In name, he is already a King. But for the moment, Ong Beng Hee is a prince-in-waiting. The Malaysian tiger - the only Asian player in the world's top 10 - showed glimpses of the determination that would one day make him a champion as he entered the quarter-finals of the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Open yesterday. Ong, which means 'King' in Hokkien, held off a spirited challenge from England's Del Harris to win a marathon 87-minute second-round encounter 15-12, 15-10, 14-17, 17-15 at the Hong Kong Park Indoor Games Hall. The win moves him closer to the Hong Kong title although it may still prove to be a bridge too far for the 21-year-old this year. For lying in wait is danger man David Palmer of Australia, the world number three and the highest-ranked player remaining in this tournament after the shock dismissal of top duo Peter Nicol (by defeat) and Jonathon Power (by default). When the 'King' is crowned one day, it will be a day to remember, especially for his dad, Ong Kwai Hock, who watched his son come back from trailing 10-14 down yesterday in the fourth game to clinch it 17-15. That period of play proves that Ong has the heart and guts to stick it out when the going gets tough. And when coronation day comes along, it will be a rags-to-riches story. Ong Snr explained: 'I mortgaged everything I had to start my son off in squash. I sold my house and my squash club in Kuala Lumpur to raise the money to fund him initially. But it has been worth every penny that I have had to pay.' With the money raised, Ong Snr, a squash coach, set off with his son on the road to fame. 'He began playing the game at six. Until he was 14, I coached him, travelling on the junior circuit. From a young age he showed the determination that convinced me that one day he would be the world number one and a world champion,' said the proud father. Currently ranked eighth in the world, Ong still has a long way to go. But his father feels it is just a matter of time. 'At 21, he is currently the youngest player in the top 20. The older players will soon fade away. It is just a matter of time before he is the world number one.' Victory in Hong Kong would just fast-forward the Malaysian miracle. Not since the Jahangirs and the Janshers ruled the world has an Asian made it into the top 10. Earlier this week, Ong said his recent successes which have catapulted him into the top bracket had made him 'the hunted' instead of 'the hunter'. Yesterday Harris, a former top 10 player himself but now languishing at 16th, was going all out to claim Ong's scalp. Having conceded a 2-0 lead, Harris gamely fought back to grab a tense third game. Harris led 14-12 and needed just one more point to wrap it up, but Ong levelled the score at 14-14. Harris asked for set-three and rattled off the next three points. The fourth set was even more nerve-wracking. Harris led 14-10 and seemed on the verge of pushing the match into a deciding, winner-take-all game. But Ong superbly rose to the occasion as he went for broke and warded off the next five game balls to level the score at 14-14. 'Trailing 10-14, I thought 'what the heck'. I had nothing to lose and I went for the winners. As soon as I said that, I became more positive and I found myself at 14-14 and confident again,' said Ong. Harris asked for set-three once again. But this time he was not so fortunate. Harris won the next point but Ong kept his nerve to win the next three points and take the fourth game in 26 minutes to book his berth in the quarterfinals. 'I was quite surprised to be 2-0 up at the start. But after I lost the third, I decided to just hang in there. It was difficult playing Del. He is a big guy and it makes it difficult to get past him. I'm really relieved to have won,' said Ong. This is the first time Ong has made it through to the quarter-finals in Hong Kong. Last year, he lost in the second round after having progressed through the ranks from the qualifying stages. But now he doesn't have to play in the qualifiers anymore. He has arrived. 'I have faced near bankruptcy. But like I said it has been worth all the pain. He has paid it all back, and more, already. He is a pride to the family and the country,' added Ong Snr. In his eyes, his son is already a king.