Gilbert and Lu met in the last match of the group both with one win and one draw. The world No. 11 won the final frame to draw 2-2 with Lu but advanced by claiming the highest break of 98.
In another match of group C, Persepolis FC edged Al Taawoun 1-0 as the Iraqi midfielder Bashar Resan scored the match's only goal from the penalty spot to take Iranian side to the top of the group with seven points.
"I didn't think I was totally ready for the event, but I was happy that I wasn't affected by others and finally made it," said the veteran Liu.
Nadal, seeded second, lost 6-2, 7-5 to eighth-seeded Schwartzman, who will next play 12th seed Denis Shapovalov of Canada for a spot in the final.
Middle blocker Wang Yuanyuan also returned from the national team to join Tianjin in their quest for the title.
"It's just a really exciting moment for me and my family," Jota told Liverpool's website." All of my path since I was a kid and now, to join a club like Liverpool - the world champions - is just unbelievable. I just want to get started."
New Betis coach Manuel Pellegrini made his presence felt as his side defended much better than they did last season in their 1-0 win away to Alaves last week, while Valladolid were slightly unlucky to only draw 1-1 at home with Real Sociedad.
The Curitiba-based side top the Group C standings with six points from three matches, ahead of Chile's Colo-Colo on goal difference. Jorge Wilstermann are third with three points.
Despite the defeat, Al-Taawoun remain top of Group C thanks to a superior head-to-head record over second-placed Al-Duhail SC, who beat Sharjah FC 2-1 earlier in the day to reach six points, while Persepolis climb above Sharjah into second place with four points, just two behind the group leaders at the stage's halfway point.
After suffering five defeats consecutively, Qingdao had no chance of being among the top eight in the next league session, although three games of the first session remain on the schedule.
Talavera's return to the international fold comes after a series of impressive performances for Pumas UNAM, whom he joined from their Liga MX rivals Toluca in July.