30 Countries, 200 Players Join Philippine Open

Manila  -- Thirty (30)  countries,  represented by over 200  male and female players, are confirmed to take part in the Philippine Open Pool Championships, when it takes place in Manila from March 31 to April 11.

A world-ranking event of the World Pool-Billiard Asociation (WPA), the Philippine Open will open with the qualifying round  (Stage 1) on March 31- April 4  at  the Star Billiards Centee in Quezon City. This will be followed by the main tournament (Stage 2), which will be held  on April 7-11, 2011 at the SM Megamall Megatrade Hall in Mandaluyong City.

The  tournament  features both a Men's and a Women's Championship.  The men's championship has a main draw of 64 players ; the women's championship has a draw of 32 players.

The Philippine Open is a ten-ball event. The format is  double elimination, culminating  in a  final four.
Of the 200 confirmed participants, the majority hail from the top pool-playing countries in Asia, Europe, and North America.   

Among the latest countries to enter players in the tournament are Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. Two other Middle East countries joining the tournament are  Qatar and Iran.

Top players confirmed for  the tournament so far  are reigning men's and women's world champions in the different pool disciplines: Dennis Orcullo (Philippines),  newly crowned world men‘s 8-ball champion; Mika Immonen (Finland), world 10-ball champion; Jasmin Ouschan (Austria), women's world 10-ball champion; and Fu Xiao-Fang, women's world 9-ball champion.

Joining them in bannering the event are: Ga Young Kim (Korea), winner of the recent Amway Cup for women in Taipei; former world champions: Ralf Souquet (Germany); Darren Appleton (Great Britain); Ronnie Alcano (Philippines); former US Open titlist Shane van Boening (United States); and former women's  world champion  Allison Fisher  (Great Britain).

Slated to defend the Philippine Open crown he won in May 2009 is Ricky Yang of Indonesia. He will be joined by some 20 Indonesian men and women players who are bidding to duplicate his feat.

Also fielding sizable delegations in the event are China, Korea and Chinese Taipei.
The Philippine Open is organized and promoted by Raya Sports, in cooperation with the Billiards and Snooker Congress of the Philippines (BSCP) and Star Billiards, and under a sanction agreement with the WPA.

The tournament  will be broadcast live all over Asia and the Philippines.  ABC TV5 will provide full broadcast coverage of the tournament. It will broadcast the event live in the Philippines from opening day (April 7) to the finals on April 11.

ESPN Star Sports will broadcast the tournament  live in all its Asian channels.    

The complete list of countries represented in the Open
is as follows:     

1.    Austria
2.    Australia
3.    United States
4.    Russia
5.    Brunei
6.    Hong Kong
7.    Indonesia
8.    Qatar
9.    Korea
10.    Japan
11.    Singapore
12.    India
13.    Vietnam
14.    Canada
15.    Germany
16.    Great Britain
17.    France
18.    Sweden
19.    Sri Lanka
20.    Iran
21.    Malaysia
22.    China
23.    Finland
24.    Ireland
25.    Norway
26.    Scotland
27.    Chinese Taipei
28.    Kuwait
29.    United Arab Emirates
30.    Philippines
For more information on the Philippine Open,
visit the official website: Rayasports.wordpress.com.