MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) -- Champion partners Efren "Bata" Reyes and Francisco "Django" Bustamante opened their title-retention campaign in the PartyPoker.net 2010 World Cup of Pool with a victory over Team Thailand at Robinsons Place Manila late Tuesday.
Reyes and Bustamante, who compose Philippine Team A, trounced Thai pair Nitiwat Kanjanasri and Sorathep Phoochalam, 8-3, to advance into the next round.
The dynamic duo is gunning for a third World Cup title since the tournament began in 2006.
Earlier on Tuesday teams from Russia, Indonesia and China gained the upper hand over their respective foes.
Russian partners Ruslan Chinakhov and Konstantin Stepanov came out of a 4-0 deficit to beat Canada’s Jason Klatt and John Morra, 8-4.
Team India, composed of Raj Hundal and Dharminder, erected a comfortable 5-1 lead against Indonesian duo Ricky Yang and Muhammad Zulfikri. The Indons, however, tied the scores at 6-6 before securing an 8-7 come-from-behind win.
The third match saw Chinese partners Fu Jianbo and Li Hewen trounce Belgium’s Serge Das and Noel Bruynooghe, 8-2. This is the same Chinese team that reached the Top 4 of the 2009 World Cup.
The Philippines, as tournament host, has 2 teams competing in the event.
Team B is composed of veterans Roberto “Superman” Gomez and former World No. 1 Dennis Orcollo.
The event has put up $60,000 (roughly P2.5 million) for the winning team. -- With reports from Marlon Bernardino and TJ Manotoc, ABS-CBN News