Ten veteran Filipino cue masters cemented a spot in the knockout stage for 25th edition of World 9-Ball Championship 2016 at the Al Arabi Sports Club in Doha, Qatar on Monday.
Former world champions Dennis Orcollo, Carlo Biado and Alex Pagulayan joined others who survived the knockout rounds through the loser’s bracket. World 8-Ball Champion of 2011, Orcollo outlasted Germany’s super-power Christian Goetmann, 9-7, while Biado who is currently at the 6th position offered by World Pool-Billiard Association, bounced back from 7-4 and 8-6 deficits to trash out Japan’s Hayato Hijikata, 9-8.
Meanwhile, 2004 World 9-Ball titlist holder Alex Pagulayan finished his class by beating Vietnam’s Luong Chi Dong at 9-4. Both Pagulayan and Orcollo had similar scores upon win in their respective do-or-die match of $200,000 tournament, which gave $40,000 to winner and $20,000 to the runner-up.
Among other Pinoys were Jeffrey Ignacio, who overwhelmed Canada’s Francis Crevier, 9-7, runner-up from 2007 World 9-Ball Robert Gomez beat Spain’s Francisco Sanchez 9-3, and Jeffrey de Luna that smashed Naoyuki Oi at a mind-blowing score 9-1 helping Filipinos to reach 64 rounds.
Overall, 10 Pinoys cue artist are currently in the knockout stage along with Roberto Gomez, Jeffrey De Luna, Carlo Biado, Johan Chua, Warren Kiamco, Ramil Gallego and Lee Vann Corteza. Biado had the toughest of game to push behind Hijikata among all players in the round 16.
However, 3 Filipinos had to windup after Antonio Gabica, Francisco Felicilda (representing Qatar) and Rogelio Sotero lost in their respective games. Darly Peach of Great Britain overpowered Gabica at 9-7, American Shane Van Boening had beaten Felicilda at 9-3 and Salah Eldeen Al Remawi from United Arab Emirates defeated Sotero at 9-5.
In the upcoming match it would be interesting to see Orcollo battle Germany’s Thorsten Hohman and Pagulayan to face Indonesia’s Irsal Nasution.