Gordon Trophy and $10,000 Await Subic-Olongapo Champion

The Richard Gordon Trophy for Sports Excellence and a cash prize of $10,000 await the winner of the first Subic-Olongapo Open Pool Championship which will be staged on April 21-23 at the Olongapo City Convention Center.

With 11 days to go before the tournament's start, 48 foreign and Filipino players have already signed up for the event, which is sanctioned by the Asian Pocket Billiards Union (APBU) and organized by Raya Sports. The Olongapo City Government led by Mayor James Gordon and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority headed by Administrator Armand Arreza are jointly hosting the event.

Nineteen foreign players from East Asia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Europe constitute the foreign contingent. They are led by world junior champion Pin-Yi Ko of Taiwan, Ricky Yang of Indonesia, Ibrahim Bin Amir of Malaysia, Kenji Taguchi of Japan, and Taiwan's current No. 1, Che-Wei Fu.

The biggest delegation is from Indonesia with 10 players, followed by Taiwan with three. Japan, Malaysia and Kuwait have two players each.

There is a lone player from Norway, Timo Makela, who plays in the Euro Pool Tour and won an all-expense paid trip to Subic via a tournament in Bangkok.

On the Philippine side, 29 players have registered for the tournament so far.
The Filipino contingent will be led by world ten-ball semifinalist Demosthenes Pulpul, world juniors runner-up and 2009 Billiard Stars Search champion Jericho Banares, and Manny Pacquiao International Open champion Jeffrey De Luna..

Olongapo City will be represented by two players: Florencio Banar and Daniel de la Rosa. Banar got his spot via a wild card and as Olongapo No. 1, while de la Rosa won a qualifying tournament staged last March 29-30.
The Subic-Olongapo Open will be played in two stages. Stage 1, the elimination or qualifying round, will be played at the Star Billiards Center in Quezon City on April 18 and 19.  Stage 2, the main tournament consisting of 32 players, will then take place in Olongapo City on April 21-23.

A total prize fund of $30,000 is on offer in the event. Prizes are awarded up to 32nd place, which means that players who make it to Stage 2 are assured of a prize.

A side feature and bonus of the tournament is that players, officials and fans can visit the resort city and freeport of Olongapo and Subic. Subic Bay used to be the site of the biggest US naval base in the world, and it offers visitors a great mix of attractions on both land and sea. Olongapo City, for its part, is famous for its bands, city life and many tourist haunts.

For more information about the Subic-Olongapo Open, visit the Raya Sports website: www.rayasports.com.