Surprise victories

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Monday, June 23, 2014


UNHERALDED players made waves in the second day of action of the 2014 WPA World 9-Ball Championship at the Al Saad Sports Club in Qatar.

Sun.Star SuperBalita 9-ball challenge campaigners Elmer Haya of Butuan City and Johann Chua of Manila were among the surprise winners in the grandest billiard stage in the world.

Chua made mincemeat out of Corey Deuel of the USA, 9-2 win, in Group 13, while Haya sent compatriot Lee Van Corteza of Davao City on the verge of elimination after a 9-2 win in Group 16.

Corteza, however, managed to stay alive after beating Mario Morra of Canada, 9-6, in the losers bracket.

Filipino billiard legend Efren “Bata” Reyes also regained his hope for the $30,000 champion’s prize as he bounced back in the losers’ bracket and booted Dennis Grabe of Estonia out of contention with a thrilling 9-8 win.

Reyes lost his first match to Jeong Young Hwa of Korea, 9-5 last Saturday.

Other Pinoys who their opening matches were Jeffrey De Luna, a 9-8 winner over Tomasz Kaplan of Poland, and Fil-Canadian Alex Pagulayan, who scored a 9-5 win over Naoyuki Oi of Japan.

Last year’s runner-up Antonio “Gaga” Gabica advanced to the next round following his victory over Kuo Po Cheng of Taiwan 9-5; Dennis Orcollo beat Jason Klatt of Canada 9-8; Warren Kiamco defeated Stephan Cohen of France, 9-7; and Carlo Biado advanced with a 9-3 win over Nour Wasfi Al Jarrah of Jordan.

Raymond Faraon also handed Grabe his first loss, 9-8, and Elvis Calasang booted out Marzen Bejaoui of Lebanon.

Pinoys who are still in the hunt in the losers bracket are Ramil Gallego, who won 9-7 over Mishell Turkey of Qatar, and Francisco Felicidad, who booted out Christian Aguirre of Ecuador, 9-5. (RCM)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 24, 2014.

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