PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — The World 8-Ball tournament has yet to play its race-to-11 final, but already, a Filipino is certain to bring home the championship trophy and the $25,000 prize money that goes with it.
Reigning World 9-Ball champion Ronnie Alcano and Dennis Orcollo beat their respective semifinal opponents Wednesday night to arrange an all-Filipino final for the bragging rights as the world’s new 8-ball king.
Alcano, known as the ‘Volcano’, erupted in his Final Four showdown against Niels Feijen of Norway and posted a 10-4 win, while Orcollo, the man they referred to as ‘Robocop’, trounced compatriot Joven Bustamante, 10-5, in the other semifinal pairing at the Al Bashton Hall in Fujairah here.
Alcano and Orcollo are both on a roll, having won their first major international titles a year ago.
The 34-year-old Alcano topped the World 9-Ball championship in Manila at the expense of German Ralf Souquet.
A victory here will have the Filipino duplicating the feat of Chinese-Taipei’s young billiards whiz Wu Chia-Ching, who simultaneously reigned as the World 9-ball and 8-ball champion in 2006.
Orcollo, meanwhile, had his share of the limelight last year when he emerged winner in the World Pool Masters in Poland.
Whoever wins between Alcano and Orcollo will follow the footsteps of Filipino pool legend Efren ‘Bata’ Reyes, who won the inaugural staging of the annual meet two years ago. On the way to the semis, Alcano made short work of Elvis Casalang, 10-4, in their quarterfinal match up, while Orcollo edged out veteran Marcus Chamat, 10-7. Feijen routed Nick Van Den Berg, 10-2, with Bustamante defeating Thomas Engert, 10-6, to set up their respective semifinals duel with the two Filipinos.
Now on its third year, the event that features 64 of the world’s best 8-ball players, is being held under the patronage of his Highness Sheikh Saleh Bin Mohammed Al Sharqi and is sanctioned by the World Pool Billiard Association, headed by its president Ian Anderson.
Runner-up is assured to receive $12,500, while the losing semifinalists get a consolation purse of $5,000 each.