PH’s Corteza cruises into knockout stage

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Veteran international campaigner Lee Vann Corteza earned a spot in the knockout phase after topping the group stage of the 77th World 14.1 Straight Pool Championship being held at the Steinway Billiards in New York City.

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Corteza got the top seeding following his 6-1 win-loss card in Group 2.

On the final day of elimination, Corteza toppled Americans Tom Karabotsos via an impressive 100-18 decision and James Heller by virtue of another sterling 100-15 victory.

Corteza, the reigning US Open 14.1 Straight Pool champion, earlier blasted Americans Jorge Rodriguez (100-36), Bob Coates (100-45) and John Schott (100-0), and Rhys Chen of Jamaica (100-69).

The Filipino cue master suffered his lone defeat at the hands of four-time World 14.1 Straight Pool champion Thorsten Hohmann of Germany (45-100) in the second day of the tournament sanctioned by the World Pool-Billiard Association.

Hohmann and Hernandez both ended the elimination round with the same 6-1 cards.

But the two players wound up second and third, respectively, when the quotient system applied.

Heller was fourth with 4-3 while Schott, Karabotsos and Chen were in fifth with 2-5 each.

Without a win in seven games, Coates has been eliminated in the tournament.

Leading Group 1 were Del Sim of Scotland (7-0), defending champion Mike Immonen of Finland (6-1), and Americans Danny Hariman (5-2) and Robert Magdejilan (4-3) while Darren Appleton of Great Britain (7-0), and Americans Tony Robles (6-1) and Hunter Lumbardo (5-2), and Olli Turkulainen of Finland (3-4) bannered the qualifiers in Group 3.

American Max Eberle, undefeated in seven outings, led Group 4 along with Americans John Schmidt (6-1), Jonni Fulcher (4-3), Danny Barouty (4-3) and Sean Morgan (4-3).

In the knockout stage, Corteza as well as Appleton, Schmidt, Hohmann, Immonen, Robles, Sim and Eberle hold a first-round bye.

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