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3 double world pool champs topbill Puerto Princesa Cup

June 3, 2008 11:09pm
MANILA, Philippines – Three two-time world champions – Ralf Souquet, Wu Chia-Ching, and Thorsten Hohmann – will head the stellar cast of the second leg of the Philippine Pool Tour (PPT) when it unfolds from June 20 to 22 at the Puerto Princesa City Coliseum in Palawan.

This was announced in a statement issued on Tuesday by Raya Sports.

Souquet, who hails from Germany, became the first world champion to be crowned this year after his victory last April in the World 8-Ball Championship in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates.

He bested Ronnie Alcano of the Philippines, who beat him in the 2006 finals of the World 9-Ball Championship held in Manila.

Wu of Taiwan was world champion in 9-ball and 8-ball in 2005, when he stunned the world pool community because he was just 17 years old when he got his titles.

Hohmann won the 2003 World Pool 9-nall championship in Cardiff, Wales, and the World Straight Pool championship in New York in 2005.

The trio of champions will be testing their mettle in the new discipline of 10-Ball, which the World Pool-Billiards Association (WPA) officially introduced into the world tournament calendar this year.

Souquet, Wu, and Hohmann will be going up against top-flight competition from the Philippines and around the world in the Puerto Princesa tournament, which is being presented by San Miguel Beer.

One formidable challenger is Chang Jun-Lin of Taiwan, who has dominated the Guinness 9-Ball Tour for Asian players for two years running now. He took the Guinness grand championship last year and this year won all three legs of the tour.

The Puerto foreign contingent includes entries from England, Canada, Japan, China, and Vietnam.

Leading the Philippine charge is Antonio Gabica, winner of the first leg of the PPT – the Mandaluyong Mayor's Cup – and reigning Philippine 9-Ball Open champion and Asian Games gold medalist. He lost to Chang last weekend in the Genting Highlands leg of the Guinness tour.

Other top Filipino players seeing action are Marlon Manalo, Leonardo Andam, Mario Tolentino, Leonardo Didal, Elvis Calasang, and teenage sensation Jericho Bañares, the 2008 Philippine junior champion.

Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward S. Hagedorn is hosting the tournament, with the Billiards and Snooker Congress of the Philippines (BSCP) as main organizer.

The resort city hosts and stages sports events year-round. Popularly known as the eco-tourism capital of the Philippines, Puerto Princesa recently hosted the Palarong Pambansa.

The Puerto Cup will take place in two stages: Stage 1 (Elimination Rounds) on June 16 and 17 at the Star Billiards Center in Quezon City, and Stage 2 (Main Tournament) from June 19 to 22 at the Puerto Princesa City Coliseum.

The Puerto Princesa Cup has a prize fund of $30,000. A top prize of $10,000 goes to the winner of the championship. Prizes are awarded up to 32nd place.

The tournament is sanctioned by the Asian Pocket Billiards Union (APBU) and listed in the 2008 WPA calendar of events. For more information and updates, visit the official website: www.rayasports.com. - GMANews.TV