Cebu bet, Pinoy OFW oust world champs in Puerto Princesa Ten-Ball bash

PUERTO PRINCESA – The big guns of world of billiards are out of the running for the Puerto Princesa Mayor's Cup, the second leg of the Philippine Pool Tour.
Thanks to a teenage rising star from Cebu and an Overseas Filipino Worker from Dubai , who pounded the foreign invaders here at the Puerto Princesa Coliseum Saturday.    

It was a big day for the 19-year-old Boots Augusto, who grabbed the spotlight after showing the exit door to former World Pool champion Thorsten Hohmann with a sensational 9-7 triumph.

Earlier, it was Mario Tolentino, who shone the brightest. The former house pro billiards coach wielded the upset ax on Jung-Lin Chang, 9-8, and ousted the reigning Guiness 9-Ball overall champion.

Also booted out of the tournament was last year's Philippine Junior's runner-up Jordan Legaspi, who bowed down to Romeo Silvano, 4-9.

Former Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Leonardo Andam also found the exit door after suffering a painful 8-9 setback at the hands of Junbert Ogang, 8-9.

Power-breaking Jeffrey De Luna advanced to the next round by defeating Leonardo Didal, 9-4; Arturo Palma nipped Raymond Faraon, 9-8; Allan Soliman blanked Rocky Tullao, 9-0 and Marlon Manalo outlasted Kenji Taguchi, 9-5.  

Augusto, who practices regularly at the Radiet Billiard Hall in Lapu-Lapu, Cebu City , got a luck break at 7-7. He cashed in on the black 8-ball in the side pocket while trying to bank in the orange 5-ball in the corner pocket.

He cleaned up the remaining ball to deal the final blow on Hohmann.

Tolentino, the  pride of Aklan came back from an 0-2 deficit, then repulsed a late charge by his equally determined rival before hammering out a win to advance in this $30,000 tournament organized by the Billiards and Snookers Congress of the Philippines in partnership with Star Billiards Center and Raya Sports, and supported by San Miguel Beer, Puerto Princesa City Mayor Edward Hagedorn and city information officer Alroben Goh.   

It was an exciting victory for Tolentino, who posted an 8-5 lead then suddenly saw his advantage wiped out quickly by a spirited charge from Chang. Three straight wins by the Taiwanese in the 14th, 15th and 16th rack set up a down-to-the-wire finish.

Chang appeared to have the momentum when he bungled the most important colored ball – the blue 10-ball in the 17th – and Tolentino wasted no time to finish the job and complete a double win

Tolentino was also coming off a win over another Taiwanese rival, Chien-Te Chung, 9-4, late Friday night.

"My breaking game worked wonders for me," said Tolentino, who practices regularly at the Star Billiards Center of long-time billiards supporter Sebastian Chua. "Maybe, I was lucky, too. I survived and now look forward to my next game."