Boxing icon Manny Pacquiao is putting up a prize fund of $60,000 for the staging of the Manny Pacquiao International 10-Ball Cup which will be held on December 13 at the Star Billiards Center in Quezon City.
“May pa-tournament ako ng billiards, international tournament ‘yun, then magkakaroon din ako ng darts tournament,” said Pacquiao, who made the announcement in front of sports scribes during a get-together at the Harbour View Restaurant inside the Quirino Grandstand.
Edgar Acaba, the tournament director of the event, expects to draw participation of crack players from China, Japan, Chinese Taipei, Europe and America.
“Dahil maganda yung premyo, I’m confident maraming sasaling mabibigat na international players,” said Acaba, who also serves as the secretary-general of the Billiards and Snooker Congress of the Philippines. “Yung Predator 10-Ball, $10,000 lang ang top prize, pero marami pa ring sumali.”
In the Pacquiao tilt, prizes will be distributed all the way to the 24th placer. The champion gets a lion’s share of $30,000 while the runner-up will get $10,000.
Entry fee is pegged at $200 and deadline for the payment of the entry fee is on December 12, according to Acaba.
Several notable players have already confirmed participation. These include world No. 1 player Dennis Orcullo, who was recently named Player of the Year by the World Pool-Billiard Association.
Perry Mariano, manager of Orcullo, confirmed his ward’s participation in the tournament.
Mariano added that two of his other players, national pool champion Carlo Biado and former world pool runner-up Roberto Gomez, are also joining the event.
But at least two top players, Ralf Souquet, the two-time world champion from Germany and his compatriot Thorsten Hohmann, might not be able to join the event. The two frequent visitors in the Philippines during the pool season are currently playing in Europe.
“Thorsten sent me an e-mail and he told me he wanted to come here and join the tournament,” said Biboy Soriano, a pool analyst and personal friend of the two German players. “Unfortunately, they’re playing in the Mosconi Cup now and will play in the United States afterwards. These, aside from the fact that December is a peak season for travel, make them doubtful participants in the Manny Pacquiao 10-Ball event.”
But Soriano added that several players have already expressed intentions of joining the tournament.
“I talked to a Chinese translator of mine who serves as the translator of pool players whenever they’re competing here, and he told me that brothers Ko Pin Yi and Ko Pin Chun and Chang Jung Lin of Chinese Taipei would come here to compete,” said Soriano.
Yi, a two-time world junior champion, and Chang, a multiple winner of Guinness 9-Ball events, are regular competitors in major pool events in the Philippines.
“I will also ask Mika Immonen to come here since he’s not competing in the Mosconi Cup now,” added Soriano, referring to the two-time world champion.