DAVAO City's very own Lee Vann Corteza made the trip as the Philippines registered the biggest delegation with a total of 11 players into the Last 64 round of the 2014 World 9-Ball Championship at the Al Saad Sports Club in Doha, Qatar.
Last 64 race-to-11 matches, however, were set to start as of Wednesday presstime.
Corteza, a reigning World Cup of Pool Champion, lived up to his billing by routing Omran Salem of the United Arab Emirates, 9-4, in losers' bracket of Group 16 Tuesday night.
He was pitted against Waleed Majed of Qatar in the Last 64. Majed was among the early 32 qualifiers from the winners' side having eked out victories over Fabio Petroni of Italy (9-6) and Detlef Grzella of Russia (9-2) in Group 5.
Corteza is playing the Qatari for the first time, thus, he told wife Gelea in a Facebook chat that he won't be complacent.
Other Filipinos' match-ups: Cebu City's Warren Kiamco vs Wang Can of China, Raymond Faraon vs Liu Cheng Chie of Chinese Taipei, Zamboanga City's Elmer Haya vs compatriot Francisco Felicilda, Johann Chua vs Daniele Corrieri of Italy, Carlo Biado vs Mieszko Fortunski of Poland, Dennis Orcollo vs Ohi Naoyuki of Japan, Antonio Gabica vs Medhi Rasekhi of Iran and Ramil Gallego vs Ralf Souquet of Germany.
Kiamco survived past Frailin Guanipa of Venezuela, 9-8, in their Group 6 sudden death encounter while Ramil Gallego demolished Michel Bartol of Croatia, 9-3, in Group 4 losers' bracket. Felicilda subdued Ali Obaidly of Qatar, 9-6, also in losers' side of Group 12.
Meanwhile, Efren "Bata" Reyes, Elvis Calasang and Israel were booted out from the $200,000 cuefest after losing their respective losers' side matches.
Reyes succumbed to a heartbreaking 8-9 defeat to Great Britain's Karl Boyes in Group 9 while Calasang, who hails from Butuan, absorbed a 0-9 crushing from the hands of Albin Ouschan in Group 10 and Rota was eliminated by Manuel Gama of Portugal, 7-9, in Group 14.
Current World No. 1 Thorsten Hohmann of Germany will face Mar Teutscher of The Netherlands in the alternate-break, knockout format round. Last 32 winners will advance to the Last 32. The championship is set tomorrow night.