By Kristel Satumbaga
Carlo Biado made his title-retention felt with a quick win at the start of the 2018 WPA World 9-Ball Championship on Friday in Doha, Qatar.
The 35-year-old Biado, who prevailed in an all-Filipino final match against Roland Garcia last year, set the stage on fire with a convincing 9-3 victory over Argentina’s Llanos Jorge in Group 9 to move one win closer to the Round-of-64 which is a knockout affair.
Also scoring impressive wins were Jeffrey De Luna, who survived Turkey’s Sami Koylu in Group 2, and Jeffrey Ignacio, who downed Kuwait’s Abdullah Alenzi in Group 6.
Alex Pagulayan, who is now representing Canada, hacked out a 9-8 triumph over Mohammad Berjaoui of Lebanon in Group 8.
Not fortunate was Garcia who bowed to Chinese Taipei’s Hsu Jui An, 9-8, in Group 3.
Garcia needs to win two more matches in his Group to advance to the next round.
Also not lucky were Israel Rota, who lost Spain’s Francisco Diaz-Pizarro, 9-2; Marlon Manalo, who succumbed to China’s Wang Can, 9-6; Johann Chua Gonzales, who bowed to Bosnia’s Sanjin Pehlivanovic, 9-7; and Roberto Brillantes, who was thrashed by Canada’s John Morra, 9-0.
Sixteen groups composed of four players each comprise the 128-man field with cue artists playing in three matches to determine their slot in the Round of 64.