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Jeffrey "Jeff" de Luna leads Pinoys' charge in US 9-Ball Pool

By Marlon Bernardino
Tue, 23 Apr 2019

Former Doha Asian Games silver medalist Jeffrey "Jeff" De Luna nailed four straight victories to advance to the Round-of-32 of the partypoker money-rich 43rd US Open 9-Ball Championship being held at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino Convention Center, Las Vegas on Tuesday (Manila time).

De Luna cruised to an easy 11-0 win over Torsten Schmitt of Germany before crushing Chris Robinson of the United States in the next round via an 11-9 close match.

The 35-year old Filipino cue player continued his impressive run by edging compatriot Dennis Orcollo (11-10) and Japanese Kenichi Uchigaki (11-3) to stay in contention in the winner's brackets of the $300,000 event that offers $40,000 to the champion.

De Luna, however, will be facing tough player in the next round as he goes up against 2012 WPA World Eight-ball Championship semi-finalists Liu Hai Tao of China.

De Luna is the last Filipino standing in the winner's brackets as Orcollo, Francisco "Django" Bustamante, James Aranas, Jeffrey Ignacio and Johann Chua stay alive in the loser's side.

After a heart-breaking loses to de Luna, Orcollo bounced back in contention by subduing Vilmos Földes of Hungrary, 11-6, Bustamante toppled Jeremy Jones of the United States, 11-8, Aranas dealt Josh Roberts of the United States, 11-8, Ignacio outplayed Marco Spitzky of Germany, 11-9.

Chua, meantime absorbed his first setbacks at the hands of Shane Van Boening of the United States, 11-2.

Meanwhile, Orcollo will test the mettle of Nick Malaj of Greece in the next round, Bustamante versus Ronald Regli of Switzerland, Aranas opposite Kim Laaksonen of Finland while Ignacio will face Nicolas Charette of Switzerland.-Marlon Bernardino-

Editor's note: Other Filipinos who failed to make the cut after the second day in the 43rd US Open featuring 256 of the world's strongest billiards players were: Carlo Biado, Raymond Faraon, Marlon Manalo, Roberto Gomez and Warren Kiamko.

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