Seven Filipino cue masters led by World Games champion Carlo Biado and All-Japan winner Johann Chua barged into the second round in their respective groups in the 2017 World 9-Ball Championship being held at the Al Arabi Sports Club in Doha, Qatar.
Biado toppled Xu Xiao Cong of China, 9-6, in Group 13 while Chua outclassed Hassan Zeraatgar of Iran, 9-4, in Group 2 of the event sanctioned by the World Pool-Billiard Association.
Also marching into the second round were Francisco Felicilda, Jeffrey De Luna, Warren Kiamco, Jeffrey Ignacio and Roland Garcia.
Felicilda survived Jorge Llanos of Argentina (9-8) in Group 1, De Luna clobbered Mohamed El Raousti of Algeria (9-1) in Group 3, Kiamco blasted Jason Theron of South Africa (9-3) in Group 4, Ignacio beat American Robert Hart (9-3) in Group 4 and Garcia trounced Aayush Kumar of India (9-6) in Group 7.
They need to win one more game to advance to the knockout stage of the $200,000 tournament which offers $30,000 to the champion and $15,000 to the runner-up.
Biado battles Richard Halliday of South Africa while Chua takes on Jalal Al Sarisi of Venezuela.
Felicilda goes up against Chang Jung-Lin of Taiwan, De Luna faces Muzammil Hussain of Qatar, Kiamco fights Konstantin Stepanov of Russia, Ignacio tackles Dang Jinhu of China, and Garcia meets Maximiliamn Lechner of Austria.
Former World 9-Ball champion Alex Pagulayan and Israel Rota were not as lucky in the their first-round games.
Pagulayan lost to Akagariyama Yukio of Japan (8-9) while Rota succumbed to Chieh Liu Cheng of Taiwan (6-9).
Pagulayan and Rota must win their remaining games to earn spots in the knockout stage.