Reigning WPA Player of the Year Dennis Orcullo became the last Filipino to book a ticket to the knockout stages of the 2012 World 9-Ball Championship, defeating Raymond Faraon, 9-2 at the Al Sadd Sports Club in Doha, Qatar Tuesday night (Wednesday in Manila).
Orcullo, a former World 8-Ball champion, joined 11 compatriots in the round of 64.
The group includes Hall of Famer Efren “Bata” Reyes, Francisco “Django” Bustamante, two-time world champion Ronnie Alcano, Jundel Mazon, Lee Van Corteza, Roberto Gomez, Joven Alba, Carlo Biado, Elvis Calasang, Antonio Gabica and Marlon Caneda.
Players in the knockout stages have been ranked according to their performance in the group eliminations.
Orcullo was ranked highest at No. 12, and will be pitted against Andrew Kong of Hong Kong.
Caneda, an Overseas Filipino Worker, faces crack Dutch player Nick van den Berg while Corteza battles Serge Das of Belgium.
Gabica, a 2006 Asian Games gold medalist, squares off with Mario He of Austria.
Elvis Calasang, who kept his bid alive after winning two games in the losers’ bracket, tackles John Morra of Canada, while Biado faces Japanese foe Naoyuki Oi.
Joven Alba will face perhaps the toughest assignment by a Filipino against World 8-Ball champion Chang Jung Lin of Chinese Taipei.
A battle of two legends will also happen on Wednesday as former world champs Bustamante and Taiwanese Fong Pang Chao take center stage.
Reyes will face Toh Lian Han of Singapore while Gomez will meet Liu Haitao of China.
An all-Filipino showdown between Mazon and Alcano will also open the knockout rounds.