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Orcullo, Lining off to hot start

/ 09:27 AM May 11, 2011

Reigning WPA World 8-ball champion Dennis Orcullo, world No. 1 player Antonio Lining and youthful Jonas Magpantay got off to blazing starts after posting emphatic victories in the WPA World Ten Ball Championships at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

Orcullo, a former fisherman from Bislig, Surigao del Sur crushed Carlos Cabello of Spain, 9-3 in Group D. He will next meet the winner of the match between Max Eberle of the USA and Harald Solka of Germany.

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Lining, on the other hand, routed Karol Skowerski of Poland, 9-2 in Group B while the 17-year-old Magpantay battered Mohanna Obaidly of Qatar, 9-3 in Group D.

Other Filipino first round winners include Vicenancio “Tukao” Tanio, Demosthenes Pupul and Ruben Cuna.

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Tanio nipped Abdulatef Fawal of Qatar, 9-8 in Group C; Pupul trounced Manuel Pereira of Portugal, 9-4 while Cuna upset countryman Ramil “Bebeng” Gallego, 9-7 in Group B. Cuna will next face defending champion Mika Immonen of Finland, who beat Lee Chen Man of Hongkong, 9-4.

Filipino casualties include Marvin Tapia, who bowed to Stephan Cohen of France, 9-3 in Group A and Carlo Biado who lost to Francisco Diaz-Pizarro of Spain, 9-6 in Group B.

A record number of 44 countries, represented by 128 of the best pool players in the world are seeing action in the tournament that offers over $250,000 in prize money.

Tournament winner will bring home $60,000 while $30,000 will go to the second placer. Losing semifinalists will pocket $15,000 each while $7,500 will go to the 5th to 8th placers.

Cash will also be awarded up to the 64th place winner in the event supported by longtime billiards patron Sebastian “Baste” Chua of Star Billiards Center, which also hosted the qualification tournament.

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