View Full Version : Kiamco on a roll; Django grabs berth

07-13-2004, 08:01 AM
TAIPEI – World number one Francisco ‘Django’ Bustamante and Warren Kiamco became the first Filipinos to book spots to the knockout phase of the World Pool Championship after great runs in Day Three action at the World Trade Center here.

Bustamante, 37, won his first five games in the eight-man group to bare his intentions early in this $350,000 event he came close to winning in 2002, the only blemish in his card a loss to compatriot Antonio Gabica in his sixth match.

Kiamco, on the other hand, won his fifth straight match in Group 10 to stand out on a day that also saw victories by former world champion Efren ‘Bata’ Reyes and former rival Jose ‘Amang’ Parica.

Kiamco, a consistent performer in the last San Miguel Asian 9-ball tour, battled back from 0-2 down to put away Japanese Hiroshi Takenaka, 5-3, and improve to 5-0 (win-loss) – enough to guarantee him a spot in the knockout phase.

Bustamante dropped just three racks in beating Spaniard David Alcaide (5-1), Marco Bacarcic of Slovenia (5-2) and American Steve Lillis (5-0) before losing a 2-5 decision in a game Gabica desperately needed to grab one of four playoff spots on offer in the bracket.

With the win, Gabica slipped inside the cut line in Group 7 with a 3-2 (win-loss) mark and two crucial matches left to play.

At 5-1, Bustamante, who lost in the 2002 finals to three-time champ Earl Strickland, is a lock for a spot in the 64-man draw where play shifts to do-or-die and winner’s break – just the kind the Tarlac native prefers because of his powerful break.

Reyes, the 1999 winner, has now won four games in a row after dropping his opening match. The 49-year old Hall of Famer’s latest casualty is American Corey Harper which he beat 5-3 to assume leadership in Group 2 with a 4-1 mark.

Another Filipino, Dennis Orcullo, is also in fine shape in the bracket with a 3-1 mark going into his matches late last night.

Parica, the former RP No. 1 and now a standout in the US senior circuit, put together an impressive performance in his first stint on the television table, blanking American Jememy Jones, 5-0, to improve to 3-2 in Group 16.

From the 12 RP bets vying in this nine-day tournament regarded as the Olympics of billiards, it is only Ramil Gallego who is in danger of missing the boat.

Gallego, one of six seeded Filipinos here, dropped four of his first five matches in Group 1 and needs to sweep his last two matches – and losses by other players in the fringes – to make it.

Snooker specialist Marlon Manalo is on course for one of four playoff spots in the bracket with a 3-2 mark, good for a share of third so far behind Swede Erik Weiselius and defending champion Thorsten Hohmann of Germany who is unbeaten through six games.

Manalo dropped two of his three matches yesterday counting a 3-5 setback to Hohmann.

Veteran Rodolfo Luat, on the other hand, lost his grip of the lead in Group 9. He won his first three games but dropped consecutive heartbreaking 4-5 decisions to former world champion Ralf Souquet of Germany and Malaysia’s Alan Tan.

Luat, though, is still on course to make the next round with his 3-2 card – the same slate carried by ‘lucky loser’ Gandy Valle in Group 13.

Lee Van Corteza is 3-0 in Group 4 heading into his matches last night.

The first two rounds of the playoffs kicking off tomorrow will be race-to-nine affairs while the Last 16, quarters and semis will be race-to-11s, all under the winner’s break format.