Nine more Filipino cue masters earned slots in the knockout phase of the prestigious World 9-Ball Championships being held at the Al Arabi Sports Club 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 blasted Sniegocki Mateusz of Poland (9-4), Biado survived Jason Klatt of Canada (9-7), Anthony outplayed Marc Claramunt of Spain (9-7), de Luna nipped Philip Reilly of Austria (9-5), Gallego defeated Radoslaw Babica of Poland (9-6), Pagulayan outclassed Han Hao Xiang of China (9-3), Faraon toppled Li Hewen of China (9-7) and Corteza trounced Salah Al Rimawi of Kuwait (9-4).
Not as lucky was former titlist Francisco Bustamante who absorbed a 6-9 beating at the hands of Thorsten Hohmann of Germany.
Dennis Orcollo, Antonio Ga-bica, 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-Billiard Association.
In the knockout stage, Gabica battles Nguyen Anh Tuan of Vietnam, Reyes faces Nick Van den Berg of the Netherlands, and Pagulayan takes on 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.