Bus­ta­mante, Pag­u­layan com­pete in World Pool Masters

Manila Times - - SPORTS - EMIL C. NOGUERA

LE­GENDARY cue master Fran­cisco “Django” Bus­ta­mante and for­mer world cham­pion Alex Pag­u­layan face a top­notch com­pe­ti­tion when the pres­ti­gious 2017 World Pool Masters un­folds to­day at the Ter­cente­nary Sports Hall Vic­to­ria Sta­dium in Gi­bral­tar.

Bus­ta­mante, fresh from win­ning the Derby City Clas­sic 9-Ball Banks Divi­sion in In­di­ana, tests the met­tle of reign­ing World Pool 9-Ball cham­pion Al­bin Ouschan of Aus­tria in the first round of the knock­out tour­na­ment.

Pag­u­layan, on the other hand, will be fac­ing the win­ner in the Gi­bral­tar qual­i­fy­ing tour­na­ment sched­uled on Thurs­day night.

The or­ga­niz­ers have only in­vited 16 play­ers – for­mer cham­pi­ons and con­ti­nen­tal win­ners – in the three-day meet, which of­fers a whop­ping $20,000 to the cham­pion and $10,000 con­so­la­tion prize to the run­ner-up.

Semi­fi­nal­ists will get $5,000 and $4,000 to the quar­ter­fi­nal­ists while the first-round losers will re­ceive $3,000 each.

The other in­vited play­ers are 2015 cham­pion Shane Van Boen­ing of the US, se­cond seed Chang Jung Lin of Tai­wan and third pick Jayson Shaw of Scot­land as well as Wu Ji­aqing of China, Niels Fei­jen of the Nether­lands, David Al­caide of Spain, Ralf Sou­quet of Ger­many, Fran­cisco SanchezRuiz of Spain, Naoyuki Oi of Ja­pan, Wo­j­ciech Szewczyk of Poland, Omar Al Sha­heen of Kuwait and Mark Gray of Eng­land.

See­ing ac­tion in the first round are Van Boen­ing ver­sus Sanchez-Ruiz, Al­caide ver­sus Sou­quet, Wu ver­sus Oi, Shaw ver­sus Szewczyk, Chang ver­sus Gray, and Fei­jen ver­sus the run­ner-up in the Gi­bral­tar qual­i­fy­ing event.

Sou­quet holds the most num­ber of ti­tles in the tour­na­ment with six (1994, 1996, 2000, 2002, 2006 and 2011 while Bus­ta­mante (1998 and 2001), Van Boen­ing (2014 and 2015) and Thomas Engert of Ger­many (2004 and 2007) own two each.

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