Haya gets biggest paycheck

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Saturday, June 28, 2014


SURPRISE semi-finalist Elmer D. Haya of the Philippines lost in the semi-finals to end his campaign in the 2014 WPA World 9-Ball Championship at the Al Saad Sports Club in Doha, Qatar late Friday night, Manila time, but he still earned his biggest paycheck so far in his career - $7,500 (roughly P328, 275).

In the 2012 World 8-Ball Championship, Haya got $900 for placing 33rd.
Thus, the 37-year-old pool teacher in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates will have more hard-earned money to send to his wife and five kids in the country.

Zamboanga native Haya's winning streak was foiled after bowing to Niels Feijen of The Netherlands, 7-11, amid hundreds of overseas Filipinos cheering for him.

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Feijen went on to win the prestigious title and the $30,000 champion's purse after beating Austrian Albin Ouschan, 13-10. The latter, who settled for the runner-up prize of $15,000, ousted Chang Yu Lung of China, 11-7, in the other semis encounter.

Haya and Feijen went hill-to-hill at the start of the match, both also committing crucial errors. But Feijen got his acts together while Haya succumbed to nerves as he missed an easy 9-ball that could have levelled the match at 7-all. The Dutch never looked back to secure the match and arrange for a titular showdown with Ouschan.

According to World Pool Association (WPA) press officer Ted Lerner, in his story at www.azbilliards.com, Feijen won his first ever World 9-Ball Championship trophy after 15 years since he turned pro. He lost in two finals appearances, in the World 8-Ball Championship in 2010 and 2011.

“The hardest thing in that match was not thinking about winning,” Feijen told Lerner. “I was so nervous in the beginning because all those demons came back from those two losses in the 8-ball. And then I got down 3-1, then I tied it at three and then I got into it."

The Dutch added, “You don’t get many finals in your life. Some people never get one chance to get a final. It took me a couple of years to get a final again and this is the first 9-ball final I had. I was thrilled to get a chance and I said go ahead and take this chance.” (MLSA)

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

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