MANNY Pacquiao blew a one-rack lead on the hill before bowing to American John Plunkett, 9-8, on Monday at the start of the Philippine Open 10-Ball Championship in General Santos City.
The Filipino boxing star went down against the American, losing grip of an 8-7 lead after committing several miscues under the grinding pressure in the final frames.
Plunkett, who works as an interstate truck driver in the United States, eventually won at hill-hill against the 35-year-old Pacquiao, who is sponsoring the event.
“This single victory feels like a million,” Plunkett was quoted as saying.
Despite the defeat, Pacquiao, who is also playing-coach of pro basketball team KIA in the PBA, still remains in contention of advancing to the next round of the double-knockout format tournament.
Meanwhile, the legendary Efren ‘Bata’ Reyes, Mika Immonen of Finland, and John Morra of Canada beat their respective opponents on opening day.
Reyes defeated Jerome Adolfo, 9-2, Immonen also won by the same score over John Salazar, 9-2, while Morra beat Mohammad Al-Shamari, 9-4.
Other local players who won their first matches were Leo Bayet, Godofredo Ducanes, Archie Padal, Benjie Guevarra, John Rebong, Johann Chua, and Christian Gariando.
Americans Shane Van Boening and Rodney Morris are also entered in the $150,000 tournament.