Unheralded Filipino cue master Johann Chua failed to sustain his momentum as he faltered in the semifinals of the 46th All Japan Championship in Hyogo, Japan.
Chua absorbed a thrilling 11-10 loss to Chang Jung-Lin of Taiwan in the Final Four. He made it to the semifinals by ousting former world champion Mika Immonen of FInland in the quarterfinals (11-8), Kwok C Ho of Hong Kong in the Last 16 (11-10), Hanawa Keisuke of Japan in the Last 32 (11-8) and Tanaka Yuya of Japan in the Last 64 (11-1).
Chua earned $4,500 consolation purse for reaching the semifinals.
Lee Van Corteza and Jeffrey Ignacio bowed out in the quarterfinals. Corteza also bowed to Chang, 11-3, while Ignacio succumbed to reigning Philippine Open titlist Thorsten Hohmann of Germany, 11-3.
The other Filipinos in the tournament were Alex Pagulayan, Carlo Biado, Francisco Bustamante, Dennis Orcollo, Efren “Bata” Reyes and Ramill Gallego. Pagulayan lost to Kitatani Yoshihiro of Japan in the Last 16 (9-11); Biado lost to Ko Pin-Yi of Taiwan in the Last 16 (9-11); Bustamante lost to Nishio Tasuku of Japan in the Last 64 (9-11); Orcollo lost to Takano Tomoo of Japan in Last 64 (6-11); Reyes lost to Noda Masanouri of Japan in the Last 64 (3-11); and Gallego lost to Kawabata Satoshi of Japan in the Last 64 (9-11).
Ko Pin-Yi defeated Chang in the finals 11-10 to pocket the $18,000 top purse. Chang settled for $9,000.
EMIL C. NOGUERA