PH blanks Croatia to top group play

Posted at 07/04/2012 3:43 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino cue artists came together as a solid unit Tuesday night as they blanked Team Croatia in Day 3 of the 2012 World Pool Team Championships at Tongzhou Luhe High School in Beijing, China.

Efren “Bata” Reyes, Francisco “Django” Bustamante, Dennis Orcollo and Rubilen Amit finished on top of Group A after defeating Ivica Putnik, Bozo Primic, Carlo Calmati and Zrinka Antonijevic of Croatia.

The Philippines is employing a unique strategy in all their matches, putting Reyes only in doubles matches in the 8-ball and 10-ball competitions.

American journalist and commentator Ted Lerner, the publicist for the World Pool-Billiards Association said the Philippine team is expected to “continue down this path as they’ve been barely touched so far.”

The Philippines also beat Indonesia, 4-2, made up of Ricky Wang, Isral Afrinneza Nasution, Muhammad Zulfikri and Amand Rahayu, then subdued Estonia, 5-1, against Erki Erm, Joonas Saska, Mark Magi and Anna Grintosuk.

In the Final 16 of Wednesday, the list of top seeds will be a who’s who of the world’s best pool playing countries, with Chinese-Taipei, China, the Philippines, Japan and Great Britain all seeing action.

The Philippines will square off with Team Norway on Wednesday in the knockout stage. The Norwegian team is composed of Roger Rasmussen, Mats Schjetne, Matey Ullah and Ine Helvik.

The tournament offers a total pot prize of $300,000, with the winning team taking home $80,000, while the runner-up team receives $40,000. By Marlon Bernardino