THE best piece of news that I have received this holiday season is an official notice from the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) that it has approved the Philippines’ proposal to organize and host the 2018 World Pool Championship for men and women in Manila on October 1 to 7.
Mr. Ian Anderson, the WPA president, relayed to me the happy news by e-mail, just a day after the WPA concluded the world nine-ball pool championship in Doha, Qatar. So far as the world association is concerned, it’s all systems go for the world pool championship in Manila in October 2018.
This special news follows on the heels of the splendid one-two finish by Filipino players at the Qatar championship on December 9-15. The world title was won by Carlo Biado, who also won the gold medal earlier in the World Games in Poland in August 2017.
Men and women championships together
Check out the schedule in the WPA calendar online. The WPA’s 2018 official calendar lists all the tournaments that will be staged next year under the sanction and supervision of pool ‘s governing body.
For the first time, the WPA will hold the for men and women in October 2018 men’s and women’s world pool championships at the same time (Oct 1-7) and in the same place (Manila). This is a first in the history of the world championship. And the Philippines will be the first to make it happen.
When the double world championship unfurls in October 2018, it will be the single biggest tournament in the WPA calendar, which covers the entire globe.
The 2018 world championship is projected by WPA to bring as many as 300 men and women players from over 35 countries to Manila to compete for top honors. Tourists in the thousands are also expected to flock for the tournament in Manila.
The top regions of the world, notably Europe. North and South America, the Middle East, Oceania, Asia and Asean are all active in the international pool circuit.
WPA officials will come to Manila to direct and supervise the tournament. International referees will also be on hand to call the matches.
The championships will be fully televised nationally and internationally. Every match will also be video-streamed so that fans can watch the games on their computers,and even on their mobile phones.
Signing of sanction agreement
Mr. Ian Anderson will be coming to Manila on January 23 to 25 for the formal signing of the sanction agreement covering the 2018 world pool championship.
During his visit, he will lead a media conference wherein he will formally announce the sports event to the nation and the world.
The world pool championship will use the discipline of 10-ball, the toughest game in pool and the game of choice of top pool players.
Ten-ball international competition was introduced by WPA in Manila in 2008, when the world championship was played at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC). The pool governing body wrote a special set of rules for the discipline, and top players like Germany’s Ralf Souquet helped in fashioning the rules.
Since then, the rules have been toughened even more.
The world championship will be hosted and organized by the Billiards and Snooker Congressofthe Philippines, the national sports association (NSA) for billiards in the country. It is the recognized and registered Philippine member of the WPA.
Event management and promotions will be handled by Raya Sports, the organizer of the first world championship in Manila in 2006, and four other international tournaments.
Campaigning for sponsors
Work has now started tobook enough sponsorship from the public and private sectors to ensure the successful hosting of the championship by the Philippines. Neither sector should be asked to defray the cost of organizing world pool alone.
The campaign to book sponsorsorships will be launched early in the new year.
As the venue for the tournament, the organizers are tapping the Megatrade Hall of the SM Megamall to serve as the temporary home of the week-long competition.
Megamall has been picked because it is centrally located in Metro Manila. It is accessible by various means of transportation, including the Metro Rail Transit (MRT).
Megamall is in close proximity to top hotels that can eminently provide accommodations to the players and pool officials.
The mall also houses a wide array of shops and restaurants. There are also other major malls nearMegamall—Shangri-la Plaza and Robinson’s.
Let Biado et al play before their countrymen
A major objective of the world pool organizers is to enable Carlo Biado and other top Filipino pool players play for the championship in front of their countrymen.
It’s been thedream of the great Manny Pacquiao to fight for a boxing title here at home,buthe has been denied the chance.
Carlo Biado will have the exceptional opportunity to play for another world championship in his homeland, barely a year after his epic triumph in Qatar.
Don’t forget the women players. National women’s champion Cheka Centeno is ranked No. 5 in the world. She could also go all the way.
Not to forget,in 2006, the country and the whole world saw Ronnie Alcano beat Ralf Souquet of Germany to win the world title.