MANILA, Philippines – Buoyed by the success of Dennis Orcullo in the recent Derby City Classic in the US, Filipino pool players have another chance to show what they've got when the 2011 World 8-Ball Championships get going from February 19 to 26 in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates.
"Sana matumbok ko na itong World 8-ball crown sa Fujairah," said Orcullo, who is known by the monicker "Robocop."
Orcullo finished runner-up with compatriot Ronato Alcano in the the 2008 World 8-Ball Championships.
The former fisherman from Bislig, Surigao del Sur also won the World Pool Masters crown last May at the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
He defeated Japanese Toru Kuribayashi in the finals to bag the top prize of USD20,000.
"The success of Dennis will serve as inspiration to other Filipino players to do their best and strive harder in the coming International Billiards competition," said sportsman Ceferino "Perry" Mariano, president of the star-studded Bugsy Promotions, which also handles Roberto "Pinoy Superman" Gomez, Carlo "Cool" Biado and B-League standouts RJ Bautista, Biondi Te and Hadley Mariano.
Orcullo is also busy preparing for the upcoming Philippine Open Pool Championships from April 16 to 20; and 2011 World Ten-Ball Championship (WTBC) of the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) from May 9 to 15.
Both tournaments will be held at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.
Exodus among pool players?
Mariano, meanwhile, broke his silence against the possible of exodus of Filipino pool masters in the country and their departure abroad as billiards coaches and trainers.
This is also in light of a report that Qatar has already expressed its intention to get the services of Orcullo, Alcano, as well Lee Vann Corteza.
It is reportedly offering around $4,000 a month salary, plus free board and lodging and with car service.
"Sinasabi ng Billiards and Snooker Congress of the Philippines (BSCP) na marami silang players. Ngayon marami na tayong mga top players na nag-alisan na sa bansa para kumita ng pera sa ibang bayan. Sana tignan naman ng BSCP ang welfare ng mga players at simulan na nila mag develop ng mga bata kasi nagkaka edad na din ang mga player natin," said Mariano, founder of National Collegiate Billiards League (NCBL) or B-League. – By Marlon Bernardino