Pagulayan, Alcano advance to Qatar Open Main Draw

FORMER World Champions Alex Pagulayan and Ronnie Alcano topped their respective brackets in the qualifying round to advance in to the main draw of the Qatar Open 9-Ball tournament which begins today, June 29 and will ends on July 5 at the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation, Al Muntazah Road in Doha, Qatar.
The Cabagan, Isabela native Pagulayan, the 2004 WPA World 9-Ball Titlist and 2005 US Open Champion beat compatriot and Cebu native Israel "Amay" Rota, 7-4, to rule Group 6.
Alcano, the lanky-cue artist from Calamba, Laguna, who is also the 2006 WPA World 9-Ball Champion and 2007 WPA World World 8-Ball ruler stuned Mohanna OBaidly, 7-1, to dominate Group 5 division.
More Filipinos are expected to qualify for the main event, but were still playing in qualifying rounds at the time of this article.

Allan Cuartero bested 2007 WPA World 9-Ball finalist Roberto Gomez, 7-2, in Group 1, Ruben Cuna stopped the winning ways of snooker specialist Benjie Guevarra, 7-1, in Group 2, Joven Bustamante beat Monaza Belardo, 7-1, in Group 3, Vicente Joyme beat Ibrahim Al Ahmad, 7-1, in Group 4.
Gandy Valle, who hails from Davao City and fresh from winning of Villar Cup Cebu leg last weekend is hoping to make it to the main event today playing in the last qualifying round. Valle bowed to Ahmad, 7-6, who beat Joyme, nephew of Rolly "Lando" Vicente of Puyat Sports in the finals of Group 4.
Pool maestro Efren "Bata" Reyes, Francisco "Django" Bustamante, World No.1 Dennis "Robocop" Orcollo, Ramil "Bebeng" Gallego, Marlon "Marvelous" Manalo, Jeffrey "The Bull" De Luna, and reigning national champion Lee Vann "The Slayer" Corteza took a bye in the first round.
Meanwhile, Leonardo "Dodong Dadiangas" Andam is hoping to win against his first round opponent, local bet Ahmed Al Sada,  and if he prevails, another former WPA 9-Ball and 8-Ball ruler Chia-Ching Wu of Taiwan is waiting in the next round. Warren "Warrior" Kiamco, on the other hand will face Dharminder Lilly of India.
96 players will see action in this $150,000 total pot prize event that offers $40,000 to the winner. They will be divided into eight groups with 12 players each. They will play in a double elimination, alternate break, race-to-nine format. Four players from each group will qualify – two from the winner's bracket and two from the loser's bracket.A formidable cast of foreign participants from Europe and the United States also in the main draw. Ralf Souquet, Thomas Engert, Oliver Ortmann and Thorsten Hohmann of Germany, Radoslaw Babica of Poland, Konstantin Stepanov of Russia, Niels Fejen of the Netherlands, Fabio Petroni of Italy, Marcus Chamat of Sweden and Johnny Archer and Shane Van Boening of the US are also the favorites in the tournament.  Also include reigning WPA World 9-Ball Titlist Daryl Peach of Great Britain.