THE Philippines is assured of a spot in the finals after two Pinoys made the semifinal round of the World Pool 9-Ball Championships in Qatar yesterday.

Francisco Bustamante and Antonio Lining will meet each other in the semis and are assured of earning $10,000 for making the final four. The winner will face off with the victor between Johnny Archer and Kuo Po-Cheng for the $36,000 top prize.

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Bustamante beat countryman Francisco Felicilda, 11-5, in the quarterfinal round, while Lining edged compatriot Oliver Medenilla,11-10. Archer nipped Sandor Tot of Serbia,11-6, and Kuo upset former 9-ball and 8-ball world champion Ronato Alcano, 11-5.

Early in the knockout stage, Bustamante defeated Ko Pin-yi of Chinese-Taipei, 11-8, in the round of 32 and Marlon Manalo, 11-6, in the round of 16.

Lining nipped Nguyen P. Long of Vietnam, 11-6, in the round of 32 and Dimitri Jungo of Switzerland, 11-8, in the round of 16, while Archer bet Bruno Muratore of Italy, 11-7, and Jason Klat of Canada, 11-8.

Kuo beat Ibrahim Bin Amir of Malaysia,11-10, and compatriot Yang Ching-Shun.(PR)