‘Bata’ out as 5 compatriots enter World 9-Ball KO stage

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Five more Filipinos have secured places in the knockout stage while legendary cue master Efren “Bata” Reyes got booted out in the prestigious 2014 World 9-Ball Championships being held at the Al Saad Sports Club in Doha, Qatar.

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Ramil Gallego, Warren Kiamco, Francisco Felicilda, Alex Pagula–yan and Lee Vann Corteza survived their respective matches in the losers’ bracket.

Gallego toppled Michel Bartol of Croatia, 9-3, in Group 4; Kiamco outplayed Frailin Guanipa of Venezuela, 9-8, in Group 6; Felicilda ousted Ali Obaidly of Qatar, 9-6 in Group 12; Pagulayan trounced Ivica Putnik of Croatia, 9-8, in Group 15; and Corteza beat Emran Salem of United Arab Emirates, 9-4, in Group 16.

They will join early qualifiers 2014 runner-up Antonio Gabica, reigning World 10-Ball champion Dennis Orcollo, Carlo Biado, Raymund Faraon, Johann Chua, Jeffrey De Luna and Elmer Haya in the 64-man knockout stage.

Reyes, the 1999 World 9-Ball champion, absorbed the day’s biggest upset after a nerve-wracking 8-9 decision to Karl Boyes of England in their do-or-die match in Group 9.

Elvis Calasang and Israel Rota were the other casualties.

Calasang lost to Albin Ouschan of Austria, 0-9, in Group 10 and Rota bowed to Manuel Gama of Portugal, 7-9, in Group 14.

In the knockouts stage, a race-to-11 format will be employed until the semifinals. The final is a race-to-13 affair with the champion getting $30,000 and the runner-up receiving $15,000.

The first round of the knockout stage was scheduled on Wednesday night.

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