Former champs score early wins

AFP , MANILA

Mon, Nov 05, 2007 - Page 20

Former champions Alex Pagulayan of the Philippines and Mika Immonen of Finland scored easy victories yesterday in the elimination rounds of the US$400,000 World Pool Championship in Manila.

Eighth seed Pagulayan beat Hamsa Saeed Ali of Eritrea 9-0 while 12th seed Immonen defeated Fahad Mohammadi of Qatar 9-3.

Pagulayan, the 2004 champion, will next face Martin Kempter of Austria.

Immonen, the winner in 2001, will face the winner of the match between Tyler Edey of Canada and Jeremy Jones of the US.

A total of 128 players from around the world are competing in the tournament, divided into 16 groups of eight players each.

The group stage is played under a "double-elimination" system. Two successive wins send players into the last 64, while two straight defeats eliminates them from the tournament.

In earlier matches on Saturday, Filipino cue master Efren Reyes -- considered the world's leading player -- was upset by Japan's Kenichi Ichigaki, 2-9.