ANTONIO Gabica and Efren "Bata" Reyes and five other Filipinos gained outright berths to the World Pool-Billiards Association 9-Ball Championship set in Doha.
The qualifiers will run from June 16 to 19 while the main draw will be from June 21 to 24. The knockout phase is set June 25 to 27.
Gabica goes for the world 9-ball title after settling for second behind Thorsten Hohmann of Germany in last year’s tournament, while Reyes tries to get back to his winning form and add to the 1999 title he won in Cardiff, Wales.
Other Filipinos who are part of the 116 who gained automatic berths are former world champion Dennis Orcollo, Carlo Biado, Lee Van Corteza, Israel Rota, and Jeff De Luna.
Twelve spots are still open and will be filled after the qualifiers.