Appleton Final Undefeated Top Seed Undefeated
Day 2 Concludes at Philippine Open
by Edward Asistin
Reigning world 10-ball champion Darren Appleton advanced into the round of 16 on the winners’ side of the bracket of the 2009 Philippine Open and is the highest seed remaining on the winners’ side, trying to win yet another prestigious title in the Philippines. His opponent was 20-year-old Hayato Hijikata of Japan, and the match was the second match broadcasted on the TV table. Appleton was rolling along just fine and built his lead to 7-3. Poor play led to him squandering his lead to 8-6, but he was able to finish his opponent off in the next rack. His opponent in the next round is Radoslaw Babica of Poland, who has also been playing well.
The schedule for the day started with the winners’ side second-round matches, and the rest of the day was the one-loss side second- and third-round matches. Since the tournament is paying half the field, players need at least two wins to get into the money and at least a guaranteed $800 USD payday.
The 12 p.m. session had a lot of lopsided matches. Former U.S. Open champion Shane Van Boening cruised into the money with a 9-2 victory over Young Hwa Jeong (Korea). Jeffrey “The Bull” De Luna also advanced with a 9-2 triumph over Jestoni Magadia (Philippines) after a long and grueling hill-hill battle with Elmer “Buddy” Kalaquian last night. Satoshi Kawabata prevailed 9-2 over Philippine junior Resty Labastida (Philippines). Gabe Owen (US) rolled over Jonni Fulcher (UK) 9-3. Junior world champion Ko Pin-Yi also cruised into the third round of the winners’ bracket with a win over Naoyuki Oi (Japan) 9-3.
The 3 p.m. session got exciting starting with the first of the TV table matches that featured hometown hero Marlon Manalo versus Rudy Susanto (Indonesia). Susanto had failed to earn a spot into the main tourney through the qualifier but received a wild card entry through the tournament staff. Manalo had his hands full and just couldn’t get things rolling. Susanto led most of the way, but Manalo clawed his way back to tie the match at 7-7. Susanto proceeded to win the next two games to take advantage of his wild card entry and insure himself of at least a $1,200 USD payday.
Another exciting match of the 3 p.m. session put crowd favorite Jasmin Ouschan against Ernesto Dominguez (Mexico). The two battled back and forth until the match ended up at hill-hill. In the final rack, Ouschan had the opportunity to run out but ended up with funny position on the 9 ball. She had to break out the bridge but couldn’t quite shoot the 9 ball the way she wanted and left herself with a tough cut shot on the 10 ball after pocketing the 9. On her final practice swing before the shot on the 10 ball, a cell phone went off and there was no way she could stop her swing. It clearly bothered Jasmin, as she jerked a little and missed the 10 ball for the win. Dominguez was left with an easy shot and pocketed the 10 ball.
Five women fought for their tournament lives on the one-loss side and only one was able to escape elimination. Karen Corr defeated Filipino junior Marvin Tapia 9-8 after leading 8-4 in the match. She was the only other woman in the tournament to post a win other than Kelly Fisher.
Filipino junior champion Jerico Banares is the first of the seeded players to be eliminated after from the tournament after falling to Toh Lian Han (Singapore) by a score of 9-7. The rest of the seeded players survived through day two. Thorsten Hohmann and Marlon Manalo were the seeded players who went down in the second round on the winner’s side. Only 7 of the 16 seeded players made it to the third round of the winners’ side with one seeded player being replaced by an alternate. Four Filipinos and three Taiwanese made it into the round of 16 on the winners’ side. All of the second-round victors on the winners’ side are guaranteed at least $1,200 USD.