WPA Press Officer
The final day for qualifying in to the round of 32 in Fujairah bore few surprises but some impressive comebacks. Marcus Chamat trailed 5-0 to Won Sik Ham but reached deep to come out 8-6 on top. World #1 Mika Immonen was also in bad trouble early as he trailed Mohammed Hosani 5-1 and was still able to mount an 8-7 victory. Scott Higgins led his match most of the way but still had a tough one as he barely escaped Saeed Al Mutawe 8-7 and John Morra enjoyed the easiest road in the first round as he bested Vincent Facquet 8-3.
The second round of the day found heartbreak for one player. Mehde Rasheki played as tough as a bull to pul ahead of Vecenancio Tanio by a game but Tanio fought back and they wound up at double-hill. Rasheki clawed his way through a very tough layout to get a good shot at the eight in the side for the win. But his arm sensed the severity of the moment and betrayed him. The eight caught the nose of the side pocket and hung there, refusing to fall. Tanio ran through the table and took the eight ball for the win and Rasheki was relegated t the long wait for next year.
Chang Pei-Wei and Dennis Orcullo had easier times of it with Chang eliminating Sandlie Madlala 8-5 and Orcullo ruining things for Ismail Yaqab 8-3. David Alcaide led his match 5-3 against Oliver Medenillia but then Medenillia kicked it up a notch and stormed back to win the match 8-6.
Round #3 saw a pair of near walkovers. Ko Pin-Yi demolished Kim Aquino 8-1 and Francis Crevier made easy work of Mustafa Hasan 8-3. Former World Champion Thorsten Hohmann found himself in a very tough match with Masaaki Tanaki that went to double-hill. Thorsten cleared his set of balls but then miscued on the eight and Tanaki took ball in hand to clear his set and then drop the eight for the win 8-7. Closing out this round Jeff de Luna defeated Kenny Kwok 8-3.
The last round found Marlon Manalo true to form as he easily got past Shaker Wahdan 8-3. Huijdi See had it a but closer as he wound up over Magid Al Azimi 8-6, Mattez Sniegocki won out over Rueben Bautista 8-4 and our final match found Basher Hussein besting Takhti Zarekani 8-5.
The single-elimination rounds begin tomorrow at 3PM local UAE time.