Kiamco falls early at Villar Cup Cebu

CEBU CITY – Johann “Bubwit” Chua came up big and stole the thunder from the star-studded field as he took the scalp of first leg champion Warren Kiamco with a stunning 9-5 win at the start of the First Senate President Manny Villar Cup Cebu Leg yesterday at the jampacked Trade Hall of SM City Cebu.

The 16-year-old Chua, a member of Bugsy Promotions of businessman Perry Mariano, displayed booming breaks and superb pocketing in romping off to a strong start before quashing Kiamco's late push to become the biggest victor so far in this topnotch tournament presented by Villards: Tulong sa Pagsulong ng Philippine Sports, in partnership with the Billiards Managers and Players Association of the Philippines (BMPAP) and sponsored by Camella Communities.

After splitting the first four racks, Chua broke and ran out five consecutive racks reach the hill at 8-3 before Kiamco claimed the next two for his last hurrah. Chua closed the match by pocketing a tough-angled bank shot of the money-ball in the 14th frame.

The victory moved Chua to within one win of advancing into the knockout stage of this event supported by Puyat Sports, Bugsy Promotions and Negros Billiards Stable.
Also winning their opening matches in the top half of the draw were fellow Bugsy boys Jharome Pena and Jundel Mazon, who demolished Roy Steffensen (9-0) and Elmer Haya (9-2), respectively.

Ricky Zerna and Ramil Gallego of Jonathan Sy's NBS likewise advance into the winners' side with convincing wins over Roberto Dy (9-6) and Russina Petiza (9-5).

In the lower half of the draw Michael Feliciano scored contrasting victories over two fellow rising pool stars to lead the first batch of players in advancing to the knockout stage.

The 22-year-old Feliciano, who made it to the 64-main draw via the last qualifying tournament Thursday, first came from behind to edge Bugsy stablemate Mark Malayan, 9-8, and then upended former national juniors champion Mark Mendoza with a 9-6 win to move closer to the coveted Villar Cup and the P400,000 top purse that goes with it.

He is joined into the Last 32 by other Bugsy boys in Richard Pornelosa, Mike Takayama and Egie Geronimo, along with William Millares and Eduardo Villanueva of FE Stable, Steve Villamil, Jech Limen, Arturo Publico, Panfilo Damuag, Romar Villones and 14-year-old Diondel Raga of Negros Billiards Stable.

Reigning Kyoto 9-Ball Open champion Dondon Razalan and hometown bets Michael Mendez and Achilles Navarra rounded up the 16 players advancing from the first half of the draw in this topnotch event presented by Villards: Tulong sa Pagsulong ng Philippine Sports, in partnership with the Billiards Managers and Players Association of the Philippines (BMPAP) and sponsored by Camella Communities.

The other half of the field, which includes former world champions Efren “Bata” Reyes, Alex Pagulayan and Ronnie Alcano, along with other who's who of Philippine billiards, were contesting the remaining 16 slots to the KO round at presstime.
A short opening ceremony ushered the start of the competitions with no less than Senate President Manny Villar declaring the games open.

“Cebu is just one of the stops of the Villar Cup. As I've promised I will bring Villar Cup to other provinces to give our kababayans a chance to personally see our world-class billiards players,” said Villar.

“This is my little way of helping promote the sport, where we Filipinos are top of the world,” he added.

Pornelosa made it to the Last 32 by beating Joey Pardales and Romar Villones with the same 9-7 decision; Takayama lost his opening match against Edison Crisilles, 9-7, but bounced back by trouncing Marvin Gentapa, 9-5, and Mendoza, 9-6; and Geronimo also recovered from a 9-2 defeat to Mendoza by trouncing Malayan, 9-4, and Crisilles, 9-2.

Millares downed Roldan Tolentino (9-6) and Jun Caro (9-2), Villanueva subdued Jomel Sultan (9-6) and Razalan (9-5), Villamil defeated Rey Grandea (9-8) and Publico (9-6), Damuag blasted William Chua (9-5) and Sultan (9-8), Villones beat John Rebong (9-8) and Chiong Ortiz (9-4), Limen trounced Eljun Abellana (9-2) and Bernard Tagalog (9-6), Publico nipped Raga (9-6) and Abellana (9-8), Raga won over Grandea (9-3) and Tagalog (9-8), Razalan prevailed against Ryan Cimafranca (9-3) and Chua (9-3), Mendez crushed Emil Martinez (9-1) and Damuag (9-5) and Navarra overcame Gentapa (9-7) and Crisilles (9-5).