Five Filipino cue masters toppled their respective foes to advance to the fourth round of the Derby City Classic 9-Ball Pool Championship on Friday at the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino in Elizabeth, Indiana, United States.
Former World 9-Ball champion Francisco Bustamante, fresh from winning the Derby City Classic 9-Ball Bank Championship two days ago, ousted Tommy Stephenson to lead the march of the Philippine contingent.
Also earning spots in the next round were Carlo Biado, Johann Chua, Lee Vann Corteza and Ramon Mistica.
Biado outplayed Calvin Gulley, Chua blasted Shinsuke Maki, Corteza defeated compatriot Roberto Gomez and Mistica trounced Devin Poteet.
In the fourth round, Corteza will be up against James Blackburn, who beat Steve Fleming while Mistica takes on Can Salim, who clobbered James Davis Jr.
Bustamante, Biado and Chua are still awaiting their fourth-round opponents.
Five more Filipinos are vying for spots in the fourth round.
Last year’s Derby City Classic Master of the Table winner Alex Pagulayan battles Mark Coats, Dennis Orcollo tackles Robert Martin, Ramil Gallego fights Justin Bergman, and two-time Derby City Classic 9-Ball Pool titlist Efren Reyes faces 2015 Derby City Classic 9-Ball Pool champion Warren Kiamco.
There are five events in the Derby City Classic.
Besides the 9-Ball Pool Championship, the other events are One-Pocket Challenge, Straight Pool Challenge, 9-Ball Bank (topped by Bustamante) and Bigfoot 10-Ball Challenge dominated by Jayson Shaw of Scotland.
The player with the most number of points after the five events will be hailed as the Master of the Table and will pocket a whopping $20,000 cash prize.
Reyes holds the most number of Master of the Table crowns with five (1999, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2010) while Pagulayan (2015 and 2016) and Bustamante got two each (2008 and 2013).
The other Filipinos who earned the same feat are Dennis Orcollo (2014) and Jose Parica (2002).
EMIL C. NOGUERA