, proved too much against Indian Raj Hundal via a 13-5 demolition in the tournament sanctioned by the World Pool-Billiard Association.
Also earning spots in the next round are Lee Vann Cortez, Johann Chua and Carlo Biado, who survived their respective opponents.
Corteza outplayed Nick Ekonomopuolos of Greece (13-8), Chua hurdled past American Rodney Morris (13-11) and Biado stopped the late comeback of Mark Gray of Great Britain (13-11).
Not as fortunate are Alex Pagulayan and Ramil Gallego who lost in their third-round games.
Pagulayan suffered a heartbreaking 12-13 loss to American Billy Thorpe while Gallego also experienced the same fate when he bowed to veteran Mika Immonen of Ireland, 12-13.
Orcollo and Corteza will be gunning for quarterfinal slots as they face Thorpe and Immonen, respectively.
On the other hand, Chua battles Jayson Shaw of Great Britain; a 13-9 winner over Stephan Cohen of France while Biado tackles Oi Naoyuki of Japan, who posted a 13-9 victory over Imran Majid of Great Britain.
Francisco Bustamante and Israel Rota were the first Filipino casualties in the event which offers $20,000 to the champion and $8,500 to the runner-up.
Bustamante lost to Vilmos Foldes of Hungary in the opening round, 11-13, while Rota scored a 13-3 win over American Ron Mason in the first round but lost to American Brandon Shuff in the next round, 11-13.
After the first leg, the World Pool Series will stage its Second Leg – Aramith Masters Championship on April 4 to 7. The Third Leg – Ryo Rack Classic Championship will be on July 12 to 15 while the
Grand Finale – Predator World Series Championship is slated on September 27 to October 1.