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DENNIS ORCOLLO BEATS MIKA IMMONEN, WINS PREDATOR 10-BALL; POCKETS $10,000; ENDS MANILA JINX


PhilBoxing.com




WORLD no.1 Dennis Orcollo of the Philippines put together a big comeback, winning the final three racks to beat Mika Immonen of Finland, 10-8, to capture the 11th Predator International 10-Ball Championship Sunday night at the Robinsons Galleria in Ortigas.

Orcollo, top player of Perry Mariano's Bugsy Promotions claimed the champion’s purse of $10,000 prize plus Predator elegant trophy. More important, the reigning World 8-ball champion won his first international tournament here in Manila.

"It's a great tournament, really hard," said Orcollo. "First day I lost to (Yukio) Akagariyama. I went to the loser's bracket. But I didn't worry."

"I am so happy to win this tournament. This is my first international tournament title here in Manila," added Orcollo, who also won the 9th Predator International 10-Ball Championship two years ago in Las Vegas, Nevada at the expense of Ralf Souquet of Germany, 8-3.

“I’m happy for Dennis (Orcollo). He’s long been looking to win this tournament,” said Ceferino "Perry" Mariano, Orcollo’s chief benefactor at Bugsy’s Promotions.

Immonen settled for the runner-up prize of $5,000.

"I was really close to ending this drought that I've had for the past four or five months," he said. "I thought I'd end it with this event. I was up by two racks, but I made a couple of unforced errors. Maybe I got ahead of myself a little bit," added Immonen.

Earlier, Orcollo defeated Wu Jia Qing (formerly Wu Chia-ching) of China,10-5, in the final four to arranged a titular showdown with Immonen, who brought downed Liu Haitao of China, 10-9, in another semi-final affair.

Losing semi-finalists Wu and Liu received $3,250 for their efforts.

Immonen seize a 5-2 lead winning four racks in a row before allowing Orcollo to finally get his chance at the table by missing a tough shot on the 7 in the eighth rack, which the Filipino parlayed into a two-rack run that cut the lead to 5-4. A poor safety shot by Orcollo in the 10th, however, prevented him from knotting up the score, and Immonen seized the rack to go up 6-4.

Another error by Immonen, this time a miss on the 1, gave Orcollo another opening, and he took full advantage by winning the rack as well as the next to knot it up at 6-6. But Immonen inched ahead again at 7-6 after Orcollo came up dry with his break in the 13th rack. Then things started going south for the Finn.

The Iceman has been in a slump of late, failing to win any title of sort for the last five months or so. Now he was three racks away from victory and breaking to go ahead 8-6. He had a good break in the 14th rack and seemed to have a clear path to the 10 ball and a decisive two-rack advantage in the homestretch. But he shunned the use of a bridge in an attempt to hit a difficultly placed 4 ball, choosing instead to stretch across the table. He missed badly, and Orcollo made him pay by tying it up at 7-7.

Immonen came back to win the 15th rack after Orcollo missed a bank on the 4, but Orcollo tied it up again in the next rack. The 17th rack was messy, with both players committing errors. Immonen nearly stole the rack with a kick-in on the 7 that just rattled out, but Orcollo left the door slightly ajar when he didn't completely cover up the 8. Immonen had a chance at a safety, but he virtually handed over the rack to the world no. 1 when he scratched.

Orcollo sank the 3 on his break in the 18th rack, but he had to sink a couple of tricky shots before he could complete a run-out and clinch the title, his second with Predator after winning this same event in 2009.

For Orcollo, this latest tournament win, which came off a runner-up finish in the World Pool Masters, firmly established him as the top player in the world, even though the Predator event carries no World Pool Association (WPA) ranking points. Orcollo also made it to the semifinals of the World 9 Ball Championships in Doha in June and the quarterfinals of the World 10 Ball Championships in Pasay City in May.

Orcollo became the third Filipino in eight years to rule the World 8-Ball Championship, clobbering the Netherlands’ Neils Feijen, 10-3, for the 2011 crown at the Fujairah Exhibition Center in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates last February.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Marlon Bernardino.


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