Tough tasks for RP’s Mark Mendoza in World JR Championship

Mark Mendoza

Tough tasks await for reigning Philippine Junior champion Mark Aristotle Mendoza, after landed in the upper half bracket in the company of three-time defending World Junior Champion Yu-Lun Wu of Taiwan, Albin Ouschan of Austria and Thomas Luttich of host country.

The 18-year-old Mendoza, member of the rising Negros Billiard Stable (NBS) will be playing against Paul Everette of Canada at the start of the 2007 WPA World Youth 9-Ball for juniors and girls late Tuesday at the Sauerland Stern Hotel in Willingen, Germany.

However, if he wins his opening match, he'll be facing Wu in the next round. Wu received a bye in the first round in this 22 nation boys meet, race-to-9 double elimination format.

"I'm ready. I hope luck is on my side," said Mendoza, the pride of Hulo, Mandaluyong City before his departure flight last Saturday. Mendoza's stint here is being supported by billiard patron Jonathan Sy, president of the Negros Billiard Stable and Mandaluyong City mayor Benhur Abalos.

Mendoza had previously won exhibition games against top players of Bugsy Promotion last March. He beat WPA 9-Ball Champion and WPA 8-Ball Champion Ronato "Volcano" Alcano, 15-8, for the top prize of P11,000 and 2007 Battle of Scandinavia 9-ball runner-up Jharome "Pendong" Peña, 13-12, for a P5,000 purse in their 10-ball matches, both played in his billiard hall in Hulo, Mandaluyong City. He also beat Carlo "Cool" Biado and fellow teen-ager Mike Takayama, also from Bugsy Promotion for P5,000 purse.

Accompanying Mendoza is his father/coach Ferdinand Mendoza. Mark, fondly called "Big Mac" or "Makmak" in local pool, earned a ticket in the World Youth 9-ball junior when he dominated the inaugural Billiards and Snooker Congress of the Philippines (BSCP)-Magnolia Health Tea Philippine Junior Pool Championship last September by beating Jordan Legaspi of Bocaue, Bulacan, 11-3, in the finals to capture the P50,000 top prize in the event sponsored by San Miguel Corporation at the Rizal Memorial Billiards Center in Malate, Manila.

Other representative Rene Mar David is in the bottom half of the bracket and drew a bye in the first round. The 17-year-old David, from Barangay Botocan, Quezon City will meet Michal Charnecki of Poland in the next round. Revo, his nickname in pool arena, advanced in the main draw after making it to the quarter-final round in last year's World Junior in Sydney, Australia.

Other young cue artists joining the 22 nation boys meet are 2006 Sydney World Junior runner-up Pin-yi Ko and Ming Lin Kui of Taiwan, Ruslan Chinahov and Roman Pruchai of Russia, Yevgen Novosad of Ukraine, Stephen Lammens of Belgium, Marc Bucais of Canada, Edward Sandjaja Ikhwan of Indonesia, Diego Gomez of Venezuela, Landon Shuffett, Joshua Newman, Christopher Futrell and Richard Barney of the United States, Xianh Yao of China, Petri MaKKonen of Finland, Mathew Lawrenson of Great Britain, Attila, Bezdan of Hungrary, Hao Xiang Han of Hongkong, Nico Wehner, Dominic Jentsch, Ramazan Dincer and Fabian Breuer of Germany.

The winner of the WPA sanctioned event brings home the gold medal, with the runner-up getting the silver medal and the third placer receiving bronze medal. Meanwhile, Filipino-American Mary Rakin will see in action in the distaff side. The Daly City, California based Rakin is the defending World Junior girl crown.