Promising cue masters Johann Chua and Jundel Mazon ousted their respective fancied rivals to arrange an all-Filipino finals in the 2017 All Japan 10-Ball Championship being held in Hyogo, Japan.
The 22-year old Chua stamped his class over Asano Masato of Japan in the Round-of-16 (11-4) then followed it up with a thrilling 11-10 victory over compatriot Jeffrey Ignacio in the quarterfinals and an impressive 11-2 win over Asian Indoor Games gold medalist Liu Hai Tao of China in the semifinals.
Earlier, Chua defeated Hsieh Chia-Chen of Taiwan in the first round (11-8) and Kasper Kristoffersen of Germany in the second round (11-1) of the tournament sanctioned by the World Pool-Billiard Association and organized by the Japan Pool-Billiard Association.
Chua, who is gunning for his first major title this year, won a runner-up trophy in the 2017 Super Billiards Expo Players Championship in March, and posted three third-place finishes in the World Pool Series-High Rock Challenge, World Pool Series-Molinari Players Championship and Inaugural Scotty Townsend 10-Ball Championship.
Mazon earned a spot in the finals by trouncing three Taiwanese players including veteran campaigner Ko Ping-Chung in the Last 16 via an 11-6 decision.
He survived Cheng Yu-Hsuan in the quarterfinals (11-10) before posting an 11-8 win over Chang Yu-Long in the semifinals.
Mazon also defeated Katsuji Teruya of Japan in the first round (11-10) and Ko Seng Ann of South Korea in the second round (11-5).
Not as fortunate were Warren Kiamco, Lee Vann Corteza and Antonio Lining, who were booted out in their respective Round-of-16 matches.
Kiamco suffered a 7-11 loss to Liu, Corteza absorbed a close 9-11 decision to Chang and Lining bowed to De Luna, 3-11.
They will be joining legendary cue masters Efren “Bata” Reyes and Francisco “Django” Bustamante as well as Raymund Faraon, Mark Mendoza, Carlo Biado, Ramil Gallego, Elvis Perez and Hushley Jusayan in the sideline.
EMIL C. NOGUERA