Sweet 16 Set at World 9-Ball Championship
Billiards Events Enters Round of 16

Story and Photo
by Ted Lerner

(Doha, Qatar)– Defending champion Francisco Bustamante of the Philippines barely hung on in his round of 32 match against relative unknown Indonesian player Setiawan Riyan, escaping with an 11-10 victory to move into the round of 16 at the World 9-ball Championship in Doha, Qatar.

Playing on the TV table, Bustamante looked to be cruising along as he led Setiwan 9-4. In the 14th frame, however, Bustamante was distracted by a press photographer snapping pictures nearby. From there on, the Hall of Famer seemed to lose his composure, and descended into a foul mood, as Setiwan slowly chipped away at the lead. Bustamante managed to get the score line to 10-7, but then made a handful of uncharacteristic mistakes that allowed the Indonesian back in the match. The Filipino great broke in the final rack and prevailed after Setiawan scratched after trying to escape a safety.

The defending champion only had five minutes to gather himself to do battle in the round of 16 with compatriot and world number 1 ranked player Dennis Orcullo. Orcullo, who desperately wants to win this title, earlier defeated upstart Filipino Marlon Caneda, 11-6 who had defeated Efren Reyes the previous night.

Earlier in the day inside the Al Sadd Sports Club there was plenty of thrilling drama in several matches to determine the final 16 players. In an all- Filipino shootout, Carlo Biado defeated Lee Van Corteza in an 11-10 scorcher. The first half of the match was tight, until Biado pulled away to go up 8-5. Corteza stormed back to take a 9-8 lead and was just about to go on the hill when he missed a makeable 9-ball. The match went to a sudden death rack and Biado kept Corteza in his chair for the win.

baida world 9ball Sweet 16 Set at World 9 Ball Championship

Biado now faces Japan’s hot Yukio Akakariyama in the round of 16.

Biado now faces Japan’s hot Yukio Akakariyama in the round of 16, which began at 3pm local time (GMT + 3 hours.) Akakariyama, who recently made it to the semi finals of the World 10 ball championship in Manila, defeated Croatia’s Carlo Dalmatin 11-8.

In what could be one of the biggest surprises of the tournament so far, Britain’s Mark Gray took out compatriot Chris Melling in another 11-10 thriller. Gray knew he would have to play perfect pool as Melling has lately been the hottest player on the planet. The 37 year old ex snooker player did just that, and it was all he needed to barely squeak by. It was the second straight hill-hill victory over a major scalp for Gray, after he defeated Taiwan’s Kuo Po Cheng yesterday. Gray now plays the Philippines Antonio Gabica in the round of 16. Gabica, who lives and works in Qatar as a coach of the national team, outlasted Japan’s Naoyuki Oi, 11-6.

In other matches in the round of 32, the USA’s Shane Van Boening continued to impress as he manhandled the very capable Chang Jung Lin of Taiwan, 11-5. Boening moves on for a quality matchup with current US Open Champion Darren Appleton of Great Britain. Appleton earlier defeated the Philippines Alan Cuartero 11-4.

Germany’s Ralf Souquet continued to play very strong pool as he easily defeated Poland’s Mariusz Skoeneczy, 11-2. Souquet plays the Philippines Vicencio Tanio, who beat Lo Li Wen of Japan 11-6.

The Philippine veteran quietly surged ahead, beating Roman Hybler of the Czech Republic 11-5. Lining faces Japan’s Toru Koribayashi, who easily defeated the USA’s Hunter Lombardo, 11-4.

2007 World 9-ball champion Daryl Peach put in another blistering performance, waylaying Taiwan’s Fu Chei Wei, 11-1. That set up a round of 16 showdown with Ko Pin Yi of Taiwan, who easily beat France’s Stephen Cohen 11-3.

Ko’s teammate Chang Yu Lun also emerged victorious with an quality win against England’s Scott Higgins. Chang now faces the Philippines Ronnie Alcano in the round of 16. Alcano, the 2006 World 9-ball champion, came back from a 7-2 deficit, the defeat Raj Hundal of India, 11-9.

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