Archer, De Luna Fall; Manalo Continues His Winning Run

UNHERALDED Alex Nobleza scored his biggest win yet with a 9-8 victory over 2006 Doha Asian Games 9-ball silver medalist Jeffrey "The Bull" De Luna. Former Kuwait house pro Mario Tolentino also scored a big upset as he shocked former world 9-ball champion Johnny "Scorpion" Archer of the United States, 9-7, to remain unscathed in the on-going $30,000 Mandaluyong Mayor's Cup 10-ball championship held at the Kaban ng Hiyas Building in Mandaluyong City.

These victories were the biggest upsets so far in this event presented by San Miguel Beer and featuring a $10,000 top prize to the champion and a slot for this year's World Ten Ball slated on September. The event is jointly organized by the Billiards and Snooker Congress of the Philippines and Raya Sports in close cooperation with mayor Benhur Abalos, Brunswick Billiard Tables and League Cities of the Philippines.

"I was just lucky because the ball was in my favor in the end game," said Nobleza, member of the Philippine National Police (PNP) who hails from Camarines Sur.

Nobleza who earlier beat James De Leon, 9-4, will square off with Kenj Taguchi of Japan in the next round, winner over Fidel Punzalan, 9-8, and John Carlo Cerna, 9-0, respectively.

Tolentino, meanwhile, who started his campaign with a 9-0 thrashing of Jestoni Magadia, 9-0, takes on Bob Flores, who beat Ken Escano, 9-6, and Michael Mengorio, 9-4, in order.

Meanwhile, 2005 WPA World Pool 3rd placer Marlon Manalo beat fellow snooker specialist James Al Ortega, 9-7, to face Gilbert Carbonera in the next round. Carbonera demolished Yong Bak Wang of Japan, 9-6 in his last match.

Ex-world 9-ball titlist Thorsten "The Hitman" Hohmann of Germany, Gerry Watson of Canada, Satoshi Kawabata of Japan and Chung Chieh-Te of Taiwan also got past their respective second round assignment to remain in the winner's side.