RP Pool Tour Takes Off in Mandaluyong Tomorrow

Thorsten Hohmann

The biggest and richest pool tour ever mounted in the Philippines -- the Philippine Pool Tour -- will take off in Mandaluyong City on Tuesday, May 6, with 64 players from America, Europe, Asia and the Philippines competing for top honors and a Filipino fiesta to mark the occasion.

Organized by the Billiards & Snooker Congress of the Philippines (BSCP) and presented by San Miguel Beer, the PPT is a monthly series of tournaments to be staged in strategic cities all over the Philippine archipelago. Each tournament features the discipline of Ten Ball, the most popular game in the country today.

Former world champions Thorsten Hohmann of Germany, Johnny Archer of the US and Satoshi Kawabata of Japan lead the foreign contingent of players.

On the Philippine end, reigning national champions Antonio Gabica and Jeffrey De Luna, international titlists Marlon Manalo and Leonardo Andam, and 2008 Philippine junior champion Jericho Banares will lead the charge.

Serving as host to the tournament are City Mayor Ben-hur Abalos and the people of Mandaluyong. Nicknamed Tiger City because of its dynamic growth in recent years, Mandaluyong has hosted many national and international tournaments, including the prestigious Philippine Open of the Asian Gold Tour.

The winner of the Mandaluyong Mayor's Cup will get $10,000 in top prize money, the handsome Mayor Abalos trophy, and a guaranteed spot in the first World Ten Ball Championship in Manila in September.

From Mandaluyong, the PPT will move next to Puerto Princesa City in Palawan in June, and then to Cebu City, Davao City, Angeles City, before concluding in Manila for the grand finale in December.

Serving as highlight for the PPT is the 2008 World Ten Ball Championship at the Philippine International Convention Center in September and October. The winner of the first four PPT legs get guaranteed spots in the WTBC.

ABS-CBN Studio 23 will broadcast the Mandaluyong Cup live on May 10 and 11. International commentators Ted Lerner and Bob Guerrero form the broadcast team.

Star Billiards is providing all world-class billiards equipment to the tournament, consisting of eight Brunswick Metro tables, Ivan Simonis tournament cloth, and Aramith championship balls.

Raya Sports, organizer of the 2006 and 2007 World Pool Championship, handles technical and event management for the tournament.

For event details and updates, visit www.rayasports.com