Dennis Orcollo, Antonio “Gaga” Gabica, and Lee Van Corteza lead seven Filipinos who won their opening matches in the World 9-Ball Championship Saturday at the Al Arabi Sports Club in Doha, Qatar.
Orcollo downed Abdullah Mohd Karmastaji of the United Arab Emirates, 9-5; Gabica (representing the host nation) beat Mohammad Al Ghumayz of Saudi Arabia, 9-7; and Corteza beat Salah Eldeen Al Remawi of UAE, 9-5.
Warren Kiamco trounced Omran Salem of UAE, 9-5; Jeffrey de Luna prevailed over Wang Can of China, 9-6; Ramil Gallego trounced Imran Majid of Britain, 9-6; Jeffrey Ignacio beat Karol Slowerski of Poland, 9-4; and Johann Chua edged Francis Crevier of Canada, 9-8.
Francisco Felicilda, who is also representing Qatar, defeated Marco Teutscher of The Netherlands, 9-7; while unheralded Rogelio Sotero Jr. beat Do Hoang Quan of Vietnam, 9-6, as the Pinoys moved a win shy of advancing to the knockout stage of the annual pool competition.
Suffering a stunning loss on opening day was Carlo Biado, who fell 9-6 to Roman Hybler of the Czech Republic. Biado will now have to win two matches in order to join the knockout stage.
The Filipinos are eyeing an end to the country’s long drought in what was once considered as the sport’s most prestigious competition.
The last time a Filipino won the event was in 2010 when Francisco “Django” Bustamante beat Taiwan’s Kuo Po-cheng in the first 9-ball event held in the oil-rich nation.