Philippines hosts World Ten Ball Championship

Posted on May 03, 2011

A RECORD number of 44 countries, represented by 128 of the best pool players in the world, will take part in the 2011 World Ten Ball Championship of the World Pool-Billiard Association, when it starts on Tuesday, May 10, at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

Roberto Gomez of the Phillipines at the awarding ceremonies of the Beijing Open

Aside from the traditional pool powers -- Great Britain, Germany, the United States, China, Chinese Taipei and the Philippines -- the WPA and the host country will welcome several countries for the first time into the competition .

Among these are: Peru, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Norway, Uruguay, Croatia, Saudi Arabia and Iran.

All 128 participants are either national champions, winners of regional and international tournaments, or reigning and former world champions.

Mika Immonen of Finland, who won the world 10-ball title in 2009, is set to defend his crown. He returns to Manila fresh from his victory in the US 10-ball Masters last March.

But he faces a formidable array of challengers, that includes Dennis Orcullo of the Philippines, winner of this year’s WPA World 8-ball Championship; Thorsten Hohmann of Germany, winner of the 2011 Philippine Open in April and former world champion.

Antonio Lining of the Philippines, currently ranked world no. 1 in the WPA ranking system; Chang Jun Lin of Chinese Taipei, winner of the recently concluded Beijing Open,and Guinness series champion; Ralf Souquet, double wold champion in 8-ball and 9-ball.

Darren Appleton, winner of the inaugural WTBC in Manila in 2008; and Wu Chia-Ching, double world champion in 8-ball and 9-ball, who is returning to top-tier pool competition after a two-year hiatus.

Entries in the WTBC come from all the continental federations of the the WPA system -- the European Pocket Billiard Federation (EPBF), the Billiard Congress of America (BCA), the Asian Pocket Billiardzs Union (APBU), Confederacion Panamerica of Billairds (CPB), All Africa Pool Association (AAPA), and Oceania Pocket Billiard Association (OPBA).

The main tournament will take place on May 10 to 15 at the World Trade Center.

Prior to the start of the main event, a series of qualifiers will be staged at the Star Billiards Center in Quezon City.

Ten spots in the main draw are up for grabs.

The WTBC qualifiers will start today and will continue up to May 7.

Two qualifiers will be staged per day. Players in the qualifiers and main tournament have started arriving in Manila as of yesterday.

Ian Anderson, president of the WPA, is arriving in Manila today.

Beijing Open

Meanwhile, Roberto Gomez of the Philippines lost his finals match against Chang Jung-lin of Chinese-Taipei, 11-10, late Sunday to settle for second place in the 2011 World 9-Ball Beijing Open Championship at the Yuetan Stadium in Beijing, China.

BSCP Chairman Florentino Makabenta will recommend to the BSCP board that Roberto Gomez be given a spot in the forthcoming 2011 WPA World Ten Ball Championship.

On the road to the finals, Gomez bested Fu Jianbo of China (11-7), compatriot Antonio "Nickoy" Lining (11-5), Wu Jiaqing (11-9) and Fu Che Wei of China (11-9) while Chang defeated Mark Gray of Great Britain (11-6), Dan Jin Hu (11-9) and Zhao Feng Ban of China (11-5), Nick Van den Berg of the Netherlands (11-9).

Other Filipinos who saw action were former World 9-ball champions Efren "Bata" Reyes, Francisco "Django" Bustamante and Ronato "Volcano" Alcano. -- Marlon Bernardino