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PQQLK9
03-06-2005, 11:43 AM
Valle in Asian 9-Ball finals vs Taiwanese
Posted 00:12am (Mla time) Mar 07, 2005
By June Navarro
Inquirer News Service
web page (http://)
SINGAPORE -- The Philippines' Gandy Valle stunned Yang Ching-shun, 11-8, and averted an all-Taiwanese championship clash in the San Miguel Asian 9-Ball Tour Finals at the Suntec Exhibition Hall here.

The underdog Valle thus forged a titular match with 16-year-old pool prodigy Wu Chia-ching, who downed Filipino Antonio Gabica, 12-10, in the other semifinal duel.

The 32-year-old Gabica yielded to Wu after earlier booting out his legendary compatriot Efren "Bata" Reyes in the quarterfinals of Asia's premier 9-ball tournament.

Gabica scratched in the final two racks, opening the door for Wu to clean up on both occasions and march into the $10,000 race-to-13 final.

"It was very unfortunate," said Gabica, who settled for the $3,000 (P162,000) prize. "I had victory within my grasp.

Wu scored three straight racks to break a 6-6 deadlock. Gabica, who cashed in on Wu's miscalculation on the fourth ball in the 16th and on a good break in the 17th, took the next two sets to pull within, 8-9.

But the Filipino scratched in the 18th, allowing Wu to sweep the rack.

Gabica scratched again on the break in the 21st followed by another miscue in the final rack.

Earlier, Gabica mastered Reyes anew with a 9-4 win Saturday night, eliminating the Filipino top seed in the semifinals.

"I'm quite nervous but luck was definitely on my side," said the 32-year-old billiard ace from Lapu-Lapu City after claiming the scalp of Reyes for the second time this year.

Gabica also downed the country's top cue master in the Hope P1-million All-Filipino 9-Ball Open last month.

"He made shots even though the cue ball was covered," said Reyes, who settled for the $1,750 consolation prize for players who reached the quarterfinals.

Gabica streaked to a 3-0 lead before Reyes won the next four racks, 4-3.

Twice, Reyes almost perfectly hid the cue ball in the ninth and 12th racks, but Gabica was able to extricate himself out of trouble on both occasions.

Francisco "Django" Bustamante also succumbed later in the night after allowing Chinese-Taipei's Yang Ching-shun to get out of a 0-6 hole. Yang seized nine of the last 10 racks to prevail, 9-7.

"Things like that happen. I just have to learn from it," said Bustamante, who has yet to win a single leg in the three-year-old tour.

Valle subdued compatriot Lee Vann Corteza, 9-5, while Wu booted out Singapore's Chan Keng Kwang, 9-6, in the quarterfinals.

Harold Acosta
03-06-2005, 11:56 AM
A 16 year-old, swimming in an infested shark tank and reaching the Finals? This kid must have extraordinary talents do be able to go past all the known names at this tournament.

If he continues this reign of terror, he could easily be "swimming" in the U.S. within the next few years...

My heartfelt congratulations to Wu Chia-Ching.