Gallego Beats Van Boening; Moves on To Round-Of-32 in Qatar 9-Ball

Ramil Gallego

JAPAN based Ramil "Bebeng" Gallego edged reigning US Open 9-Ball Champion Shane Van Boening of the United States, 9-8,  and advanced to the round-of-32 of the on-going $150,000 total pot prize Qatar Open 9-Ball tournament at the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation in Al Muntazah Road, Doha, Qatar, late Tuesday.

The Bacolod City native Gallego, one of the top players of Jonathan Sy's Negros Billiard Stable, jumped to an early 6-1 lead before Van Boening, fondly called "The South Dakota Kid" to tie the match at 8-all in the 16th racks, in this race-to-9, alternate break format.

Gallego suffered an empty break in the final rack and Van Boening made a safety shot but the former (Gallego) sank No.1 ball and cleaned up the table to escape with a 9-8 victory.

"I hope my winning ways will continue till the end," said Gallego, a former Asian 9-Ball Tour Champion and a five-time Japan Champion.

Fellow NBS stalwart and Reigning National Open Champion Lee Vann "The Slayer" Corteza, who hails from Davao City, meanwhile trounced three-time WPA World Junior titlist Vilmos Foldes of Hungary, 9-7, to book his seat to the round-of-32.

However, another NBS bet Warren "Warrior" Kiamco bowed to former WPA World 9-Ball Champion Thorsten "The Hitman" Hohmann of Germany, 9-8. The 36-year-old Kiamco from Pasil, Cebu had a chance to make it to the round-of-32 if he won his  matches in the loser's brackets in this double elimination format that offers $40,000 to the winner.

Joining them in the round-of-32 are Efren "Bata" Reyes, Francisco "Django" Bustamante, Ronato "Volcano" Alcano, Dennis "Robocop" Orcollo, Gandy "Yang-Yang" Valle, Roberto "Superman" Gomez, Marlon "Marvelous" Manalo, Chia-Ching Wu and Jung-lin Chamg of Taiwan, Mika "The Iceman" Immonen of Finland, Niels "The Terminator" Feijen of the Netherlands, Zhang Schu-chun of China and Naef Al Jaweeni of Kingdom of Saudia Arabia.

Reyes beat Marcus "Napoleon" Chamat of Sweden, 9-8, Bustamante defeated compatriot Alex "The Lion" Pagulayan, 9-7, Alcano subdued Hamza Mohd Al of Qatar, 9-1, Orcollo nipped Darren Appleton of Great Britain, 9-6, Valle stuns Bruno Muratore of Italy, 9-0, Gomez crushed Zaed Dwab of Joran, 9-4, Manalo hammered countryman Antonio "Ga-Ga" Gabica, 9-4, Wu bested Satoshi Kawabata of Japan, 9-2, Chang outplayed Hijikata Hayato of Japan, 9-5, Immonen blasted Jeffrey "The Bull" de Luna, 9-7, Feijen overpowered Middle East based Allan "Surigao" Cuartero, 9-5, Zhang outpointed Vincent Facquet of France, 9-2, and Al Jaweeni smashed another Middle East based Ruben Cuna, 9-4.

In the loser's brackets, Joven Bustamante and Joyme Vicente toppled their respective rivals to remain in contention. Joven defeated Abdullah Alyosef of Kuwait, 9-6, while Vicente clobbered Fahad Al Mohammadi of Qatar, 9-5. Four-time World 9-Ball Champion Johnny "The Scorpion" Archer of the United States was eliminated after suffering his second setback at the hands of Mohamed Mamdoh of Egypt, 9-8. 

Another ex-World 9-Ball Champion and reigning World 8-ball ruler Ralf " Kaiser" Souquet and Oliver "The Machine" Ortmann of Germany and current WPA World Junior titlist Pin-Yi Ko of Taiwan are still in contention winning their matches in the one-loss side. Souquet ousted Mazen Berjawoui of Lebanon, 9-4, Ortmann waylaid Jalal Y.J.Odetalah of Jordan, 9-3, while Ko smashed Bader Alawadi of Kuwait, 9-6.

According to the QBSF, the top 32 players in the world pool rankings will have a bye in the first round. All contests in the group stages will be played under double elimination format with a race to nine. Four players, two each from the winners and losers' brackets, will advance to the final round of 32 which, as well as with quarter- and semi-finals, will be a race to 11 by single elimination. The final will be a race to 13.