ANTONIO Gabica and Carlo Biado kept the Philippines in the title hunt in the World 9-Ball Championship after surviving three grueling knockout matches to reach the semifinals Thursday at Al-Arabi Sports Club in Doha, Qatar.
Cool and composed under pressure, the 41-year-old Gabica nipped Nick Van Den Berg of the Netherlands, 11-10, while Biado advanced at the expense of England’s Chris Melling, 11-3.
The hill-hill battle with Van Den Berg capped a tough yet rewarding outing for Gabica, who played a total of 60 racks in one day.
Gabica, who has made Qatar his home the past four years, serving as the assistant coach of its national team, faces Karl Boyes of England for a place in the finals.
Boyes bundled out Nick Ekonomopoulos of Greece, 11-8, in the quarterfinals.
Standing in the way of the 29-year-old Biado is an in-form Thorsten Hohmann of Germany, who claimed a third Filipino scalp in Jeffrey De Luna, 11-7 in the quarterfinals.
Hohmann, the 2003 champion, bested Dennis Orcollo (11-8) in the Round of 16, defending champion Darren Appleton (11-5) and Francisco “Django” Bustamante (11-8) in the first phase of the knockout rounds. Cedelf P. Tupas