Vann Corteza and Osipov win Open/Amateur stops on the Predator Pro Am Tour
Skip Maloney
Apr. 9, 2018
Lee Vann Corteza & Jorge Rodriguez
Lee Vann Corteza & Jorge Rodriguez
As the Super Billiards Expo (SBE) draws closer (April 12-15), the ‘pool eagles’ have begun to gather, settling into the Northeast and deploying to a variety of locations for some pre-SBE competition. On the weekend of April 7-8, the Philippines’ Lee Vann Corteza, who finished 9th in the SBE’s Players Championship last year, showed up to compete in the Open division of a stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour. Vann Corteza went undefeated through the field of 16 that showed up for the $250-added event, hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.
 
A concurrently-run, $750-added (eagles in training) Amateur event drew 83 entrants and was won by Alex Osipov, who came back from a loss in a winners’ side semifinal to win three on the loss side, and down hot seat occupant, Abel Barriento.
 
Belying the type of battles one might expect in an Open event preceding the SBE, the last four standing in this one combined for an aggregate game score of 28-3 in the event’s final four matches. The hot seat match was a shutout by Vann Corteza, while the final three matches – quarterfinal, semifinal and final - yielded 7-1 match scores.
 
Vann Corteza and Jorge Rodriguez fought twice in this event; hot seat and finals. Vann Corteza survived a double hill fight against Zion Zvi in one winners’ side semifinal, while Rodriguez downed Sean “Alaska” Morgan in the other one. Vann Corteza got into the hot seat with a rare shutout over Rodriguez.
 
On the loss side, Zvi picked up Luke Rollison, who’d gotten by Eddie Kunz and Justin Muller, both 7-4. Morgan drew Hunter Lombardo, who’d eliminated Mhet Vergara, double hill and Gary O’Callaghan 7-5. Zvi advanced to the quarterfinals by coming out on top of his second straight double hill match, and was joined by Lombardo, who downed Vergara 7-4.
 
Hunter gave up a single rack to Zvi in the quarterfinals, before Rodriguez gave up only a single rack to him in the semifinals. Vann Corteza completed his undefeated run with a combined (hot seat and finals) match score of 14-1.
 
Osipov wins three on the loss side to meet and defeat Barriento in Amateur finals
 
In the Amateur event, Alex Osipov came back from an 8-6 loss to Abel Barriento in a winners’ side semifinal, to defeat him in the extended-race finals by the same score. Paul Carpenter, after surviving a double hill match against Luis Carrasco, faced Barriento in the hot seat match. Carpenter came out on the losing end of his second straight double hill fight, leaving Barriento in the hot seat.
 
Osipov and Carrasco got right back to work on the loss side. Osipov won an 8-6 match over Gary Bozigian, who’d eliminated Paul Everton 7-4 and Eugene Ok, double hill, to reach him. Carrasco, in a 7-4 win, downed Greg Matos, who’d previously defeated Ramilo Tanglao 7-5 and Corey Avallone 6-4.
 
Osipov took the quarterfinal match Carrasco 9-5, and earned himself a second shot at Barriento with a 9-6 win over Carpenter in the semifinals. Osipov reached his 8 racks first, ahead of Barrieto, in the extended-race finals, and added two to win it 10-6.
 
A Second Chance event that drew 14 entrants saw Max Watanabe down Erick Carrasco, double hill, in the finals to win it. Ray Feliciano and Paul Everton finished in the tie for 3rd place.