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Pinoy cue master rules Qatar billiards open

Dennis Orcollo underscored his ranking as world No. 1 by trouncing veteran Niels Feijen of the Nether­lands, 13-5, to win the inaugural 2008 Qatar International Open 9- Ball Championship in Doha. It was Orcollo’s third title this year after the Quezon City 9-Ball Championship and the All-Japan Open last March, fortifying his tag as the best and most fearsome cue artist today, according to a report by the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

“I’m very happy for this win which I dedicate to my country­men,” said Orcollo, one of the 12 Billiards Managers and Play­ers Association of the Philippines (BMPAP) members who competed in the $150,000 (P6.75-million) event. The 29-year-old Surigao del Sur native pocketed the $40,000 (P1.8- million) top purse at stake in the week-long event participated by over a hundred world-class players from around the world. Orcollo was among the 18 Filipinos who were seeded in the 96-man main draw. He swept his group stage matches against Subah Habib of Bharain (9-1) and Darren Appleton of England (9-6) to easily barge into the knockout stage.

There, he blasted former world champion Oliver Ortmann of Ger­many (11-6) in the Last 32 and countrymen Warren Kiamco (11- 6) in the Last 16 and Ramil Gal­lego (11-9) in the quarterfinals and reigning world 8-ball champion Ralf Souquet of Germany (11-8) in the semis.

Against Feijen, Orcollo romped off to a blazing start, quickly build­ing an 8-3 lead to set the tone for the unexpected rout, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported. Former world 9-Ball champion Alex Pagulayan moved into the Last 8 by trouncing 2007 World Pool runner-up Roberto Gomez, 11-6, then lost to Souquet.

Feijen, who beat reigning US Open 9-Ball titlist Shane Van Voen­ing in the semifinals, settled for the runner-up prize of $20,000. Van Boening and Souquet pocketed $10,000 each.
The other Filipinos who com­peted in the tournament were BMPAP’s former world titlists Efren “Bata” Reyes, Pagulayan and Ron­nie Alcano, former world No. 1 Francisco “Django” Bustamante, Gomez, Gandy Valle, Joven Busta­mante Lee Van Corteza and Benjie Guevarra, as well as Marlon Manalo, Antonio Gabica, Jeff De Luna and Middle East-based Alan Cuartero, Joyme Vicente and Ruben Cuna.