MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATE) Francisco “Django” Bustamante reigned supreme in the 2010 World Pool Championships (World 9-Ball), defeating Taiwanese “The Little" Monster” Kuo Po-cheng, 13-7, in the final.
“Sa wakas nakumpleto na din ang pagiging bilyarista natin. Lahat kasi ito ang pangarap maging WPA World 9-ball champion,” Bustamante said after winning his match at the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation hall in Doha, Qatar early Tuesday morning (Manila time).
“Salamat sa Diyos ito na lang ang missing sa career ni Django,” said Philippine Billiards godather Aristeo “Putch” Puyat of Puyat Sports, a long-time benefactor of Bustamante.
On the way to the final, Bustamante beat compatriot Antonio “Nickoy” Lining, 11-5, in the semifinal round to arrange a titular showdown with Kuo who edged Johnny Archer of the United States, 11-10.
Bustamante took the top prize of $36,000, Kuo settled for $18,000 while Lining and Archer got $10,000 each.
The WPA World 9-Ball was Bustamante’s 4th championship this year after previously being a member of the winning Team Asia that routed Team Europe last January 17 in the Asia vs Europe Challenge Match.
He defeated Puyat Sports stable mate Reyes to win the 23rd Annual Japan Open — Open Division in March and took home the inaugural World Professional Billiard League (WPBL) championship in Winnipeg Canada in June.
The World Pool title seemed to be elusive for the Tarlac City native Bustamante.
Although he made it to the World Pool Championships final in 2002 in Cardiff, Wales, he was unsuccessful against American Earl “The Pearl” Strickland.
At the height of the tournament, Bustamante received a shocking phone call from his wife informing him that his daughter, who was less than a year old, had died.
Bustamante strongly considered forfeiting his participation, but his wife somehow convinced him that their child would have wanted him to continue to fight.
In the final, Bustamante was leading Strickland, 15-13, but the American went through with a 17-15 victory. – With reports from Ronnie Nathanielsz, PhilBoxing.com and Marlon Bernardino
2010 World Pool Championships (World 9-Ball) Top 16 with payouts:
Francisco Bustamante (Philippines) – $36,000 Kuo Po-cheng (Chinese Taipei) – $18,000 Antonio Lining (Philippines) – $10,000 Johnny Archer (USA) – $10,000 Ronato Alcano (Philippines) – $6,000 Sandor Tot (Serbia) – $6,000 Oliver Medenilla (Philippines) – $6,000 Francisco Felicilda (Philippines) – $6,000 Craig Osborne (Great Britain) – $4,000 Christian Reimering (Germany) – $4,000 Dimitri Jungo (Switzerland) – $4,000 Yang Ching-shun (Chinese Taipei) – $4,000 Marlon Manalo (Philippines) – $4,000 Jason Klatt (Canada) – $4,000 Hayato Hijikata (Japan) – $4,000 Raymond Faraon (Philippines) – $4,000