THE search for the next pool star is on as the 3rd Sun.Star Superbalita Mindanao Open 9-Ball Challenge gets underway at 11 a.m. Saturday at the NCCC Mall Bowling, Billiards and Bar (B3) Center.
It will be anybody’s ball game as expected guest player world no.2 Lee Vann Corteza, who is still in Japan for a series of challenge matches, won’t be around. The reigning World Predator Tour champion Corteza, who hails from Mintal of Davao City, earlier confirmed his participation to the biggest edition of the event but later backed out.
Tournament co-chairperson Charles Raymond A. Maxey, “Corteza’s absence will give way to a new pool sensation that will yet rise for stardom.”
Defending champion Christopher Alanunay and 2008 champion Gandy Valle, a 2009 Laos Southeast Asian (SEA) Games silver medalist and 1998 Bangkok Asian Games gold medalist, however, remain the heavy favorites.
But players from Iligan City, General Santos City, Cagayan de Oro City, Surigao City, Cotabato City, Tagum City, Digos City, Davao Oriental, Compostela Valley and Zamboanga City may pull off surprises.
A short opening rites will usher the start of the competition. Knockout elimination matches will be held today while the Round of 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals and championship matches get going to tomorrow.
At stake is a whopping cash prize of P50,000 for the champion, P20,000 for the runner-up, P12,500 for the third-placer and P7,500 for the fourth-placer. The next four placers will each go home with P2,000.
NCCC Mall B3, 8990 Housing Development Corporation, SkyCable and Betan Calibration Technique are major sponsors while Microtel Inn and Suites Davao, San Miguel Corporation, Santos Land Development Corporation, Toryano’s Chicken Haus, Grand Men Seng Hotel, Home Crest Residences, Stadium Buffet Restaurant and Sports Lounge, Water Lovers Purified Drinking Water, Visuals in Motion Advertising and Redrock Dezigns are this year’s minor sponsors.(pr/mlsa)