Dennis Orcullo and Antonio Gabica stayed alive in the World 9-Ball Championship as they hurdled crack opponents, but Hall of Famer Efren “Bata” Reyes and Lee Van Corteza fell short and were booted out on Thursday at the Al Sadd Sports Club in Doha, Qatar.
Orcullo, last year’s WPA player of the Year and winner of the World 8-Ball Championship, used his experience to the hilt in outlasting Kai Lun Hsu of Chinese Taipei, 11-8.
Gabica, a gold medalist in the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Qatar, survived longtime rival Yang Ching Shun, 11-9.
The two Filipinos advanced to the round of 16 and kept alive their chances for the $40,000 top prizethe World Pool-Billiard Association-sanctioned event.
Jundel Mazon also kept his streak going, whipping Konstantin Stepanov of Russia, 11-3.
A former Guinness 9-Ball winner, Mazon raced to an 8-0 lead and barely had trouble beating his Russian foe.
But the biggest casualties for the Filipinos were Reyes and Corteza, two of the steadiest performers in the tournament who ran out of luck.
Reyes lost narrowly to Dominic Jentsch of Germany, 11-10.
The two-time world champion fought his way back from 2-0 down and was able to regain his rhythm midway to lead 8-6. Reyes was the first one to go on the hill at 10-9.
But he couldn’t finish the job, allowing his less-heralded opponent to pull off an upset win.
Corteza lost to Mika Immonen, the same man who defeated him in the World Ten Ball finals three years ago.
Immonen simply outclassed the Filipino, 11-5.
This year’s event will also have a new champion as Thorsten Hohmann of Germany ousted defending champion Yukio Akagariyama, 11-9.