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Strong RP team featured in 9-ball 'Grand Final'

October 6, 2008 11:56am

MANILA, Philippines – The country gave itself a strong chance to win the Grand Final of the Guinness 9-Ball Tour after four top-notch players qualified for the season-ending event to be held from October 24 to 26 in Jakarta, according to a list released on Monday by Tour officials.

Only the top 10 players in the Order of Merit are qualified to play in the Grand Final.

Former world champion Alex Pagulayan, reigning world no.1 Dennis Orcollo, reigning Asian Games 9-ball champion Antonio Gabica and rising star Joven Bustamante piled up enough qualifying points to book tickets to the Indonesia event.

Four players from rival Chinese-Taipei also made it to the Grand Final, including defending champion Chang Jung-Lin.

Chang, who won the first three legs of the 2008 Tour held in Taipei, Penang and Genting Highlands, was the highest-rated player with 260 ranking points. Two other Taiwanese – Yang Ching-Shun and Wang Hung-Hsiang – were ranked second and third.

Pagulayan, the fourth-leg winner in Singapore, was fourth with 165 points, while Bustamante (160) was fifth.

Orcollo, the winner in the Guangzhou stop, was seventh with 140 points, while Gabica (120) was ninth.

A fourth Taiwanese, former world 8-ball and 9-ball champion Wu Chia-Ching, was ranked sixth with 155 points.

Ryu Seong-Woo of Korea (eighth, 130) and Ibrahim bin-Amir of Malaysia (10th, 100) completed the top 10.

A wildcard was given to an 11th player, Ricky Yang of Indonesia.

The players will be divided into two groups of six and five who will compete in a single-round format. The top two players from each group will advance to the semifinals and the last two standing will meet in the final match.

The winner will takes home $36,000 (P1.692 million). – GMANews.TV