Pinoys notch early wins in World 9-Ball

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Five more Filipino cue masters posted victories in their Group Stage matches in the 2014 World 9-Ball Championships being held at the Al Saad Sports Club in Doha, Qatar.

Up-and-coming Johann Chua stole the limelight as he shocked veteran American player Corey Deuel via an impressive 9-2 rout in Group 13. Chua hopes to score another upset win when he faces seasoned cue artist Lo Lin Wen of Taiwan in the next round.

Former titlist Alex Pagulayan, Jeffrey De Luna, Israel Rota and Elmer Haya also won in their first games in the tournament sanctioned by the World Pool-Billiard Association.

Pagulayan nipped Naoyuki Oi of Japan (9-5) in Group 15; De Luna whipped Tomasz Kaplan of Poland (9-8) and Rota blanked J-Ram Alabanzas of South Africa (9-0) in Group 14; and Haya outclassed compatriot Lee Vann Corteza (9-2) in Group 16.


They will join opening day winners Antonio Gabica, reigning World 10-Ball champion Dennis Orcollo, Warren Kiamco, Carlo Biado, Elvis Calasang and Raymund Faraon.

In the losers’ bracket, Corteza, 1999 World 9-Ball champion Efren “Bata” Reyes, Ramil Gallego and Francisco Felicilda hurdled past their respective foes to stay alive in the event which offers a total prize fund of $200,000.

Corteza ousted Mario Morra of Canada, 9-6; Reyes defeated Denis Grabe of Estonia, 9-8; Gallego beat Mishel Turkey of Qatar, 9-7; and Felicilda trounced Christian Aguirre of Ecuador, 9-5.

The top four players in each group after the double-elimination round will advance to the knockout stage. The champion pockets $30,000 and the runner-up receives $15,000.

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