Corteza escapes past Iranian, 9-8

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Friday, June 6, 2014


WORLD ranked No. 2 Lee Vann Corteza of Davao City opened his 2014 WPA 9-Ball China Open title-retention bid by escaping past Iran's Takhti Zarekani, 9-8, at the start of the double elimination stage at Pudong Yuanshen Stadium in Pudong, Shanghai, China, on Thursday.

Corteza, seeded second in the $333,200 cuefest, arranged a second round clash against China player Liu Haitao who racked up a 9-5 victory over Hong Kong's Kwok Chi Ho in Group H where Wu Jiaquing of China and Karol Skowerski of Poland also advanced. Jiaquing routed compatriot Dai Yong, 9-3, while Skowerski shutout Russian Zbynek Vaic, 9-0.

Their victims were relegated to the loser's bracket.

Corteza's World Cup of Pool champion partner Dennis Orcollo, of Surigao del Sur, breezed pst Poland's Mateusz Sniegocki, 9-2, in Group F. The Bislig native takes on Germany's Ralf Soquet, 9-7, winner over Brent Wells of New Zealand, in the second round.

Third-seeded Filipino Carlo Biado also kept his hopes alive by eking out a 9-6 triumph against Japan's Hijikata Hayato in Group E. Biado's next assignment is Mohammad Hassan Al Hosaini of the United Arab Emirates, a 9-7 victor over Ahmad Taufiq of Brunei.

Filipino qualifier Jeffrey Ignacio also advanced having edged Alejandro Carvajal of Chile, 9-8, to set up a second round encounter with Finland's Mika Immonen who also won on the same note, 9-8, over Chinese Dang Jinhu in Group C. But Cebu City's Warren Kiamco lost to Wang Can of China, 6-9, to meet Meshaal Turki Al Ali of Qatar in the loser's side of the same group.

Can and Ali tormentor Philip Reilly of Australia battles against each other in the next round.

Top-seeded Thorsten Hohmann of Germany, meanwhile, suffered a 5-9 defeat at the hands of Chang Yu-Lung of China in Group A to face Poland's Tomasz Kaplan who succumbed to countryman Radoslaw Babica, 8-9.

In Group D, Johann Chua of the Philippines bowed to Rodney Morris of the USA, 5-9, to meet Matthew Edwards of New Zealand in the loser's side.

In the distaff side, Philippines' Rubilen Amit crushed Japan's Kajitani Akimi, 7-2, after drawing a first round bye. Third-seeded Amit tests the mettle of Kawahara Chihiro also of Japan in the third round. The latter subdued Bai Ge of China, 7-4, in their second round collision.

Former Southeast Asian (SEA) Games triple gold medalist Iris Ranola, however, absorbed a heartbreaking 6-7 loss to Ren Quiyue of China to play against Ma Jiao of China in the next round.

The four-day spectacle offers $40,000 to the men's champion and $32,000 to the women's champion.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on June 07, 2014.

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