Django, Pagulayan place second, third
MANILA, Philippines (1st UPDATE) - Filipino cue artists reigned supreme in the 4th US Open 10-Ball Championship at the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, with Dennis Orcollo taking home the top prize in the event last Saturday (Sunday in Manila).
Orcollo defeated compatriot Alex Pagulayan, 9-8, in the semi-final to set up a finals match-up with Filipino billiards legend Francisco “Django” Bustamante.
In the championship round, Orcollo trounced Bustamante, 11-5, to take home the top prize of $15,000.
Bustamante settled for second place and a purse of $8,500, while Pagulayan landed in the third spot.
"I want to show through my actions that athletic excellence can be achieved with dedication, hard work and support," said Orcollo, the 2011 PSA Athlete of the Year and a 2011 Southeast Asian Games gold medalist.
On the road to the semi-finals, Orcollo defeated Oscar Dominguez of Mexico, Kosta Paspatis of Greece, Mike Dechaine and Manny Chau of the United States and Rain Chiang of Taiwan.
Other Filipinos who competed in the event included Jose "Amang" Parica, Santos Sambajon and Jun Almoite.
Ramon Mistica, who acted as the spokesman of the Philippine contingent, said the Filipino cue artists will resume their campaign in the 2012 WPA World 9-Ball Championships, which gets underway on June 22-29 at the Al Sadd Sports Club in Doha, Qatar.
Orcollo will be teaming up with Bustamante and Filipino billiards maestro Efren "Bata" Reyes as well as fomer women’s World 10-ball champion Rubilen Amit for the 2012 World Teams, to be held on June 30 to July 6 in China. -- Marlon Bernardino, with a report from Bev Llorente, ABS-CBN News Las Vegas.