De Luna ousts Pagulayan to book a US Open 9-Ball Championship semis spot
Mark Escarlote on Apr 26, 2019 01:34 PM
Jeffrey De Luna (2nd from right) advanced to the semifinals of the 2019 US Open 9-Ball Championship in Las Vegas. (File photo)
Jeffrey de Luna became the lone Filipino pool artist remaining after eliminating compatriot and former champion Alex Pagulayan, 11-5, on Friday (Thursday, Manila time) in the 2019 US Open 9-Ball Championship held at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
De Luna, who hurdled Imran Majid of Britain 11-9 in the last 16, started off strong, taking a commanding 8-1 lead in the race-to-11 match.
But some costly errors and dry breaks gave Pagulayan a chance at the table in the winner’s break format as he chipped away his deficit to 5-10.
De Luna saw a window to recover on the 16th rack as he cleared the table on his way to advancing into the semifinals of the $50,000 tourney.
The Pinoy bet will take on Joshua Filler of Germany on Friday (Saturday, Manila time).
Other Filipino entries in this prestigious tournament that saw legends Efren ‘Bata’ Reyes and Pagulayan reign supreme in 1994 and 2005, respectively, were James Aranas, Carlo Biado, Raymund Faraon, Dennis Orcullo, Roberto Gomez, Jeffrey Ignacio, Warren Kiamco, Django Bustamante, Marlon Manalo and Johan Chua.