Francisco Bustamante enters Semis in Fil-9 Ball Open

Francisco Bustamante

NEW YORK, NEW YORK---FORMER no. 1 player in the world Francisco “Django” Bustamante shrugged off a hurting right elbow to stop the giant-killing run of Edgardo Sibuco, 9-4, and move to within a win of a semifinal seat in the Philippine 9-Ball Open Thursday at the Robinson's Galleria Trade Hall in Mandaluyong City, Philippines.

Sibuco has earlier beaten heavyweights Ramil "Bebeng" Gallego and Leonardo “Dodong Dadiangas” Andam.

With his injury acting up, Bustamante shied away from his patented powerful break, but still managed to run out four racks.

“Sa US ko pa nakuha ‘to,” said Bustamante, whose wife Mila is expected to give birth to their third child two months from now.

The better-half of Tarlaqueno cue artists is cheering him from the gallery since the first day of competition.

After running out his first two breaks, Bustamante took a frame off Sibuco's turn to set the tone for the rout.

Bustamante will next face the winner between Alex "The Lion" Pagulayan and Dennis "Surigao" Orcullo.

Reigning San Miguel Asian 9-Ball Tour Manila leg champion Ronnie "Calamba" Alcano also stopped cold the winning ways of upset-conscious Mario "Aklan" Tolentino, 9-5.

Tolentino, easily the tournament's biggest revelation, beat Efren “Bata” Reyes and Rodolfo “Boy Samson” Luat in the first two rounds.

But Alcano jumped the gun on his unsuspecting foe and didn't let him recover by holding his turns to break in the backstretch.

Jeffrey “Jeff Bata” de Luna forged a fourth round match with Alcano after routing defending champion Antonio "Ga-Ga" Gabica, 9-3.

De Luna, considered by many as the next important cue artist in the country, was flawless with his breaks and pocketing against Gabica.

The only chink on his armor, from Pagulayan's point of view, is his penchant for slow play.

File photo courtesy of Diana Hoppe - Pool Pics by Hoppe