Filipino bets advance in World Pool Championship

Filipino cue artist during the World Pool Championship

Filipino cue artist during the World Pool Championship. –HANDOUIT PHOTO

Three Filipino cue artists are still in the title hunt after reaching the round-of-16 of the World Pool Championship with victories Thursday in Saudi Arabia.

Johann Chua, Jeffrey Ignacio and Anton Raga won two matches each to progress further in the knockout stages that began at Green Halls in Jeddah.

Chua defeated Chinese-Taipei’s Ko Ping Han, 11-5, before edging out Austria’s Max Lechner, 11-10, while Ignacio ousted Spain’s Jonas Souto Comino, 11-10, and fellow Filipino Patric Gonzales, 11-7.

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Raga kept his dreams of winning the best title of his pool career by prevailing over Chinese-Taipei’s Liu Ri Teng, 11-3, and Austria’s Mario He, 11-10.

The round-of-16 is set late Friday with Chua facing Syria’s Mohammad Soufi, Ignacio playing Spain’s David Alcaide and Raga battling Germany’s Joshua Filler, who was champion in 2018.

The quarterfinals will be held on the same day.

All three are aiming to become the first Filipino winner of the prestigious nine-ball event since Carlo Biado ruled the 2017 event in Doha.

Efren “Bata” Reyes (1999), Ronnie Alcano (2006) and Francisco “Django” Bustamante (2010) are the other Filipinos who have won the tournament. Alex Pagulayan was also victorious in 2004 while representing Canada.

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