Six Filipino cue masters made it to the tournament proper of the 2014 World 9-Ball Championships being held at the Al Saad Sports Club in Doha, Qatar.
Francisco Felicilda, Elvis Calasang, Elmer Haya and Ramil Gallego won in their respective matches in the qualifying round while Raymund Faraon and Warren Kiamco were given wild cards.
Felicilda defeated Ahamad Salah Aldulaimi of Kuwait (7-2), compatriot Benjie Gutierrez (7-6) and Ohi Naoyuki of Japan (7-6) while Calasang blasted Nizar Mohammed Al Tamimi of Jordan (7-4), Kuribayashi Tohru of Japan (7-4) and Zaid Al Shariti of Syria (7-0).
For his part, Haya clobbered Marc Claramunt of Spain (7-5), Hussein Abdulwahid of Iraq (7-3) and Meshaal Al Murdhi of Kuwait (7-3) while Gallego toppled Arita Hideaki of Japan (7-3), Chen Hsin Ting of Taiwan (7-4) and Abdulla Juma of United Arab Emirates (7-1).
They will join legendary cue masters Efren “Bata” Reyes, Francisco “Django” Bustamante, 2013 runner-up Antonio Gabica, Lee Vann Corteza, Dennis Orcollo, Carlo Biado and Jeffrey de Luna in the Group Stage beginning today.
The 128 players are will be divided to 16 groups. Each group has eight players.
The top four players in each group after the double-elimination round will advance to the knockout stage.
Some $200,000 in cash prize awaits the winners of the tournament sanctioned by the World Pool-Billiard Association. The champion gets $30,000 ang the runner-up takes home $15,000.