5 Pinoys advance into Last 64, Corteza hangs on

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014


WHILE five our Filipinos booked seats into the Last 64 after Day 2 Monday, Lee Vann Corteza and six other compatriots are hanging on to a last glimmer of hope in the losers' side of the group stage eliminations as Day 3 action of the 2014 WPA World 9-Ball Championship resumes at the Al Saad Sports Club in Doha, Qata yesterday presstime.

Dennis Orcollo of Bislig, Surigo del Sur, Carlo Biado, Johann Chua, Jeffrey de Luna and Elmer Haya of Zamboanga City were unbeaten after two games in the $200,000 annual cuefest where the champion will claim $30,000 and the runner-up going home with $15,000.

Orcollo escaped a 9-8 thriller over Jason Klatt of Canada before defeating Ko Ping Chung of Chinese Taipei, 9-6, in Group 7 while Biado subdued Tom Storm of Sweden, 9-7, after routing Wasfi Al Jarrah of Jordan, 9-3, in Group 8.

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Chua, for his part, outclassed Lo Li Wen of Chinese Taipei, 9-6, after humbling seasoned American Corey Deuel, 9-2, in Group 13 even as De Luna sent fellow Filipino Israel Rota to the losers' side via a 9-3 crushing. De Luna survived past Tomasz Kaplan of Poland, 9-8, earlier. Rota, however, bounced back with a 9-0 shutout victory over Russian J-Ram Alabanzas to face Manuel Game of Portugal in a do-or-die clash.

Haya upset Corteza, 9-2, before edging Artem Koshovyi of Ukraine, 9-8, in Group 16. Corteza stayed alive in the losers' bracket having toppled Mario Morra of Canada, 9-6. The Dabawenyo pool shark from Mintal was set to play Omran Salem of the United Arab Emirates at 9 p.m. Tuesday (Manila time) in a sudden death. A win by Corteza will give him a spot in the Last 64 and improve his 2013 performance where he missed the cut having been eliminated on the third day of the group stages.

Corteza's wife Gelea, in a Facebook chat conversation with Sun.Star Davao yesterday, said: "Hindi raw siya pinaboran ng bola kaya natalo siya." She and Corteza also keep contact through Facebook.

Gelea said it was the second time that her husband lost to Haya. The first time was in Cebu City several years back.

Just like Corteza and Rota, Efren "Bata" Reyes, Ramil Gallego, Warren Kiamco of Cebu City, Elvis Calasang of Butuan City and Francisco Felicilda must all win their their respective last games in the losers' side to stay alive.

Reyes bowed to Jeong Young Hwa, 5-9, of South Korea but cruised past Denis Grabe of Estonia, 9-8. Reyes will next take on Karl Boyes of Great Britain in Group 9 losers' side.

In Group 4, Gallego succumbed to Nick Van den Berg of The Netherlands, 7-9, but came back with a 9-7 win over Mishel Turkey of Qatar. Gallego's next assignment will be Michel Bartol of Croatia.

Kiamco, meanwhile, turned back Stephan Cohen of france, 9-7, but fell at the hands of Niels Feijen of The Netherlands, 5-9. Frailin Guanipa of Venezuela will be Kiamco's next assignment in Group 6.

Calasang will play Albin Ouschan after losing to Wu Jiaqing of China, 7-9, in Group 10. Calasang overwhelmed Mazen Berjaoui of Libya, 9-3, in the first round.

Unheralded Francisco Felicilda lost to Nguyen Anh Tuan of Vietnam, 6-9, but recovered by spanking Christian Aguirre of Ecuador, 9-5, in Group 12.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on June 25, 2014.

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