MANILA, Philippines – Last year’s runner-up Roberto "Pinoy Superman" Gomez and fellow Filipino Johann "Bubwit" Chua posted victories in the opening round of the 11th Predator International 10-Ball Championships at the Robinsons Galleria in Ortigas.
Gomez, who hails from Zamboanga City, defeated Warren "Warrior" Kiamco, 9-5.
Chua, on the other hand, beat former World junior quarterfinalists Renemar "Revo" David, 9-4.
Down 4-5, Gomez displayed his "nerves of steel" and clustered 5 straight racks in the Race-to-9, winner's break format.
He advanced to the next round of the tournament, which offers $10,000 to the champion.
"Buti na lang sa 10th frame, sumablay si Warren then naka-diretso na tayo," said Gomez, who lost to billiards legend Efren "Bata" Reyes in the finals last year.
Reyes took a bye in the first round in the event organized by Dragon Promotions Inc. in cooperation with Puyat Sports and ABS-CBN.
Meantime, the 19-year-old Chua, a Tanza, Cavite resident, took a commanding 7-4 lead and never looked back.
"Maganda ang tira natin at pumanig ‘yung bola sa akin kaya nakauna agad ako kay Revo," he said.
Sharing the limelight are Jayson Shaw and Chris Melling of the United States, Dennis Grabe of Estonia, Ronato Alcano and Jech Limen of the Philippines, Wu Hao of China and Omar Al Shaheen of Kuwait.
Shaw bested Brett Anar, 9-3; Melling beat Erid Erm, 9-6; Grabe upset Tony Drago, 9-5; Alcano won over Reda Belhaj, 9-0; Limen edged Francois Cottances, 9-8; Hao nipped Rick Zerna of the Philippines, 9-3; and Al Shaheen defeated Lemaire Emmanuel, 9-7. – By Marlon Bernadino