The Philippines, composed of our very own world champions, advanced to the knockout stage of the World Pool Team Championship in Beijing, China, Tuesday night.
The team bannered by two-time world champion and Hall of Famer Efren “Bata” Reyes, Francisco “Django” Bustamante, Dennis Orcullo and Rubilen Amit breezed by Croatia, 5-1, to top its group stage matches.
The Pinoys used a different approach in the team competition, easing the pressure on Reyes and putting him in the doubles competition of the 8-Ball and 10-Ball disciplines.
Bustamante, Orcullo and Amit competed in the singles events.
In beating Croatia, the Filipinos managed to move on to the next round of this tournament which offers $80,000 to the winning team.
The heavily-favored Philippine team will face Norway in the last 16 competitions on Wednesday. Also advancing to the round of 16 are pool heavyweights from host China, which has fielded in two teams, Chinese Taipei, Great Britain, Finland, and South Korea.
The Chinese squad’s first team composed of Li He Wen, Fu Jianbo, Liu Haitao, Fu Xiaofang and Pang Xiao Ting, swept Finland, 6-0.
Its second team comprised of Dang Jinhu, Dai Yong, Han Haoxiang, Liu Sha Sha and Chen Si Ming, ripped Hong Kong, 5-1.
Chinese Taipei’s quartet of Chang Jung Lin, Fu Che Wei, Ko Pin Yi and Chie Yu Chou, ousted the German squad composed of crack players Ralf Souquet, Thorsten Hohmann, Oliver Ortmann and Jasmin Michel, 4-2.
Great Britain, spearheaded by newly-crowned World 9-Ball champion Darren Appleton, salvaged a 3-3 draw, against Korea, but it was enough for the British squad to make it to the next round.