Legend Parica Set for WPC Debut

Jose Parica

Pinoy pool legend Jose Parica is set to make his debut appearance at the $350,000 WPA World Pool Championship this summer after accepting a sponsors invitation from event promoters Matchroom Sport.

Despite nearly 25 years as one of the world's premier 9-ball exponents, the Los Angeles-based Parica has never before had the opportunity to test his considerable skills against the toughest line-up the sport has to offer.

The 2004 World Pool Championship takes place from 10 - 18 July at the World Trade Center, Taipei and is scheduled for over 60 hours of live broadcast on ESPN Star Sports throughout Asia.

For Parica, a youthful looking 54, Taiwan has proved a happy hunting ground over the years as he has racked up two major wins - the 1980 International and the 1993 Peace Cup - in his sporadic visits to the country.

The 2003 US Open runner-up said, "I'm looking forward to it. It is a fantastic championship and I will be going to do my very best to win."

Parica's presence in the 128 man starting line-up highlights the anomalies that the World Pool Championship selection process can throw up.

Despite being ranked No.2 on the UPA US Tour, Parica could not be nominated by the Billiard Congress of America as he is not an American citizen.

Similarly, the Asian Pocket Billiard Union could not nominate him either, because despite Parica being a citizen of the Philippines, he does not hold a ranking within that organisation.

Commented Matchroom Sport Chairman Barry Hearn, " We're thrilled that a cueman of Parica's talent will be with us in Taipei and I'm sure he will be a real danger to anyone he meets.

"We are seriously looking at the selection procedures for 2005 with a view to giving it a complete overhaul."

Photo courtesy of Diana Hoppe - Pool Pics by Hoppe