CEBU CITY — Cebuano billiard superstar Anton Raga is among the six Filipino cue slingers who will compete in the 48th All Japan Championships on Nov. 9 to 15 in Amagasaki City in Hyogo, Japan.
Raga, together with coach and benefactor Allan “Toryaw” Cortes, is set to leave for Tokyo Saturday to join Ronnie Alcano, World No. 1 Carlo Biado, Cebuano Warren Kiamco, Johann Chua and Dante Razalan, who left the country earlier.
The six Filipino cue slingers are hoping to keep the title on the Philippine shores after Raymond Faraon won the cash-rich event last yar.
This is Raga’s first international campaign and his manager Lorenzo “Chao” Sy is hoping that his young ward would make an impact in the tournament.
“The Philippine billiard community knows that Anton could be the next star. He has been proving that in many tournaments here in Cebu and in Mindanao. In Manila, he has slowly carved his name in the sport that is why he was invited to play in Japan along with the big stars like Alcano, Biado, Kiamco, Razalan and Chua. I just hope that he won’t get that first-time jitters,” Sy said.
Raga played in his first international competition in February in the 10-Ball World Championship 2015 in Gen. Santos City, where he made it to the round-of-32.
Raga, a former Sun.Star Superbalita 9-Ball champion, has won almost all 10-ball competitions in Cebu and Mindanao and his unpredictable billiard skills and talent has impressed even veteran billiard players.
“This will be Anton’s defining moment. While it is true that this will be his first international trip to join a tournament, this is definitely not his last. We’re testing the waters in Japan if he is really ready for the big time tournaments,” said Sy.
The event is a 10-ball competition with Raga needing to undergo the qualifying tournament on Nov. 9 and 10.
The main draw will start on Nov. 11 with the 128 players playing in a double elimination race to 9 format.
The event offers a total prize of USD51,393, with the champion getting USD14,640. PNA