Filipino cue artists were not spared from the dreadful effect of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic to the sports world as the 2020 Predator World 10-Ball Championship scheduled to happen on Tuesday (Manila time) until Saturday at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA got canceled.
Top local pool players Johann Chua and Carlo Biado, the country’s No. 1 (world No.13) and No. 2 (world No. 15), respectively, based on the latest World Pool-Billiard Association rankings, were supposed to lead the cast of Filipino cue artists entered in the world championship that was set to stake $100,000 (more than P5 million).
James Aranas (world No. 31), Jeffrey Ignacio (No. 34) and Jeffrey De Luna (No. 53) were also scheduled to compete in the international tournament set to pit the 64 best players in the world.
That was until the organizers were forced to terminate the tilt, which was part of the Cue Sports International Expo, due to growing concerns brought about by the outbreak.
“As international travel concerns continue to mount over the Covid-19 pandemic, Cue Sports International and Predator Group announced the cancellation of this week’s World 10-Ball Championship at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas,” the organizers said in a statement.
“We thank our fans, players, staff and partners for their patience and support, and look forward to welcoming everyone back to Las Vegas for next year’s World 10-Ball Championship, March 8 to 12, 2021,” they added.
In an online interview with The Manila Times, Aranas said they cannot do anything with the sudden cancellation despite earlier statement from the organizers assuring the holding of the tourney.
“Wala kaming magagawa. Hindi naman namin sila (organizers) pwedeng sisihin sa pag-cancel nila dahil sa nangyayari ngayon sa mundo (There’s nothing we can do. We cannot blame them (organizers) for cancelling the event because of what’s happening in the world right now),” he said.
Fortunately for Aranas, he still had $10,000 (more than P500,000) to bring home after notching a runner-up finish in the 2020 Diamond Las Vegas Open which was also held as part of the Cue Sports International Expo at the same venue.
However, the same could not be said for Chua, who bared to the Times that he was only set to join the World 10-Ball Championship.
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