Alcano Becomes Second Filipino Through

RONATO Alcano became the second Filipino to advance into the quarter-finals with a fine 11-5 success against 2005 runner-up Kuo Po-cheng.

Unseeded Alcano, 34, is enjoying his best performance in the World Championships as he had only previously reached the Last 64.

But knock-out victories against Roberto Gomez, Efren Reyes and now Kuo have seen Alcano make the final eight and in with a great chance of securing the most prestigious prize in world pool.

After defeating Reyes 10-7 in yesterday’s last 32 encounter, ‘Calamba’ was placed on table two and backed by a partisan home crowd, desperate to see a home player lift the trophy.

Alcano soon took control of the match as he raced into a 4-2 lead and then extended his advantage to three racks by winning the seventh.

The eighth rack saw two rare mistakes from the Filipino as he firstly left a chance at the 1-ball and then, after Kuo could not take full advantage, ‘Calamba’ missed a shot at the pink and the player from Chinese Taipei made him pay for that mistake.

However, the three-rack lead was soon restored as Alcano ran through the ninth before it was Kuo’s turn to make an error.

Despite potting four balls on the break, Kuo had no shot on the blue 2 and had to push out but then left the same ball near the pocket. Alcano still had a lot of work to do but potted the 2-ball, banked the red three into the centre pocket and then sunk the green, brown and 9-balls to move four ahead.

The advantage became five shortly afterwards as the Filipino broke and ran through the 11th as he closed in on an encounter with either Scotland’s Pat Holtz or defending champion Wu Chia-ching.

Kuo sealed the 12th rack but a 4-9 combination kept Alcano on course for victory as he moved into a 9-4 lead. He nearly got lucky in the next with a kick-shot on the blue 2 that cannoned into the 9-ball and rolled towards the pocket, but stayed hanging on the edge as Kuo kept his slim hopes alive, trailing 9-5.

A mistake from Kuo saw him scratch after a kick-shot on the pink 4 to move Alcano to the hill. The match was over minutes later as a missed orange from Kuo was his last shot in the competition.

Modest Alcano refused to get carried away with his performance so far. He said: “This was not an easy match and I was lucky for the first rack and the last three games.

“I only beat Efren because he played bad and I played well. If I play Wu it will be a tough match and I’ve never played him before.”