Vice-President Noli de Castro is set to grace the opening of the World Ten Ball Championship (WTBC) in Manila that will run from September 29-October 5 at the Philippine International Convention Center.
According to Raya Sports, the event's main organizer, de Castro will open the WTBC at 9:30 a.m.. He will also do the ceremonial break to formally usher in the event about 30 minutes after his speech.
The inaugural WTBC in the Philippines will gather 128 of the world top cue masters from 40 countries for the $400,000 purse. Of the amount, $100,000 will go to the champion.
"This is going to be the biggest billiards tournament in the country since I believe the World 9-Ball Championship has been postponed for next year," de Castro was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, Raya Sports president Yen Makabenta, who is also chairman of the Billiards and Snooker Congress of the Philippines, has confirmed the participation of the top cue artists (the list of players is available at www.worldtenball.com).
The Philippine team, on the other hand, will be bannered by Antonio Gabica, Marlon Manalo, Jeffrey de Luna, Elmer Kalaquian, Elvis Calasang, Jerico Bañares and Mario Tolentino.
Makabenta announced earlier in the week that a qualifying meet will take place at Star Billiards Center in Quezon City to complete the cast of players seeing action in the main event.
There will be 12 spots at stake in the WTBC qualifiers from September 23-27. The winner of each of the 10 qualifying events gets a spot in the WTBC.
The two players with the most points among the non-winners get the 11th and 12th places. Roy Medina, abs-cbnNEWS.com