Six Filipino cue artists, led by reigning U.S. Open champion Carlo Biado, remained unbeaten after two games in the Abu Dhabi Open 9-Ball Championship.
The Filipinos thus advanced to the knockout phase of the competition held at the Power Break Billiard Hall in Abu Dhabi.
Biado raced to a 5-0 lead before countryman Arnel Bautista could get on the board. The deficit proved too much for Bautista, although he got to within two racks, 8-6, before Biado claimed the 9-7 triumph.
"I was a bit lucky, because my touch didn't fail me until the last shot," admitted Biado.
Joining Biado in the next round were Roland Garcia, Arman Cagol, Jhay Miranda, Israel Rota and Harry Vergara.
Garcia outplayed Aikhouri Ghaith of Jordan (9-1), Cagol edged Jayson Nuguid (9-5), Miranda bested Dominic Reyes (9-7), Rota subdued Aivhan Maluto (9-6), and Vergara defeated Oliver Medenilla (9-6).
The double knockout event is held in an alternate breaks format and offers a total prize of 46,000 aed (United Arab Emirates dirham) with the champion getting the lion share of 20,000 aed.
In other matches, Khalid Najib Fattoh of Lebanon smashed Mammoud Fadi of Egypt (9-4), while Ahmad Jallad of Jordan toppled Abdullah Alameri of UAE (9-4). -- Marlon Bernardino