Bustamante, Manalo stay alive in Predator

FRANCISCO “Django” Bustamante and Marlon “Marvelous” Manalo hurdled their respective opponents to remain on track in the 10th Predator International Championship on Thursday at the SM City North Edsa in Quezon City

Bustamante downed teammate Dondon Razalan, 8-5, while Manalo ousted Rida Belhaj of France, 8-1, as they keep the Philippine campaign going in this annual event participated by some of the world’s best cue artists.

“I hope magpatuloy ang panalo natin para hindi naman mabokya ang Pinoy sa laban,” said Bustamante, who ruled the WPA World 9-ball Championships last summer in Qatar.

Bustamante’s bid hit a snag after he lost to compatriot and 2007 WPA World 9-ball finalist Roberto “Pinoy Superman” Gomez, 7-8. last Wednesday.

Against Razalan, Bustamante took a commanding 3-0 lead and never look back.

Razalan, who hailed from Quezon province won consecutive racks to close the match at 5-3, but Bustamante recovered just in the nick of time for a comfortable 7-3 lead.

“Medyo inalat sa banding huli,” said the Japanese-based Razalan.

Meanwhile, Manalo control the entire game winning five consecutive racks against Belhaj whose only win came in the 6th frame.

“Maganda ang tumbok natin ngayon” said Manalo from Barangay Malamig of Mandaluyong City who yielded to Ricky “Bai” Zerna, 4-8, the other day.

In other results, Jason Klatt of Canada beat Ruben Cuna, 8-6, Judy Villanueva edged Hadley Mariano, 8-5, Warren Kiamco nipped Rodrigo Geronimo, 8-6, and Emil Martinez defeated Paul Arpilleda, 8-5.

Efren “Bata” Reyes, Ronnie Alcano, Dennis Orcullo, Alex Pagulayan won their respective matches the other day in the winner’s bracket.

Reyes beat Demosthenes Pulpul, 8-6, Alcano crushed Antonio Lining, 8-4, Orcullo dealt Villanueva, 8-7, and Pagulayan waylaid Rodolfo Luat, 8-6.

Carlo Biado, meantime beat A. Yukio of Japan, 8-5, Rodney Morris of the USA outplayed Victor Arpilleda, 8-4, Elvis Calasang shocked Jeffrey de Luna, 8-4, and Jundel Mazon smashed B. Hussain of Qatar, 8-4.

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