CEBAUANO Demosthenes Pulpul and Che Ying-chieh of Chinese Taipei became the latest inclusions to the main draw of the WPA World Ten Ball Championship after topping their respective qualification events late Friday at the Star Billiards Center in Quezon City.
Pulpul, playing under the banner of Magi group of Cebu, barged into the main draw after crushing Taiwanese Chu Hing-ming, 9-7, in the final of Qualifier 7 in this qualifying event, hosted by Star Billiards Center in cooperation with Billiards and Snooker Congress of the Philippines (BSCP) and Philippine Billiards Foundation.
?Grabe ang hirap makapasok sa main draw. Kailangan talaga na may konting luck. Buti na lamang pumabor ang bola,? said Pulpul, who earlier beat Alvin de Guzman, 7-1, Toshihide Hamasaki, 7-2, Lin Cheng-hsiang, 7-0, and Tsen Chung-hao, 7-1.
Fondly called ?Plong-Plong? in the local pool scene, Pulpul is the second Pinoy qualifier after Arnel ?Barobo Surigao? Bautista who dominated Qualifier 3 last Wednesday.
Che, meanwhile, nipped compatriot Lu Hui-chan, 9-8, to rule Qualifier 8 and became 6th Taiwanese qualifier. On his way to the final, Che trounced Wang Yong-bak, 7-3, Wang Can, 7-6, Jorge ?Totoy? Dacer, 7-3 and Kazuo Furuka, 7-5,
The other Taiwanese players who advanced to the 128-main main draw include Pei Wei-chang (Qualifier 1), Chang Yu-lung (Qualifier 2), Wang Kuo-pin (Qualifier 4), Lai Chia-hsiung (Qualifier 5) and Fu Che-wei (Qualifier 6).
Chinese Taipei players who are seeded in the tournament are double world champion Wu Chia-Ching, Guinness 9-Ball champion Chang Jung-Lin, Wang Hung-Hsiang, Yang Ching-Shun, world junior titlist Ko Pin-Yi and top lady players Lin Yuan-Chun and Liu Shin Mei.
The WTBC is the biggest ever pool tournament in the country this year, offering a total of $400,000 in total prize money. The participants will come from 43 countries.
The Filipinos have a total of nine participants so far led by Pulpul, Bautista, reigning Asian Games champion Gaga Gabica, former Asian Games titlist Marlon Manalo, Jeffrey de Luna, Elvis Calasang, Elmer Kalaquian, national junior champion Jericho Banares and Middle East-based worker Mario Tolentino, who were both given wildcard spots by the organizing Raya Sports.
Meanwhile, the organizing Raya Sports group will host a press conference today, Sunday beginning 11 a.m. at the Sofitel Plaza Hotel.