Pinoys blank Chinese, enter WPT final

By Olmin Leyba, The Philippine Star

Posted at Aug 02 2014 02:30 PM | Updated as of Aug 02 2014 10:30 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines turned what was expected to be a nail-biter into a one-sided affair as it demolished China 1, 4-0, to advance to the finals of the $300,000 World Pool Team Championship yesterday before a stunned crowd at Tongzhou Luhe High School in Beijing.

Dennis Orcollo and the pair of Carlo Biado and Lee Vann Corteza kicked off the demolition job for Phl with big victories in the opening 8-ball matches of the top semifinal duel with the fancied home squad.

Orcollo dispatched Wu Jiaqing in the 8-ball men’s singles, 6-3, while Biado and Corteza steamrolled Chu Bing Chia and Li He Wen in the 8-ball men’s doubles, 6-1, to seize a 2-0 cushion in the race-to-four showdown.

Corteza then put Phl on the hill with a masterful 8-3 romp over Li in the 9-ball men’s singles then Rubilen Amit applied the finishing touches with an 8-3 shellacking of reigning world 9-ball queen Han Yu in the distaff side.

The Filipinos will gun for their first World Pool Team title Saturday against either China 2 or Japan, which were slated to dispute the other finals berth last night.

Earlier, the Philippines survived a tight quarterfinal encounter with 2012 ruler Chinese Taipei, scoring a pulsating 4-2 victory Thursday night.

The Phl aces trailed, 1-2, but rebounded mightily and took the last three matches in the six-game set to nose out holders Chang Jun Lin, Ko Pin Yi, Fu Che Wei and Chou Cheih Yu.

Amit sparked the fight-back with an 8-4 win over Chou in the 9-ball women’s singles play then Orcollo knotted it to 2-2 with a nervy 7-6 squeaker over Chang in the 10-ball men’s singles and Biado and Amit finished it off with a 7-6 disposal of Fu and Chou in the 10-ball mixed doubles.

Orcollo blew a 5-2 margin but held on in the crucial racks, emerging out of a battle of safeties with Fu to hole out the clinching No. 10. Biado and Amit had to overcome a 5-6 deficit and barely escaped, with the reigning world 10-ball queen pouncing on a dry break by Fu to seal it for Phl.

“We were lucky we didn’t lose or it didn’t go to a shootout,” Orcollo said in the WPA website, referring to the tournament format where a shootout decides the outcome of every match if it ends up at 3-3.

“I was so nervous. We want to win this for the entire Philippines. We want to make all Filipinos proud,” Orcollo added.