Cuartero, Magpantay Win Spots in Phil Open

VETERAN campaigner Alan Cuartero and Jonas Magpantay took the two spots in the Philippine Open qualifier staged at the Star Billiards Center on May 9-11 by the Billiards and Snooker Congress of the Philippines.
A Filipino based in Kuwait, Cuartero stormed through the double-elimination tournament unscathed, winning five straight matches, including a 13-7 victory over Magpantay in the final match of the winners' bracket.
For his part, Magpantay of Mindoro Oriental took the second spot by beating Archie Padal of Davao 13-10 in the final match of the losers' bracket.
While Cuartero showed his class throughout the three-day qualifier, Magpantay was the sensation of the tournament. Just 15 years old and recently graduated from Pedro Tuazon elementary school, he took down four veteran Class A players, including SEA Games gold medalist Fidel Punzalan and Silverio Tulabing.
On the final day of the qualifier, six players remained: Cuartero, Elvis Calasang, Arnel Bautista, Resty Labastida, Archie Padal and Magpantay.  When the smoke cleared, only Cuartero and Magpantay were still standing.
The two will join seven other Filipino players in the main tournament of the Philippine Open. One group consists of top players in the BSCP rankings, namely: Jericho Banares, Jeffrey De Luna, Leonardo Didal, Mario Tolentino and Demosthenes Pulpul.
Three other players – Ronnie Alcano, Warren Kiamco and Dennis Orcullo – will receive their spots by virtue of their places in the world rankings of the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA).
Barring any hitches, there will be at least 10 Filipinos seeing action in the Philippine Open, the first major event in the WPA World Ranking Tour. They will see action against a stellar field from Europe, America and Asia that includes world champions Ralf Souquet of Germany, Darren Appleton of Great Britain, and Ko Pin Yi of Chinese Taipei.
The Philippine Open will kick off on Tuesday, May 26 at the SM Megamall, Megatrade Hall 2, and will conclude on Sunday, May 31.