Alcano Leads All-Pinoy Semis in UAE

Ronnie Alcano

Top seed Ronnie Alcano racked up two more victories to banner an all-Filipino semifinals in the Knightshot Champions 9-Ball Challenge being held at the exclusive Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

The 35-year-old two-time world champion blasted UAE's Ismael Yaqoob, 10-5, in the Last 16 before overwhelming another local bet Rotchild, 11-3, in the quarterfinals to move within two wins of winning this weeklong tournament and pocket the $10,000 top purse at stake.

Alcano, who rose to prominence after winning the 2006 World Pool Championship in Manila, is eyeing his first title since ruling the 2007 World 8-Ball tilt in Fujairah.
“I really want to get out of this slump, and I hope that I could do it here,” said the stalwart of Perry Mariano's star-studded Bugsy Promotions, whose campaign is also supported by the Billiards Managers and Players Association of the Philippines (BMPAP) and Senate President Manny Villar's Villards: Tulong sa pagsulong ng Philippine Sports.

Alcano will next face Middle East-based compatriot Alan Cuartero, who made it to the semis after defeating Mohammad Al Hosani, 11-6, in the Last 8.

The other Final Four match pits Negros Billiards Stable's Ricky Zerna and Jarry Pelayo. Zerna scored one of the tournament's upsets as he pulled the rug from under former Asian Games gold medalist Gandy Valle with a 11-6 win in their quarterfinals encounter, while Pelayo subdued Mustafa Hasaan, 11-5, to advance and stay in the hunt for the crown.