POOL legend Efren “Bata” Reyes led the march of seven Filipinos to the knockout stages of the World 9-Ball Championships on Monday in Doha, Qatar.
Reyes pulled off another lopsided win as he outclassed Bader Al Awadi of Kuwait, 9-2, to go through to the round-of-64 in Group one via the winners’ bracket.
In a post-match interview with wpa-pool.com, Reyes was humble as usual, saying he only got the win because his opponent couldn’t get a decent shot after the break.
“I just got lucky. I always have a shot after the break,” said Reyes, who was one of 32 players who emerged undefeated in the group stage.
Francisco “Django” Bustamante also booked a seat in the knockout stages after defeating Abdullah Al Yousef, 9-4, in Group 9.
Also advancing were Carlo Biado and Roberto Gomez. Biado breezed past Roman Hubler of Czech Republic, 9-3, in Group 4 while Gomez defeated Mohammad Saeed of Qatar, 9-1.
Former world 8-ball champion Ronnie Alcano and Antonio Gabica were made to sweat, Alcano escaping with a 9-8 win over Hunter Lombardo of the United States and Gabica holding off Denis Grabe of Estonia, 9-7.
Lee Van Corteza likewise advanced at the expense of compatriot Marlon Caneda, 9-5.
Other Filipinos led by Dennis Orcollo are still vying for a spot in the knockout round via the losers’ bracket. Orcollo was defeated by Andrew Kong of Hong Kong, 5-9, in Group 15 action and will face another Filipino, Raymond Faraon, for a spot in the round-of-64.