Efren “Bata” Reyes continued to weave his magic in the World 9-Ball Championship as he clinched a spot in the knockout stage following a 9-2 victory over Bader Al Awadi of Kuwait on Monday at the Al Saad Sports Club in Doha, Qatar.
Seeking his third world title, Reyes outclassed the unheralded Al Awadi by winning the ﬁrst ﬁve racks on his way to his second victory and a berth in the Roundof-32 which starts today.
The 57-year old pool legend, who was eliminated in last year’s group stage by compatriot and Middle East-based Marlon Caneda, opened his campaign with a 9-3 win over Philipp Stojanovic of Croatia on Saturday.
Former world champions Francisco “Django” Bustamante and Ronnie Alcano, Lee Van Corteza, Antonio “Gaga” Gabica, Roberto Gomez and rising star Carlo Biado also made their way to the next stage of the week-long event after posting contrasting victories.
Bustamante, who won the 9ball crown two years ago, defeated Abdullah Al Yousuf of Kuwait, 9-4, while the 2007 winner Alcano hacked out a 9-8 victory opposite unheralded American Hunter Lombardo.
Corteza thumped Caneda, 9-5, Gabica edged past Dennis Grabe of Estonia, 9-7, Gomez dominated local bet Mohammed Saed Saed, 9-1, and Biado trounced Roman Hybler of Czech Repub
Unheralded Elvis Calasang also made it to the next round after a narrow 9-8 triumph over Yi Che Kuo of Taiwan in the loser’s bracket.
But Dennis Orcollo’s bid for a quick entry in the Round-of-32 was derailed by Hong Kong’s Andrew Kong following a 9-5 setback. Orcollo fell to the loser’s bracket where he will have to beat compatriot Raymond Faraon to avoid an early boot.
Heartbreak likewise fell on unknown Filipino Loyme Vicente as he blew an 8-5 lead to absorb a stinging 9-8 loss to John Morra of Canada. He needs to win in the loser’s bracket to reach the knockout stage.