Nine more Filipino billiard masters earned slots in the knockout phase of the World 9-Ball Championships in Doha, Qatar.
Legendary Efren “Bata” Reyes, Marlon Manalo, Mark Anthony, Carlo Biado, Jeff de Luna, Ramil Gallego, Alex Pagulayan, Raymund Faraon and Lee Van Cortez scored victories in the losers’ bracket to advance to the 64-man main draw.
Reyes ousted Jeong Young of South Korea (9-4), Manalo defeated Sniegocki Mateusz of Poland (9-4), Biado defeated Jason Klatt of Canada (9-7), Anthony defeated Marc Claramunt of Spain (9-7), de Luna defeated Philip Reilly of Austria (9-5), Gallego defeated Radoslaw Babica of Poland (9-6), Pagulayan defeated Han Hao Xiang of China (9-3), Faraon defeated Li Hewen of China (9-7) and Corteza defeated Salah Al Rimawi of Kuwait (9-4).
Former titlist Francisco Bustamante absorbed a 6-9 beating at the hands of Thorsten Hohmann of Germany.
Dennis Orcollo, Antonio Gabica, Israel Rota and Marlon Caneda were the first qualifiers after sweeping their assignments in the elimination round of the tournament sanctioned by the World Pool-Billiards Association.
In the knockout stage, Gabica battles will go against Nguyen Anh Tuan of Vietnam, Reyes against Nick Van den Berg of the Netherlands, and Pagulayan takes against Mika Immonen of Finland.
“They always think I will win and if I don’t win it’s no good to them. Too much pressure out there. Maybe if I can win a few matches I’m gonna play good without pressure but now, too much,” said Reyes.
The other first-round matches are Caneda versus Karl Boyes of Great Britain, Rota versus Anthony, Faraon versus Lo Li Wen of Taiwan, Corteza versus Manuel Gama of Portugal, de Luna versus Niels Feijen of the Netherlands, Orcollo versus Cheng Yu Hsuan of Taiwan, Gallego versus Enrique Rojas of Chile, Biado versus Ralf Souquet of Germany, and Manalo versus Omar Al Shaheen of Kuwait.
All first-round games were scheduled on Wednesday.
EMIL C. NOGUERA