Junior World Championship Underway

SYDNEY , Australia – Rene Mar David had a perfect meal and a perfect game yesterday.

The 17-year-old from Barangay Botocan in Quezon City blanked Coby Cranmere of the host country, 9-0, in the opening round of the World 9-Ball Junior Championship after a sumptuous lunch at the Lutong Pinoy Restaurant here.

“ At home na at home pa rin ako. Iba siyempre kapag pagkaing Pilipino ang nakain mo (I felt at home here. It felt different if you ate Filipino food ),” said David following his victory at the billiards hall of RSL Club in Rooty Hill.

He was accompanied by RSL food supervisor Rolando Balbin in the famous Filipino restaurant in the area, a five-minute drive from the venue. David, the first Filipino to compete in the event, raced to a quick 5-0 lead in the alternate break affair, highlighting his initial wave with the match's only golden break on the fourth frame.

“Ang ganda ng tinitira ko sa simula pa lang kaya sa tingin ko pinaghinaan na rin ng loob ang nakalaban ko. (My shots were good from the start, that maybe the reason why my opponent self-destructed in the end,” related David.

He had little trouble on the fifth rack, trading safety shots with Cranmere and fouling up twice. But the local boy from Wagga Wagga , New South Wales failed to set up what could have been the final foul for David and left a wide open table for a 6-0 lead for the Filipino.

Cranmere also had a chance to score on the seventh rack after pocketing two balls on his break and taking a clear look at the one-ball. Unfortunately for the chubby 15-year-old, he missed a long shot on the orange five and practically gifted David a 7-0 advantage.

A one-nine combo on the next frame pushed David to the hill with plenty to spare. David, whose campaign is supported by the Philippine Sports Commission, Billiards and Snooker Congress of the Philippines , Raya Sports, Kingston basketball club, Lutong Pinoy Restaurant, Grand Sports, MASCO head Ali Atienza and Bugsy's Promotion, will next face Jonathan Pakieto of New Zealand .

Pakieto, a lanky 17-year-old, beat Shin Jin Hae of Korea , 9-2. He finished ninth in the competition two years ago.

In other matches, two-time defending champion Wu Yu Lun of Taiwan downed Blake Bartlett of Australia, 9-2, Arther Koshovoyy of Ukraine won by default over Mohammad Farshd of Iran, Diego Gomez of Venezuela beat Yusuke Shibata of Japan, 9-6, and Daniel Rakin, a Filipino-American from Daly City, California, trounced Ben Getaj of Australia, 9-4.