MANILA, Philippines - Jeff de Luna, fancied Dennis Orcollo and giant-killer Jeff Ignacio beat their respective rivals to set the pace in the Battle of the Kings 10-Ball Challenge at King of Sports in Quezon City.
The power-breaking de Luna nipped world No. 3 Carlo Biado, 11-7, to hike his tally to two points and join former world champ Orcollo and Ignacio in the leaderboard of the tourney that stakes a winner-take-all prize of P100,000.
It was the 30-year-old de Luna’s second win over Biado, having pulled off a close 11-9 verdict in the opener of their three-game one-on-one matchup.
Orcollo, the former world champion is also largely acknowledged as the country’s “money game king,” played true to form against another ex-world titlist, Ronnie Alcano. “Robocop” was right on target in beating Alcano twice, 11-6 and 11-5, for a two-point output.
Sharing the limelight was little-known Ignacio, who claimed the scalp of legendary Francisco “Django” Bustamante in their first two encounters. Not much of a campaigner in the international scene but an active participant in the money game scene, Ignacio outduelled Bustamante the first time, 11-9, and repeated with an 11-8 victory to pick up the two points.
Multi-titled veteran Efren “Bata” Reyes, meanwhile, showed he still has some magic up his sleeves as he disposed of money game star Johann Ignacio in his opening appearance in the event backed by MSW and King of Sports, 11-7. Reyes was gunning for another victory against Ignacio in their Round 2 last night.
Under tournament format, player play 1v1 for three games, looking to accumulate points for every win in the race for slots to the Final Four that begins April 10.
According to King of Sports boss Perry Mariano, the ongoing Battle of the Kings meet ushers in a 14-leg series that will run all the way to October.
Two legs will be played per month and will serve as appetizer to the main event set in October – the Efren Bata Cup International 10-ball tourney featuring 128 of the world’s top players.