Reigning National Junior champion Jericho Banares made it to the knockout stage yesterday, boosting hopes for a Filipino winner in the 2008 WPA World Ten Ball Championship (WTBC) at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.
Banares, who will represent the country along with RP's child prodigy Jonas Magpantay in the 2008 WPA World Junior of Pool Championship on Nov.30 to Dec. 4 in Reno, Nevada, upset 2003 WPA World 9-Ball champion Thorsten ?The Hitman? Hohmann of Germany, 9-7, yesterday to book a slot in the Last 64 stage.
?Buti hindi tayo bumigay sa huli. Bagama't nakalamang tayo ay nakahabol din siya,? said the soft-spoken Banares, who already beat Hohmann during their first encounter in the Mandaluyong Cup Philippine Pool Tour this year.
Banares joined 2000 Hongkong Asian Snooker Champion Marlon Manalo, 1997 Jakarta Southeast Asian Games 9-ball gold medalist Victor Arpilleda, 2006 Solar-RP 9-Ball Open runner-up Leonardo ?Dodong? Didal and fast-rising Demosthenes Pulpul in the Round of 64. All of them are guaranteed of at least $2,000 in this $400,000 total prize event.
Meanwhile, Middle East pool instructor Mario Tolentino and Elmer ?Buddy? Kalaquian became the latest Filipino casualties in the 13-man RP contingent, losing to their foreign counterparts yesterday.
Tolentino bowed to Taiwanese Yu Lung-chang, 5-9, while Kalaquian, yielded to Chinese ace Wang Ming, 6-9.
Last Monday, Florencio Banar was booted out after losing to Po Hsien-Lee of Chinese-Taipei, 5-9, Elvis Calasang bowed to Banares, 3-9, in an all Filipino match last Tuesday and 2006 Doha Asian Games 9-ball gold medalist Antonio Gabica succumbed to Martin Larsen of Switzerland, 7-9.
Today, Jeffrey de Luna, the 2007 Manny Pacquiao International 9-ball Open ruler, will play Marco Tschudi of Switzerland, unheralded Arnel Bautista will battle Amnuay Porn Chotipong of Thailand and BSCP founding chair Edgar Acaba will slugsit out with Christian Weigoni of Germany.
Also making it to the Last 64 yesterday are former two-time Asian Games 9-ball gold winner Yang Ching-shun and Lai Chia-hsiung of Chinese-Taipei, Fabio Petroni of Italy, Imran Majid of India, Kazuo Furutan of Japan, Woong Dae-king of Korea, Ricky Yang of Indonesia and Steevie Moore of the United States.