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Corteza, Orcullo RP's best bets in world pool

May 26, 2010 11:15am

Lee Van Corteza, the highest-rated Filipino player, who won two major championships in the United States and Dennis Orcullo, the new ruler of the World Pool Masters, will be the country’s best hope for the World 9-Ball Championship from June 28 to July 5 in Doha, Qatar.

Perry Mariano, manager of Orcullo and double world champion Ronnie Alcano, and co-founder of the Billiards Managers Players Association of the Philippines, believes these two players are the strongest bets of the Philippines in the world championships sanctioned by the World Pool-Billiards Association.

“I believe they’re our strongest bets," said Mariano, referring to Corteza and Orcullo. “Actually, they’re three of them, the other one is Django (Bustamante), but he’s not part of the group that will be sent to Doha. But Lee Van and Dennis are definitely standouts. They can certainly compete against the world’s best players."

Corteza is ranked No.5 in the world based on the latest ranking released by the WPA.

He was runner-up to eventual World Ten Ball Champion and current world No.1 Mika Immonen of Finland. But the pride of the Negros stable owned by Jonathan Sy managed to win two major events in the United States – the US Open 10-Ball Championship in Las Vegas and the Hard Times Mezz Cues 10-Ball Open in Los Angeles.

Orcullo, on the other hand, stamped his class in the World Pool Masters, bested several of the world’s best players that include former world champions Darren Appleton and Daryl Peach of Great Britain, Thorsten Hohmann of Germany, world women’s No.1 player Jasmin Ouschan of Austria and Efren “Bata" Reyes among others.

Aside from Corteza and Orcullo, some of the players who earned spots for the WPC were comebacking Nickoy Lining, former Asian snooker champion Marlon Manalo and Alcano.

Alcano was the last male world champion produced by the Philippines when he won the World 9-Ball and World 8-Ball tournaments in 2006 and 2007, respectively.

Rubilen Amit was the first lady world champion for the country when she ruled the inaugural staging of the World Women’s 10-Ball Championship held in the Philippines last year.

Other past Filipino world champions were Reyes (1999 World 9-Ball champion and 2004 World 8-Ball champion) and Alex Pagulayan (2004 World 9-Ball champion).

After the World 9-Ball event, the Philippines will be hosting the World Ten Ball Championship for the third straight year tentatively slated sometime October.
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