Four Filipino cue masters made it to the knockout stage of the prestigious World 9-Ball Championships being held at the Al Arabi Sports Club in Doha, Qatar.
Former world champion Dennis Orcollo and Antonio Gabica advanced to the next round by whipping Tomasz Kaplan of Poland, 9-4, and Dominic Jentsch of Germany, 9-7, respectively.
Joining them are unheralded Israel Rota and Marlon Caneda.
Rota clobbered Abdullah Al Yousef, 9-5, while Canedo routed Nick Ekonomopoulos of Greece, 9-0, in the tournament sanctioned by the World Pool-Billiard Association.
Ten more Pinoy artists will be vying for slots in the 64-man knockout phase when they play in their respective do-or-die matches in the losers’ bracket.
Efren Reyes faces Jeong Young of South Korea, Marlon Manalo meets Sniegocki Mateusz of Poland, Carlo Biado tackles Jason Klatt of Canada, Mark Antony takes on Marc Claramunt of Spain, Jeffery De Luna battles Philip Reilly of Austria, Ramil Gallego fights Radoslaw Babica of Poland, Alex Pagulayan collides with Han Hao Xiang of China, Francisco Bustamante fights Thorsten Hohmann of Germany, Raymund Faraon clashes with Li Hewen of China and Lee Van Corteza plays Salah Al Rimawi of Kuwait.
A total of $250,000 cash prize is at stake with the champion getting $36,000 and the runner-up taking home $18,000. EMIL C. NOGUERA