Defending champion Dennis Orcollo earned a place in the knockout stage Tuesday after trouncing Nasser Al Mujaibel of Kuwait, 7-4, at the start of the World 8-Ball Championship Tuesday in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates.
Orcollo, who downed Niels Feijen to win last year’s crown, overcame Al Mujaibel’s stubborn challenge to barge into the Round-of-64 of this tournament offering $20,000 to the winner.
“I missed some easy shots,” Orcollo said in an interview with WPA-pool.com. “The pockets are very tight and the table is new so I had to make some adjustments. I’m still focused and I’m confident I can win this thing again.”
Also advancing in the next phase are Lee Van Corteza and unheralded Joven Alba after posting contrasting wins.
Corteza survived a hill-hill match to beat Germany’s Dominic Jentsch, 7-6, while Alba easily dispatched Elvis Calasang, 7-2, in an All-Filipino battle.
Unseeded cue artists Demosthenes Pulpul and Raymond Faraon, meanwhile, moved a step closer towards joining Orcollo, Corteza and Alba following easy victories.