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Saturday, July 21, 2012
SINCE the Sun.Star Superbalita 9-Ball challenge started, no defending champion has been able to retain his crown and that trend continues as 2011 titleholder Ricky Zerna was booted out in the round of 16.
And, as proof that the premier pool competition in the south is getting stiffer, Zerna and three other seeded players are out.
Zerna was the first to fall and bowed to Sean Mark Malayan, 9-6.
Former champion Gandy Valle also bid farewell following a 9-6 loss to Marlon Saud 2005 king Ronnie Alcano, who is also a former world champion, lost to Oliver Villafuerte, 9-4, while 2010 champion Jundel Mazon was the last to fall.
Mazon, who beat Valeriano Pajuay, 9-5, in the Round of 16 suffered a stunning loss to Renemark David, 8-2, in the quarterfinal round. David also eliminated another top hopeful, Johan “Bubwit” Chua, in the Round 16, 9-6.
The lone remaining favorite was Carlo Biado, who defeated Richard Alinsub, 9-5, in the Round-of-16 and was set to face Villafuerte in the quarterfinal round last night.
Tournament director Dickoy Ramirez predicted that whoever will win between Biado and Villafuerte has a good chance of winning the tournament.
The other players who made it to the quarterfinal round are Cebuano Anthony Raga, who eliminated fellow Cebuano cue slinger Keith Manayon, 9-6, and Boots Agusto, who beat 2010 runner-up Eljun “Ilaga” Abellana, 9-7.
Today, a new name will be added to the gallery of champions and will be added to the list of seeded players in next year’s event.
In the Class B tournament, Jan Jan Javellosa advanced to the semifinal round after conquering Keith Manayon, 7-2. He will be joined by Crisanto Basnillo, who defeated Clifford Espinosa, 7-2, Antonio Delfin and Marc Vincent Doria. Delfin booted out Antonio Cose, 7-6, and Doria beat William Chua, 7-5.
The semifinalists in the high school division are Jerson Cumayas of Lilo-an National High School, Daniel Pestaño of Concord High School, Jomar Malait of Consolacion National High School and John Abing of the University of San Jose-Recoletos. Those who made the semis in the elementary division are Misel Zafra of Labangon-Bliss Elementary School, Joey Enot of Naga Central Elementary School, Aaron Christian Doria of Inayawan ES and Krix Torres of Pasil ES.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 22, 2012.