Valle Eyes Back-To-Back Magnificent 7 Titles

Gandy Valle

Former Asian Games gold medalist Gandy Valle tries to make it two in a row and pocket another P300,000 cash prize when the second round of the Magnificent 7 Winner-Take-All 9-Ball Invitational Qualifier unfurls on Thursday at the Bravio Sports and Resto Lounge in Mandaue City .

Valle, a stalwart of the star-studded Bugsy Promotions of businessman Perry Mariano, won this year's kick-off leg of this series of tournaments organized by Hilton Cues by sweeping his six opponents in the round-robin play and outlasting Lee Van Corteza, 100-96, in the finals last May 5.

“I hope I will win again, and I will do my best to reach that goal,” said the 31-year-old Davaoeño, who is also the secretary-general of the Billiards Managers and Players Association of the Philippines (BMPAP).

But Valle will have his hands full with the field being a lot tougher that the one he ruled.

Leading the six challengers is two-time world champion Ronnie Alcano with fellow former world titlist Alex Pagulayan, 2007 World Pool runner-up Roberto Gomez, reigning national title-holder Corteza, and rising stars Joven Bustamante and Marvin Gentapa completing the field.

According to tournament chief organizer Mike Hilton, the players will play in a round-robin elimination of race-to-13 per match. The top two players with the most number of accumulated racks with advance into the finals, carrying their scores. The first to reach 100 racks wins the tournament presented by Bravio Sports and Resto Lounge with Fundador as sponsor.

Besides the P300,000 purse, the champion will also earn a spot to the main event to be held in December.

“We will also be holding Magnificent 7 Tournaments in other Asian countries such as Singapore and Thailand as we plan to open this event to international cue artists,” said Hilton.

The event will also serve as the preview of the First Senate President Manny Villar Cup Cebu Leg, which will held from June 20 to 22 at the Atrium of SM City Cebu.

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