Seven Pinoys barge into World 9-Ball KO stage

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Seven Filipinos led by last year’s runner-up Antonio Gabica and world champion Dennis Orcollo made it to the knockout stage of the 2014 World 9-Ball Championships being held at the Al Saad Sports Club in Doha, Qatar.

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Gabica and Orcollo along with Carlo Biado, Raymund Faraon, Johann Chua, Jeffrey De Luna and Elmer Haya were undefeated in their Group Stage matches to earn their respective berths in the 64-man knockout phase.

Gabica clobbered Michel Bartol of Croatia, 9-3, in Group 4 while Orcollo overwhelmed Ko Ping Chung of Taiwan, 9-6, in Group 7.

Biado thumped Tom Strom of Sweden, 9-7, in Group 8; Faraon repulsed Young Hwa Jeong of South Korea, 9-7, in Group 9; Chua stunned Lo Li Wen of Taiwan, 9-6, in Group 13; De Luna outclassed compatriot Israel Rota, 9-3, in Group 14; and Haya survived Artem Koshovyi of Ukraine, 9-8, in Group 16.

On the other hand, Warren Kiamco, Elvis Calasang and 2004 world titlist Alex Pagulayan were relegated to the losers’ bracket. Kiamco bowed to Niels Feijen of the Netherlands, 6-9, in Group 6; Calasang suffered a 7-9 loss to Wu Jiaqing of China in Group 10; and Pagulayan lost to Radoslaw Babica of Poland, 6-9, in Group 15.

Rota, Kiamco, Calasang, Pagulayan, Lee Vann Corteza, 1999 World 9-Ball champion Efren “Bata” Reyes, Ramil Gal–lego and Francisco Felicilda must win their remaining games in the losers’ side to get a spot in the next round.

The tournament employs a double-elimination format with the top four players in each group advancing to the knockout stage. The champion gets $30,000 and the runner-up receives $15,000.

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