MANILA, Philippines – Former World No.1 Dennis “Robocop” Orcollo secured an important win against Polish Rodoslaw Babica to send Team Philippines into the semifinals of the World Team Pool Cup Championship late Friday (Manila time) at Hall 13 Hannover Exhibition Grounds in Hannover, Germany.
Orcollo helped the Nationals score a 4-2 victory over Poland by defeating Babica, 7-3, in the quarterfinals.
With the win, the Nationals will square off against Russia in the semi-final round.
Bannered by Konstantin Stepanov and Ruslan Chinahov, Russia eliminated Germany II, 4-1.
The 31-year-old Orcollo, who is a Bugsy Promotions star player, had to brush off pressure in his match against Babica to avoid a possible sudden-death shootout.
“Again, all the expectation was on me coming to the deciding match,” the former fisherman of Bislig, Surigao del Sur told his long-time benefactor and Bugsy Promotions chief Ceferino “Perry” Mariano in a long distance call.
“But I managed to cope well and did not make any mistake, which enabled me to win the match,” added the reigning International Predator 10-ball champion Orcollo, who also led the six-man Philippine team past Czech Republic (4-1) and Nowary (4-2).
The unbeaten Filipinos opened their bid on a high note after thrashing England 2 (4-0).
Mariano, founder of the Billiards Managers and Players Association of the Philippines (BMPAP) commented: “It was tough as everyone expected it to be. Pero talagang inaasahan namin iiskor si Dennis sa crucial match kaya nga siya binansagang Robocop sa pool world kasi matibay ang kanyang dibdib. Hope manalo tayo against Russia para makapasok sa finals.”
With two more wins away for the title, Billiards and Snooker Congress of the Philippines (BSCP) chairman Florentino “Yen” Makabenta said, “I just hope we can sustain our momentum.”
Negros Billiards Stable (NBS) president and co-founder of BMPAP Jonathan “Bacolod” Sy added: “We should continue to pray for them.”
The Filipinos, who are backed up by BSCP, Raya Sports, Bugsy Promotions and NBS, had a great start, sweeping the 8-ball Scotch doubles event as the tandem of Ronato Alcano-Marlon Manalo and Orcullo-Warren Kiamco scored 6-4 and 6-3 victories, respectively.
Japan based Antonio “Nikoy”Lining, the pride of Pinamalayan, Oriental Mindoro, made it 3-0 for RP with an 8-3 win over Mariusz Skoneczny in the first 9-ball game.
Poland, however, forged a deciding third event (10-ball) when Mateusz Sniegocki beat Alcano (8-4) in the second 9-ball game.
Poland then made it two in a row with another win by Karol Skowerski over two-time BSCP National Pool Championships ruler Lee Vann Corteza (7-5) in the first 10-ball duel before Orcullo stepped up and clinched the tie for RP.
Great Britain and Greece, meantime hurdled their respective rivals to complete the final four.
Powered by world 9-ball champion Daryl Peach and world 10-ball champion Darren Appleton, Great Britain edged China (4-3) while Greece, headed by Evangelos Vettas blasted Switzerland (4-0).
The 48-nation tournament, the first of its kind and sanctioned by the World Pool Billiard Association (WPA), stakes a total purse of $400,000 (roughly P19.2 million) and uses a point-system scoring patterned after the Davis Cup. The champion team gets the lion’s share of $100,000 (roughly P4.7 million). – by Marlon Bernardino