AS TOP favorites slowly start to head out the exit, Cebuano Antonio Gabica and several upstarts continue to carry the country’s banner in the 2014 WPA World 9-Ball Championship in Qatar.

The eliminated players after Round of 32 were Philippine’s best hopes Dennis Orcullo and world No.4 player Lee Van Corteza as well as defending champion Thorsten Hohmann of Germany, former champions Daryl Peach of Great Britain, Alex Pagulayan, who is now playing for Canada, Ralf Souquet of Germany, Mika Imonen of Finland and Oliver Ortman of Germany.

Also sent home were Cebuano Warren Kiamco, Jayson Shaw and Karl Boyles of Great Britain, along with Fiipino hopefuls Jeffrey De Luna and Francisco Felicilda.

Gabica, last year’s losing finalist, managed to sneak into the next round following a 11-7 victory over Medhi Rasekhi of Iran.

Gabica was joined by Filipino upstarts Raymond Faraon, who eliminated Liu Cheng Chieh of Taipei, 11-5; Superbalita 9-ball Challenge 2004 champion Elmer Haya who defeated Felicilda 11-4; Super Balita 9-Ball challenge 2013 champion Carlo Biado, who defeated Meiszko Fortunski of Poland, 11-6; Johann “Bubwit” Chua, who eliminated Daniele Corrieri of Italy, 11-4 win; and Ramel Gallego, who survived Soquet, 11-10.

Orcullo was eliminated by Naoyuki Oi of Japan (11-8); Corteza was given the pink slip by Waleed Majed of Qatar (11-6); De Luna lost to Jason Klatt of Canada (11-6); and Pagulayan bowed to Mario He of Austria 11-9.

Earlier, Efren “Bata” Reyes, Elves Calasang and Israel Rota failed to make the Final 64 after losing to Boyles (9-8), Albin Ouschan of Austria (9-0) and Manuel Gama of Portugal (9-7) respectively.

It was a short-lived hope for Kiamco, Felicilda, Corteza and Pagulayan who labored hard from the loser’s bracket only to be booted out of contention in the KO stage.

The other players who made it to the Round of 32 includes Kiamco’s tormentor Wang Can of China, Hijikta Hayato of Japan, Darren Appleton of Great Britain, Konstantin Stepanov of Russia, Jeong Young Hwa of Korea, Radoslaw Babica of Poland, Neils Feijen of Netherlands, Ko Pin Yi of Taipei, Hsu Kai Lin of Taipei, Wu Jiaqing of China, Stephan Cohen of France, Chang Yu Lung of Taipei.

Shane Van Boening of USA, Dang Jing Hu of China, Tohru Kuribayashi of Japan, Nick Ekonomopoulos of Greece, Ryu Seung Woo of Korea, Roman Hybler Czech Republic, Albin Ouschan of Austria, Li He Wen of China, Marc Teutscher of Netherlands and Nick Van Den Berg of The Netherland.