Lining and Valle Advance in $20,000 All Filipino Open

Antonio Lining

Veteran Antonio "Nikoy" Lining, the former All Japan Open champion and 1998 Asian Games gold medalist Gandy Valle continued their winning run in the qualifying stage of the Hope P1 million ($20,000) All Filipino Billiard Open played at the Bowling Inn and Billiards Center on busy Taft Avenue, Manila.

Lining overcame unknown Jose Drilon of Manila 7-3 while Valle surprised fancied rising star Dennis Orcullo 7-5. The victories moved Lining and Valle within two wins of entering the last sixteen where they will be joined by the eight seeded players led by Efren "Bata" Reyes, Francisco "Django" Bustamante and reigning World Pool Champion Alex "The Lion" Pagulayan. Also seeded were soft-spoken Warren Kiamco, "Marvelous" Marlon Manalo, Asian Games gold medalist Lee Van Corteza and veterans Rodolfo Luat and Leonardo "Dodong" Andam.

In his opening match Lining whipped Allan Soliman 7-3 while Valle won over Cresencio Baliton by the same score. Orcullo who won his opening match in a titanic struggle with Jun Salazar had no answer to the shot-making of Valle.

Others who remained unbeaten were Ramil Gallego who edged Jolito Guevarra 7-5 and Antonio Gabica who outplayed Filemon De Leon 7-3.

The Hope P1 Million All Filipino Billiards Open is sponsored by Hope and Smart and organized by the "Godfather" of Philippine billiards, Aristeo "Putch" Puyat, president of Puyat Sports in cooperation with Jemah Television president Marc Roces with Rolly Vicente serving as tournament director.

The round of sixteen will be played at the television studios of IBC Channel 13 and will be telecast on prime time.

File photo courtesy of San Miguel 9-Ball Tour