ANTONIO GABICA fell just a hairline short of the semifinals, bowing to Lee He Wen of China, 10-11, in the round-of-eight on Friday, Manila time, in the World 9-Ball Championship in Doha, Qatar.
Gabica, the last Filipino in the field, entered the quarterfinals with an 11-9 win over former world pool champion Mika Immonen of Finland on Thursday.
Dennis Orcollo was earlier sent packing by former European champion Nick van den Berg of the Netherlands, 11-6, while Jundel Mazon also fell in the round of 16 when he was edged by Ko Pin Yi of Chinese Taipei, 11-9.
Lee He Wen of China set up the showdown with Gabica with 11-9 winner over Omar Al-Shaheen of Kuwait.
The Chinese pool ace faces former world pool champion Ralf Souquet of Germany in the semifinals. Darren Appleton and Ohi Naoyuki face off in the other semi.
Superstar Efren “Bata” Reyes bowed out in the round-of-32.
Reyes, the 1999 world pool champion, got to the hill first but Dominic Jentsch of Germany rallied to win, 11-10.
In the round-of-32, former world 8-ball titlist Orcollo defeated Hsu Kai Lun, 11-8; Gabica sneaked past Yang Ching Shun of Chinese Taipei, 11-9; and Mazon scored an 11-3 win over Russia’s Konstantin Stepanov.
Orcollo needed to win four of the final five racks for the win as Hsu was able to tie the match at seven after trailing 5-7.
It was an even tougher match for Gabica, who trailed the Taiwanese bet 8-9 before winning three straight racks to take the victory.
Lee Van Corteza was not as fortunate as he was booted out by former champion Mika Immonen, 11-5, to set up a match with Gabica in the round-of-16.
Reyes fell behind by two racks early but steadied himself to take a one-game lead in the 11th rack then extended it to 8-5.
Jentsch then won consecutive racks to even it at 8-8. Reyes won the 17th and 18th racks to move to the hill but Jentsch won the last three to seal his place in the last 16.