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Pagulayan takes more sober attitude
by Mason King Jul 17, 2004, 12:34 AM EST

Alex Pagulayan, runner-up at the 2003 World Pool Championships, has been having trouble sleeping at this year's tournament.

"I'm trying not to think about [his 2003 loss], but it keeps going through my mind," the tiny Canadian-by-way-of-the-Philippines said after beating Chinese Taipei's Chien-Che Huang, 11-7, to earn a spot in the quarterfinals. "I don't know how to get it out of my system."

Paugulayan, who is known for his ebullient personality and no-holds-barred partying during tournaments, said that he is making good on his promise to buckle down and take this year's championships more seriously.

"This week I haven't had a soda or a beer ­ just bottled water," he said.

Next up for Pagulayan is former world champion Fong-Pang Chao, who dismantled Englishman Imran Majid, 11-1, to earn a spot in the quarterfinals. Chao put on a clinic in break-and-run pool, only allowing Majid to the table during two games after the third rack.

Pagulayan knew he had his work cut out for him.

"I'm not playing that bad, but not good enough to win this tournament, so I'd better play better than what I've showed so far," he said.

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