Raul Constantino (L) and James Ortega
Cesar John Damaso
RIYADH — The fifth week of the ongoing LBC Billiards Doubles Tournament marked another exciting show. Raul Constantino and James Orgtega slipped from strong rivals Manny Santos and Gil Meras in a do or die showdown, 5-3, at the Idol Billiards Center.
In the preliminary round, the duo managed to clinch two straight wins in the winners' bracket but they were stopped by the tough combination of Mar Barnedo and Alex Seguido in their third attempt for victory. At least they could have earned a semifinal berth if they had succeeded.
After the upset, the pride of Marinduquenos moved to the losers' bracket en route to a more critical path where they have to clinch four more wins to get into the finals. Both teams exchanged equal billiard talent in the beginning with Meras securing an equalizer in the sixth rack to level the score at 3-3. Constantino's hands were sizzling hot in the seventh rack and pocketed the 10th ball to gain the lead, 4-3. Santos of the losers' side tried to match Constantino's skills but could only pocket two balls due to the high pressure during the play. Eventually, Ortega was awarded an open shot from an excellent preparation and secured a convincing win in the eighth rack.
In another match, Tom Zaraspe and Jason Yadao also secured second victory at the expense of Alvin Legaspi and Hassim Guaili, 5-3, in the winners' bracket. Once the favorite in the preliminary round, Legaspi and Guaili were known for their magic tricks which their opponents feared, but those tricks were nullified by the combination shots of Zaraspe and Yadao. In the next matchup of Zaraspe and Yadao, it was unlucky that they were defeated by Mike Victor and Buddy Rolano in a highly contested match, 4-5. The Ilocano boys were thrown out to the losers? bracket with a 2-1 win-loss record.
Lito Santos and Mike Montanier topped the overall standing at 4-0 win-loss record and in a waiting seat in the winners' bracket. Raul Constantino and James Ortega, the pride of Marinduque, stayed in second spot, 3-1 after clinching their last match. Richie Solicar and Luigi Casimero also finished a 3-1 win-loss record after a big win against Simbo Apuan and Vener Ocampo in the fourth week showdown. Mar Barnedo and Alex Seguido is another team to watch after they swept two straight wins during their last matches to gain a 2-0 win-loss record.
This event enjoys the full sponsorship of LBC "Hari ng Padala," one of the pioneers in cargo handling and remittance services catering to Filipino OCWs through the support of its Country Manager Arnold Cereno and officers Allan Bautista and Veronica Rey.
Secondary sponsors are New Cabalen, Java City, Mama Lulu Fastfood, Shahd Broast, CFC, Kruathai, Link International Travel and Pasalubong Restaurant & Bakery. Games are played in 10 balls doubles based on international standard rules, double elimination format or winners and losers bracket every Thursday and Friday starting from 5 P.M.
The Filipino Expatriates Billiards Association in Riyadh is the organizer of the event led by officers Pelaez Marzan, Fernan Hernandez and Yolando Villacarlos. It is also supported by Rick Cabial and Said Rafiq of Java City.