CARDIFF: DJANGO BUSTAMANTE LAST PINOY LEFT

Cardiff, Wales, July 20, 2003 (MALAYA)  - Francisco "Django" Bustamante humbled compatriot Efren "Bata" Reyes 11-8 on Friday and stayed on course for a second straight trip to the finals of the World Pool Championship at the Cardiff International Arena here.

Bustamante forged a quarterfinals battle with German Thorsten Hohmann, with a win sending him to a probable rematch with last year's winner, Earl Strickland, in the semifinals.

Hohmann, who defeated Luc Salvas of Canada 11-5, is considered a lightweight against Bustamante, the lone Filipino remaining in the tournament. The Philippines had nine players at the start of the event.

Strickland moved a step closer to his second straight title with a hard-fought 11-9 win over snooker legend Steve Davis. He next meets Chinese Taipei star Ching-Shun Yang who saw off 2001 champion Mika Immonen of Finland 11-5.

Fil-Canadian Alex Pagulayan, the top seed, proved too much for Filipino qualifier Ramil Gallego, scoring a quick 11-4 win and setting up a quarterfinals battle with Shin Young Park, the first Korean to get this far in the annual event. Park beat Alex Lely of the Netherlands 11-5.

Pagulayan raced to a 7-0 lead before Gallego restored some pride, but the adopted-Canadian soon took his chances and ended the hopes of his ex-countryman.

Chinese Taipei's Hui-Kai Hsia whipped Marcus Chamat of Sweden and next tackles Tony Drago of Malta who beat Korean Young Hwa Jeong 11-9.

Bustamante is now assured of at least $8,500 while Reyes and Gallego took home $4,000 each.

The $300,000 event offers $65,000 to the champion and 30,000 to the losing finalist.

Strickland later said the win could have been easier if not for the hostile crowd.

"That audience was not being fair out there. They need to be schooled in how to treat a player because they don't appreciate a player like me and I can't play my game," said Strickland, who was booed repeatedly by the pro-Davis crowd.

"I was even about to get in a fight with one of the guys in there. They can't treat me like a crumb, that's not fun. I've played golf for 30 years and that is the ultimate game for courtesy. No one is singled out like I am and heckled.

"They don't understand that I've flown 5,000 miles and spent $3,000 to be here and there are 10 percent of the people who make it bad for everyone. I think I'm a remarkable person to play well in conditions like that."


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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