Bata, 6 Pinoys march to KO stage
Billiards Hall of Famer Efren “Bata” Reyes and six other Pinoys scored emphatic wins yesterday to advance to the knockout stage of the 2012 World 9-ball Championship at the beautiful Al Sadd Sports Club in Doha, Qatar.
Reyes, known as “The Magician” in the pool circuit, outplayed Al Awadi Bader of Kuwait 9-2.
“I got lucky,” Reyes said flashing his toothless grin. “He’s a good player but the breaks went against him.”
Joining Reyes in the knockout stage with two straight wins are Francisco “Django” Bustamante, Lee Vann “The Slayer” Corteza, Ronato “Volcano” Alcano, Antonio “Ga-Ga” Gabica, Carlo “The Black Tiger” Biado and Roberto “Superman” Gomez.
Bustamante topped Al Yousuf Abdullah of UAE, 9-4; Corteza beat countryman Marlon Caneda, 9-5; Alcano edged Hunter Lombardi of the USA, 9-8; Gabica nipped Dennis Grabe of Estonia, 9-7; Biado crushed Roman Hybler of the Czech Republic, 9-3, while Gomez routed Mohammed Saeed of Qatar, 9-1.
ORCOLLO DROPS TO LOSER’S BRACKET
However, Dennis Orcollo, Ramil Gallego, Raymund Faraon , Joyme Vicente and Jundel Mazon were relegated to the loser’s side after losing yesterday. They join Caneda, Elvis Calasang, Joven Alba and Israel Rota in the one-loss bracket.
Orcollo was beaten by Andrew Kong of Hongkong, 9-5; Gallego lost to Tony Drago of Malta, 9-6; Faraon bowed to Johnny Martinez of Venezuela, 9-8; Vicente lost to John Morra of Canada, 9-8, while Mazon yielded to Vincent Facquet of France, 9-5.
“Masyadong na pressure si Dennis (Orcollo). Ang daming Filipinong nag cheer sa kanya sa Qatar. Lahat nakatutok sa kanya,” said Billiards Managers and Players Association of the Philippines (BMPAP) founding head and Bugsy Promotions top honcho Ceferino “Perry” Mariano, long-time manager of Orcollo. “Ang masakit sila pa ni Raymond (Faraon) sa do-or-die match. Isa na namang Filipino ang malalagas,” he added.
However, Philippine billiards God Father Aristeo “Putch” Puyat expressed confidence that a Fiipino will hoist the championship trophy at the end of the weeklong meet.
“Mas malaki ang t’sansa natin ngayong maiuuwi ang World 9-ball crown sa Pilipinas dahil marami tayong players na nakapasok sa KO stage. Saka iilan-ilan lamang ang nagkatapat sa draw,” Puyat said.
Today’s must-win matches pit Orcollo vs. Faraon, Vicente vs. Hudiji See of the Netherlands, Gallego vs. Hsu Kai Lun of Chinese-Taipei, Mazon vs. Shane Van Boening of the United States, Calasang vs. Al Amar Abdul Rahman of Saudia Arabia, Caneda vs. Ceri Worts of New Zealand, Alba vs. Alba Nayf Abdel Afou of Jordan and Rota vs. David Anderson of South Africa.
The $300,000 tournament offers $40,000 to the winner.
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