Haya loses chance

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Sunday, June 29, 2014


ELMER Haya’s lucky Cinderella run ended at the semifinal round as he yielded his chance to advance to the final round to Niels Feijen of The Netherlands after an 11-7 loss in the 2014 WPA World 9-Ball Championship in Doha, Qatar.

Feijen eventually won the title after beating Albin Ouschan of Austria, 13-10 in the finals.

It was an evenly fought match with Haya taking one lead in the alternate break match.

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However, the 2004 Sun.Star Superbalita 9-Ball Challenge champion wasted his chance to leap ahead as he bungled a wide open shot for the nine that could have given him an 8-6 lead om the 14th rack.

Although he was backed by hundreds of OFWs in Doha, Haya, a billiard pro of Joy Billiard Club in Abu Dhabi, succumbed to pressure, as he failed to regain composure, while Feijen swept the next four racks to advance to the finals.

Ouschan also advanced to the finals after an 11-7 win over Chang Yu Lung of Chinese-Taipei.

Feijen won the top prize $30,000, Ouschan settled for $15,000. Haya and Chang earned $7,500 each, while quarterfinal round losers Carlo Biado and Johann Chua and Shane Van Boening of the USA and Li He Wen of China pocketed $5,000 each.

Haya and Chua came from the qualifying round and barely had a day’s rest before battling the top players around the world in the main draw.

Cebuano Antonio “Gaga” Gabica, who was the runner-up last year and Raymund Faraon both pocketed $3,000 for reaching the Round-of-16.

Ramil Gallego earned $2,000 for making it to the Round-of-32 and Francisco Felicilda, Lee Van Corteza, Jeffrey De Luna, Dennis Orcollo, Warren Kiamco and Alex Pagulayan got $1,500 each for reaching the Final 64.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 29, 2014.

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