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Prince of Brunei to join World Pool in RP

Prince Al Muhtadee Billah, the crown prince of Brunei, will again represent his country in the 2007 World Pool Championship that will be held a the Araneta Coliseum from November 3 to 11. This was announced Wednesday at the official launching of the $400,000 tournament at the Davao function room of the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel in Manila. Billah will also make an official visit to the Philippines, according to Yen Makabenta, the chairman of Billiards and Snooker Congress of the Philippines and top man of the organizing Raya Sports. The Prince of Brunei hopes to better his Group of 64 finish in the 2006 edition of the tournament, which Ronnie Alcano won, 17-11, over Ralf Souquet of Germany. This year's edition will have 45 countries being, according to Matchroom Sports, the owner of the tournament franchise. Of the 120 players already qualified for the main draw, 15 come from the United States, led by former champions Johnny Archer and Earl Strickland. A dozen Filipinos have qualified for the tournament with defending champion Alcano and former world champions Alex Pagulayan (2004) and Efren "Bata" Reyes (1999) leading the pack. The other Filipinos who are already in the main draw are former world No. 1 Francisco "Django" Bustamante, Joven Bustamante, Jeff de Luna, Ramil Gallego, Antonio Lining, Rodolfo Luat, Marlon Manalo, Dennis Orcollo, and Lee Van Corteza. Chinese Taipei and Germany will be represented by eight players each. Souquet, the 1996 champion, will be leading the German blitzkrieg while 2005 titlist Wu Chia Ching is heading the Taiwanese invasion. Edwin Montal, a Fil-Canadian like Pagulayan, is leading the six-person Canadian campaign. Also represented in the tournament are Australia, Austria, Belgium, Chile, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Eritrea, The Netherlands, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Malta, New Zealand; Nicaragua, Poland, Qatar, Russia, Scotland, Serbia, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam. - GMANews.TV