Alcano Continues Hot Streak

Ronnie Alcano

Lanky Ronnie Alcano who showed his class by beating Taiwan's sensational 'Son of Pool' Yang Chin Shun 11-6 in the final leg of the tough San Miguel Asian 9-Ball Tour in Manila recently, continued his hot streak by flying to Cebu, the Philippines 'Queen City of the South' and winning the 4th Sun Star finals beating Dennis Orcullo 15-13.

The finals was watched by a huge crowd at the Cebu Trade Hall of SM City shopping mall. Alcano pocketed the top prize of P100,000 which is around $1,900 in the alternate break format.

The Joss NE Tour standout whose confidence was clearly boosted by his big win for Yang showed awesome form to whip last year's Sun Star runner-up Lee Van Corteza 13-4 in the semi finals while rising star Orcullo got the better of inaugural champion Antonio 'Ga-ga' Gabica 13-10 to set up the eagerly awaited showdown.

Leading 10-9 Alcano uncharacteristically scratched on the break giving Orcullo a golden opportunity to even the count. But Orcullo's approach shot on the 8-ball left much to be desired and Alcano cleaned up to move ahead 11-9. He then strung up three racks in a row to get on the hill 14-11. Orcullo wasn't ready to throw in the towel and there was still a lot of fight left in him as he clawed back to win back-to-back racks and come to within one at 14-13.

Alcano, once again showing signs of nerves, came up empty on his break but luckily for him Orcullo didn't have a clear shot on the 1-ball. Orcullo, after pondering over his options decided to go for a jump shot at which Filipinos are generally not adept unlike the Taiwanese who have mastered the use of the jump cue.

Orcullo made a hash of the attempt allowing Alcano, with ball in hand to casually and confidently run-out to score his second big win weeks before plunging into action in the World Pool Championships in Kaohsiung, Taiwan early next month.

Respected businessman-sportsman Aristeo "Putch" Puyat regarded as the "Godfather" of Philippine pool had a hand in giving Alcano his first major break some five years ago when, together with Viva Vintage Sports, Puyat staged the "Rising Stars of 9-Ball" in which Alcano finished runner-up to Edgar Acaba.

File photo courtesy of Diana Hoppe - Pool Pics by Hoppe