Manila, Philippines — Despite Django Bustamante’s four dry breaks, the Philippines routed Thailand, 8-3, late Tuesday at the start of the PartyPoker.net World Cup of Pool at Robinson’s Place in Manila.
Thais Nitiwat Kanjanasri and Surathep Phoochalam raced to a 2-0 lead, but won only one rack the rest of the way as Bustamante and Efren “Bata” Reyes stamped their class.
“My break wasn’t good. It’s very disappointing because Efren wants me to break every time, but I never made a ball on the break,” said Bustamante, the reigning world 9-ball champion in Filipino. “My partner played great and without Efren we wouldn’t have won the match.”
Bustamante said he has to do better against their next opponents – Indonesians Zulfikri and Ricky Yang in the Last 16 late Wednesday.
The easy win avenged their 7-4 defeat during the 2007 Southeast Asian Games in Thailand.
Against the Indonesians, the Filipinos hold advantage.
“We’ve beaten them in singles competition but never in doubles. But we’ll not take them lightly,” Reyes, 55, said.
Germany’s Ralf Souquet and new partner Oliver Ortmann, last year’s runner up over at SM North EDSA, also advanced into the next round by turning back Hong Kong’s Lee Chenman and Kenny Kwok, 8-4.
The most inspiring victory of the day was delivered by Russians Ruslan Chinakhov and Konstantin Stepanov who scored eight straight racks in completing a come-from-behind 8-4 triumph against the 12th seed Canadian pair of John Mora and Jason Klatt.
Down 0-4 at the onset, the 18-year-old Chinakhov, the reigning world 9-ball youth champion, and Stepanov, got a new lease on life after their rivals had a dry break in the fifth frame.
Teaming up for the fourth time in the event, the Russians never looked back from there, taking the next seven racks to book a round of 16 meeting with Germany on Friday.
Chinese Fu Jianbo and Li Hewen, the 2007 champions, also made it to the Last 16 by making short work of Belgium’s Serge Das and Noel Bruynooghe, 8-2.
The Chinese, who lost to Reyes and Bustamante in the semifinals last year, will face on Friday Italians Fabio Petroni and Bruno Muratore, who advanced into the next stage by ousting crowd favorite Korean girls Yu Ram Cha and Ga Young Kim, 8-6.
Francis Santiago, Manila Bulletin