Upstarts surprise billiards stars
By: Bong Pedralvez(Malaya)

FORMER world champion Francisco “Django” Bustamante fell by the wayside yesterday as two upstarts–Edgie Geronimo and John Rebong–forged a finals battle in the billiards competition of the POC-PSC Philippine National Games at the Rizal Memorial Billiards Center yesterday.

Geronimo whipped Junbert Ogang 9-1 to rule the winner’s bracket and will face Rebong, who turned the tables on Ogang in the loser’s bracket 9-7, in a surprise finale tomorrow after Bustamante, Jundel Mazon and Jeffrey de Luna, all established names in the game, suffered stunning defeats.

In reaching the finals, Geronimo claimed the scalp of De Luna, a 2006 Doha Asian Games medalist 9-3, while 2010 world 9-ball king Bustamante absorbed a heartbreaking 8-9 loss to another upstart, Ivan Ilao in an earlier match in the loser’s bracket.

Mazon, the 2010 Guinness World Series titlist, got bundled out by Macky Leyva 9-8 in the losers’ bracket of the event sponsored by Ayala Corp., Alaxan, LBC, 7-Eleven, Tea Monkey and Everlast.

Later in the day, Baguio City’s Jessa Mangsat shattered the record in the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase with a winning time of 11:25.70, surpassing the 11:28.54 recorded by Jean Palencia in the UAAP track meet four years ago.

Christopher Ulboc ruled the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase (9:05.65) in the event also backed by Standard Insurance and Tea Monkey.

Track cycling got going at the Amoranto oval with Jan Paul Morales, John Mier and veteran campaigner Alfie Catalan picking up a pair of gold medals each.

Morales topped the 1-kilometer individual time trial in one minute and 10.18 seconds and also ruled the kirin (points) event.

Catalan bagged the gold in the 4-kilometer individual pursuit (5:01.69) and teamed up with Renato Mier, Ronald Gorantes and Nino Jasul in winning the 4-kilometer time trial.

Mier added the 10-kilometer scratch to his collection while Julian Quirimit, son of former Tour veteran Candido Quirimit, topped the 1,600-meter race.

Navyman Lloyd Lucien Reynante, son of the late cycling great Maui Reynante, Gorantes and George Oconer shared top honors in the Olympic sprint.

Over at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center, veteran Johnny Arcilla took out promising junior netter Alberto Lim Jr. 6-0, 6-0 while comebacking P.J. Tierro whipped Arc Dolorito 6-1, 6-2 in the third round of the men’s singles tournament.

Veteran Rexel Ryan Fabriga and promising Rebecca Pahoyo bagged the men’s and women’s 10-meter platform gold medals at the Rizal Memorial pool.

Fabriga, who won two gold medals in the 2007 Thailand Southeast Asian Games, tallied 427.65 points to win the men’s event while Pahoyo, 18, who bagged a bronze medal in last year’s Asian University Games in Vientiane, Laos, topped the distaff side with 220.45 points.

National team standout Shiela Mae Perez skipped the event, citing an inflammation of a ligament on her right hand.