MARLON Manalo advanced to the knockout stage of the 2018 World 9-Ball Championship in Doha, Qatar.
Manalo won eight of his 10 matches in the qualifiers to move into the knockout stage of the prestigious competition ruled last year by compatriot Carlo Biado, who also gained passage into the knockout round.
Manalo beat Mohammad Alshammari of Kuwait, Lee Junho of Korea, and countryman Robert Brillantes via similar 7-1 scorelines.
Manalo, a barangay captain of Brgy. Malamig in Mandaluyong City, later added Ip Tung Pong of Hong Kong, 7-4; Zaid Alsherayti of Syria, 7-5; and Baser Alqallaf of Kuwait, 7-5 to his list of victims before beating Adonis Santos of the Philippines, 7-6, and Alaa Bata of Jordan, 7-6.
Biado will be looking to retain the world 9-ball crown he won over Robert Garcia last year.