Formidable Saurav Kothari of Petroleum Sports Promotion Board kept his hopes alive with a narrow win in his second tie, in the BPCL-ONGC National 9-Ball Pool Championship at the Bombay Presidency Golf Club, in Mumbai on Monday.
Kothari, who lost his opening match, recovered brilliantly to beat a spirited Amir Habib of Maharashtra 5-4 in a thrilling Group 'Q' contest.
Former world billiards champion Geet Sethi registered his second consecutive win to book a place in the knock-out.
Sethi, who won his opening tie on Sunday, overcame Shekhar Krishnan of Maharashtra 5-0 in Group 'I'.
Fancied Sarang Shroff of Maharashtra also made it to the knock-out following his second straight win.
Playing a steady game, Shroff crushed Delhi's Vishal Chaudhari 5-1 in Group 'S'.
Another notable winner was Dhruv Sitwala of PSPB, who beat A. Haveliwala of Maharashtra 5-3 in Group 'U'.
Group 'I': Geet Sethi (Guj) bt Shekhar Krishnan (Mah) 5-0; Shyamal Sharma (Bih) bt Harpreet Singh (Del) 5-3.
Group 'Q': Saurav Kothari (PSPB) bt Amir Habib (Mah) 5-4.
Group 'S': Sarang Shroff (Mah) bt Vishal Chaudhari (Del) 5-1; Praneet J (TN) bt Joy Surti (Guj) 5-1.
Group 'T': Rahul Shinde (Mah) bt Ravi Jain (Mah) 5-4.
Group 'U': Dhruv Sitwala (PSPB) bt A. Haveliwala (Mah) 5-3; Salim Alim (TN) bt Kedar Kotkar (Mah) 5-2; Salim Alim bt Alpesh Vaghela 5-1; Alpesh Vaghela (Guj) bt Dilip Kamat (Mah) 5-4.
Group 'Y': Nadeem Ahmed (TN) bt Siddharth Mehta (Guj) 5-0.
Group 'CC': Samuel Selven (Mah) bt Naveen (TN) 5-2; Swaroop Pillai (Mah) bt Joe Mehera (Pun) 5-3.
Group 'GG': Deepak (KSBA) bt Aditya Rajani (Mah) 5-0.
Group 'KK': Neeraj Kumar (Bih) bt Vanlalnghaka (Miz) 5-0; Kunal Agashe (Mah) bt
Ajay Singhala (Ch) 5-2.
Group 'II': Rupinder Singh (Ch) bt Sajjad Meherali (Mah) 5-4.
Group 'NN': Devendra Chavade (Guj) bt Derek Sippy (Mah) 5-4.
Group 'PP': Sandeep Gulati (Del) bt Snehal Mehta (Mah) 5-0.
Group 'VV': Gunjan Patel (Guj) bt Aman Gohil (Har) 5-2.