View Full Version : ‘Bata’ books place in KO phase

07-14-2004, 06:17 AM
Four other RP bets also make it; Parica misses cut

TAIPEI — Efren ‘Bata’ Reyes made short work of Tony Drago of Malta, 5-1, yesterday to cap a splendid campaign in Group 2 of the World Pool Championship eliminations, leading the advance of three more Filipino bets to the 64-man knockout round.

The 1999 champion finished his Group 2 stint with a 5-2 (win-loss) card, earning the second of four playoff berths on offer in the bracket as he joined pal Francisco ‘Django’ Bustamante, Warren Kiamco, Lee Van Corteza and Dennis Orcullo in the next round.

Five other RP bets – Marlon Manalo, Antonio Lining, Antonio Gabica, Rodolfo Luat and ‘lucky loser’ Gandy Valle – are still in the hunt for a place in the knockout phase in this $350,000 event regarded as the Olympics of billiards.

However, two other Filipinos won’t be joining them, including comebacking Jose ‘Amang’ Parica who, after a 3-2 start, lost his last two games against Holland’s Nick van den Berg (2-5) and Taiwanese Po-Cheng Kuo (2-5) and missed the cut in Group 16.

On the other hand, Ramil Gallego was 1-4 and virtually out of the hunt in Group 1 where defending champion Thorsten Hohmann of Germany is unbeaten through six games.

Orcullo, who had to go through qualifying here despite glowing finishes in past editions, outshone Reyes in Group 2 which he topped with a 6-1 record – thanks to a 5-2 win over The Magician in their clash late Monday night.

Bustamante, a losing finalist here in 2002, earned his spot in the knockout round as early as Monday night. He is 5-1 so far with a game left, dropping just nine racks along the way.

Kiamco finished second to two-time world champion Fong-Pang Chao in Group 7 with a 6-1 card, the only blot in his card a 3-5 loss to the Taiwanese on the TV table yesterday. Corteza is also assured of a spot in Group 4 with a 5-2 mark.

Among the Filipinos in the fringes of the cut line, it is Luat who is almost a shoo-in to get through. The veteran pool artist has won four of his first six games and is running third in Group 9 behind veterans Steve Davis of England and German Ralf Souquet.

Gabica, his bid bolstered by a rare win over Bustamante, was running joint fourth in Group 7 with a 3-2 slate – the same card and the same position held by Lining in Group 5.

Valle is tied for fourth in Group 13 with a 3-3 record. He needs to beat Japan’s Hishashi Yamamoto (3-2) in his last match to earn a berth in the knockout phase.

Manalo, a snooker specialist, is in fine shape in Group 1, running third on a 3-2 mark with two matches left in his schedule.

Sixty-four players, four from each of the 16 groups, plunge into the first round of the knockout matches today where play shifts to race-to-nine-wins on winner’s break.

Play in the Final 32 phase would still be race-to-nine while the Last 16, quarterfinals and semis matches will be race-to-11. The event will be capped with the race-to-17 finals on Sunday where the winner goes home with $75,000 (over R4 million).

Other pool stars assured of spots in the 64-man draw at press time were three-time champion Earl Strickland of the US, Fil-Canadian Alex Pagulayan former winner Mika Immonen of Finland, Oliver Ortman of Germany, Marcus Chamat of Sweden, Satoshi Kawabata of Japan and Drago