Pagulayan, Kiamco Still Kicking in Qatar World 9-Ball

Alex Pagulayan

FIL-CANADIAN Alex "The Lion" Pagulayan, the 2004 World 9-Ball Champion and 2005 US Open 9-ball ruler and Warren "Warrior" Kiamco, the 2008 Villar Cup titlist, are still kicking in the loser's side after hurdling their respective rivals in the on-going Qatar Open 9-Ball tournament being held at the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation in Al Muntazah Road, Doha, Qatar, late Wednesday.
The Cabagan, Isabela native Pagulayan ousted Mohd El Assal of Egypt, 9-5, while NBS bet Kiamco, who hails from Pasil, Cebu stuned 2004 World 9-Ball finalist Pei-Wei Chang of Taiwan, 9-3.
Also in contention in this $40,000 top purse event are 2007 Manny Pacquiao International 9-Ball Open titlist Jeffrey "The Bull" De Luna, Middle East based Allan "Surigao" Cuartero and 2006 Doha Asian Games 9-Ball gold medalist Antonio "Ga-Ga" Gabica.
De Luna nipped Hung Hsiung Wang of Taiwan, 9-8, Cuartero defeated Marcus Juva of Finland, 9-6, while Gabica beat Ralf Mrnka of Germany, 9-6.
Some Filipino cue artists were not as fortunate in the next stage (round-of-32), single elimination format, after losing their matches.
Joven "The Shark" Bustamante, one of the prize fighters of billiard manager Ceferino "Perry" Mariano yielded to Alok Kumar of India, 9-8, Middle East based Ruben Cuna bowed to heavyweight Thomas Engert of Germany, 9-0, while another OFW Joyme Vicente lost to three-time world junior champion Vilmos Foldes of Hungrary, 9-7.
Kumar, who added Bustamante to his list of victims, failed to progress in the next round losing to reigning US Open 9-ball kingpin Shane Van Boening  of the United States 9-2 in the next match.
Meanwhile, former World 9-ball king Ralf "Kaiser" Souquet and Oliver "The Machine" Ortmann kept German flag alive after posting contrasting victories.
Souquet, who beat Bugsy ace Ronato "Volcano" Alcano in the finals of 2008 Fujairah World 8-ball competition hammered Hijikata Hayato of Japan, 9-5, while Ortmann crushed Zaed Dwab of Jordan, 9-6.
Sharing the limelight were current WPA World Junior Champion Pin-Yi Ko who beat Marcus "Napoleon" Chamat of Sweden, 9-3, as well as Satoshi "Dynamite" Kawabata of Japan, who overpowered Han Hao Xiang of Hong Kong, 9-2.
The single-elimination, race-to-11 format, round-of-32 stage will start today. Nine Filipinos have already advanced into the knock-out stage after remaining undefeated in their preliminary group stage matches.