Marcos opens WTBC qualifier

MANILA, PHILIPPINES---Foreign players and guests got a glimpse of Filipino culture in the opening of the five-day qualifying sessions for the remaining slots in the World Ten Ball Championship on Thursday.

Members of the Kalinangan Dance Company treated the crowd at the state-of-the-art Star Billiards Center with their rendition of the national anthem and an assortment of folk dance.

They even picked foreign partners in dancing the “tinikling” to the delight of guest of honor and Ilocos Norte representative Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.

The Kalinangan Dance Company is composed of students from E. Rodriguez, Jr. High School and led by its adviser Dante Ballesteros.

Marcos formally opened the qualifier by pocketing the 10-ball on the ceremonial break. He also made a decent break the second time around.

A total of 128 players joined the first two stages of the qualifying with foreign entries reaching triple digits.

There will be two qualifying stages each day with the winner advancing to the main draw, which begins on Nov. 25 at the World Trade Center in Manila.

Former Asian Games gold medal winners Gandy Valle and Antonio “Nickoy” Lining and Asian 9-Ball Tour leg winners Ramil “Bebeng” Gallego and Joven Bustamante are among the Filipino hopefuls in the qualifying.