Abu-Dhabi based Elmer Haya became the last Filipino standing after three grueling rounds of competition in the 2014 World 9-Ball Championship in Doha, Qatar which started late afternoon yesterday and ended 3:00 am today, Manila time.
Haya proved everyone today that his win over Lee Van Corteza in the group round was no fluke.
He had successfully hurdled all three rounds today to advance to the semifinal round against Carlo Biado’s quarterfinal tormentor, Neils Feijen of Netherlands.
His semifinal appearance though is not as sweet as he wanted it to be, because he had to beat fellow Filipinos Jeffrey De Luna in the first round; then Raymund Faraon in the third round, and Johann Chua in the quarterfinal round.
Had Netherland’s Neils Feijen bowed down to Carlo Biado in the quarterfinal round, Haya would have been playing again with another Filipino in the semifinal round.
The first casualty among the six Filipinos who have advanced to the second round was was Ramil Gallego who bowed to Nick Van Den Berg of Netherlands, 8-11, in the second round of the championship, making him the only Filipino in action who failed to advance to the third round.
The third round was a tough round for all five Filipinos.
Rising pool star Carlo Biado had to stay really focused to beat Taipei’s Ko Pin Yi, 11-7; while the youthful Johann Chua had to stage a come-back to edge Waleed Majed of Qatar, 11-8 for a slot in the quarterfinals.
Elmer Haya on the other hand, had to stop the fairy tale stint of fellow Filipino Raymund Faraon, 11-8, to join Biado and Chua in the next round.
While Haya, Biado and Chua had already secured their quarterfinals slots, last year’s runner-up Antonio Gabica also looked poised to join them in the next round.
Gabica was leading 10-8 over Austria’s Albin Ouschan going to the 19th rack, but Ouschan didn’t wilt to the pressure and launched a come-back, winning the last three racks to win the match.
Semifinal action today starts at 4:30pm, Manila Time, while championship match starts at 8:00pm, Manila Time.
In action in the semifinal round are Philippines’ Elmer Haya versus “The Terminator” Neils Feijen of Netherlands; and Taipei’s Cheng Yu Lung versus Albin Ouschan of Austria.
Photo Credit : E&R Walker Photography