MANILA, Philippines – Just like in other sports, there was a lot of drama in Philippine billiards. The year 2009 was indeed a banner year and 2010 might even be more colorful for the sport.
It was a fruitful year when 2 of the 3 co-founders of the Billiards Managers and Professional Players Association (BMPAP) decided to participate in this year’s World Ten Ball Championship last November at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.
“Politics has no place in sports. That’s what our champions are trying to say when they won different events this year,” said Bugsy Promotion owner Ceferino “Perry” Mariano, who manages the careers of double world champion Ronato Alcano, former world no.1 Dennis Orcollo, 2007 World pool finalist Roberto Gomez, Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Gandy Valle, among others.
“Maganda na ang billiards sa ating bansa, Peace na,” said Jonathan Sy, president of the rising Negros Billiard Stable, who manages the careers of reigning 2-time Billiards and Snooker Congress of the Philippines (BSCP) National Champion Lee Van Corteza, Warren Kiamco, Rodolfo Luat and Ramil Gallego, among others.
Actually, according to Mariano, the BSCP headed by its president Sebastian Chua and chairman Yen Makabenta are planning to hold a champions league, inviting 2 of the famous collegiate leagues in the body, the UAAP and NCAA.
“Tutulong kami sa promosyon ng billiard sa bansa. Saka dapat isa sa priority ng BSCP ang grass roots, darating din ang time mawawala na ang ating mga top rated player at sa event na ito ang sisibol ang mga future world class player,” said Mariano.
To the hilt
To help remember the year that was, we have compiled a list of major international events ranging from the Corus in January to the World Cup in December.
Last December 22, Corteza, known as “The Slayer,” used his vast experience to the hilt in subduing Rodrigo “Edige Marialo” Geronimo. He won the P100,000 champion's purse at the 4th BSCP National Pool Championship. This was the Davao pool master's second crown in the event after first winning in 2007.
Corteza, the top player of Jonathan Sy's Negros Billiard Stable (NBS), reached the finals after beating Dennis Orcollo in the semifinals, 9-7, of the three-day event backed by Ilocos Norte Rep. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and hosted by long-time billiards patron Sebastian Chua in close cooperation with Raya Sports.
“I would like to dedicate my victory to boss Jo (Jonathan Sy), coach Toper (Christoper Palses), to my family and to God," Corteza said.
Last November, Corteza settled runner-up to eventual champion Immonen in this year’s World Ten Ball Championships. He also won the Derby City Classic 10-Ball Challenge early this year.
His other accomplishments are a runner-up finish in the Derby City Classic 9-Ball Challenge, a third-place finish in the World Mixed Doubles and a fourth-place finish in the US Open 9-Ball Championship.
Corteza is scheduled to headline the country’s campaign in the 1st WPA World Team Championship slated on January 30 to February 7, 2010 in Germany.
Joining Corteza in the Nationals are WPA 8-ball and 9-ball champion Ronato Alcano, Antonio Lining, Warren Kiamco, Marlon Manalo and Dennis Orcullo.
After the World Ten Ball, pool legend Efren “Bata” Reyes Jr. teamed up with Rubilen “Bingkay” Amit to form Team Philippine A. They defeated Charlie Williams and Eun Ji Park of Korea, 9-7, to capture the 1st Mixed Doubles Classic championships trophy in Libis, Quezon City.
In September, Reyes ruled the Galveston Classic One Pocket by beating American Shannon Daulton. Alcano, for his part, whipped fellow former world champion Johnny Archer of the USA, 9-5, in the finals to capture the 8-ball division of the Galveston Classic Billiards Extravaganza held on September 21 in Texas.
Kiamco settled over-all second place after losing to Immonen in the 10-ball finals.
Also in September, Reyes teamed up with Bustamante to bag the 2009 World Cup of Pool held in September at the SM City North EDSA Annex in Quezon City. The dynamic duo beat Germans Ralf Souquet and Thorsten Hohmann , 11-9, in the finals.
In June, Amit clobbered Taiwanese Liu Shi-Mei, 10-4, to capture the Women’s World 10-ball plum.“I just play and it’s really nice to represent your country and win,” said the 27-year-old Amit, who won 2 of the country’s 38 gold medals in the 2009 Southeast Asian Games in Laos. She bagged her two gold medals by ruling the 8-ball and 9-ball women’s singles events.