Upsets Mark Hope P1M All Filipino Billiards Open

1998 Asian Games gold medallist Gandy Valle and 2002 Busan gold medallist Antonio "Nikoy" Lining suffered stunning upsets as the Hope P1 million All Filipino Billiards Open continued at the Bowling Inn and Billiards Center on Taft Avenue, Manila, yesterday.

Valle lost a 7-6 cliffhanger to 21 year old upstart Carlos Viado of Tarlac who became the youngest qualifier to enter the round of sixteen in the event sanctioned by the Billiards and Snooker Congress of the Philippines headed by its president Ernesto Fajardo in cooperation with the acknowledged "Godfather" of Philippine pool, Aristeo "Putch" Puyat. The tournament serves as one of the qualifying rounds for players vying for slots on the Philippine team to the Southeast Asian Games in Manila this November.

In stark contrast to the young Viado's win was the victory of the "Old Warrior" Roberto Dy who whipped the favored Lining, a former Japan Open champion, 7-2. Dy, who is well past his sixties, was in command right from the opening rack while Lining self-destructed in the later stages of the match. Dy opened with two consecutive run-outs followed by two clean-ups that gave him what seemed like an insurmountable 4-0 lead. Lining fought back to win two of the next three racks but Dy capitalized on a blunder by Lining in the eighth rack and then closed out the match with an impressive run-out.

Also moving into the round of sixteen where they will join pool greats Efren "Bata" Reyes, Francisco "Django" Bustamante and reigning World Pool Champion Alex "The Lion" Pagulayan were Antonio Gabica and Edgar Acaba. Gabica beat Mario Tolentino of Aklan 7-5 and then routed Dondon Razalan of Quezon 7-1 while Acaba whipped Godofredo Ducanes of South Cotabato 7-4 and Luis Saberdo of Manila 7-1.

In an effort to stay alive Lining faces snooker player turned pool player Joven Alba while Valle faces Victor Arpilleda. Razlan goes up against Jeffrey De Luna and Ramil Gallego battles Saberdo in seperate knockout matches to determine the last four qualifyers in the round of sixteen.

The matches in the final stages of the tournament telecast by Jemah Television on prime time will be played in the studios of IBC Channel 13.