Amazing Alcano seeks 3rd title: Manila to host maiden world 10-ball tourney

Ronnie Alcano will look to earn Professional Billiards first triple crown

MANILA, Philippines -- He proudly wears the world 9-ball and 8-ball crowns, but Ronnie Alcano feels he has a good chance at grabbing the world 10-ball title as well. All he needs to do is get into tip-top shape when the country hosts the inaugural of the World 10-Ball Championships next year.

The Philippines, living up to its reputation as the hotbed of billiards, earned the right to host the World 10-Ball in 2008 through the initiative of Yen Makabenta, chair of the Billiards and Snooker Congress of the Philippines. Makabenta, also the president of Raya Sports which organized the 2006 World Pool Championship in Manila, managed to get the sanction of the World Pool Billiard Association headed by Ian Anderson when they met in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, last Monday.

At the same time, Makabenta was able to gain WPA approval for the Philippine 10-Ball Open this September, a month before the country's second hosting of the WPC 9-Ball.

“The WPA sanctioned the Philippine 10-ball Open,” Makabenta told the the Inquirer yesterday. “The inauguration of World 10-ball is in 2008. We only have to file papers formally.”

While in Fujairah, Makabenta also provided details of the Filipinos' successful campaign in the World 8-Ball, where Alcano bested compatriot and stablemate Dennis Orcollo, 11-8, Thursday night for the title and the $25,000 (P1.2 million) champion's purse.

“This early, I'll begin preparing for the World 10-Ball in 2008,” the 34-year-old Alcano said in Filipino. “In my opinion, this (10-ball) is one of the most difficult events because the balls are set up in a triangle, unlike in the 9-ball.”

With his recent victory, Alcano duplicated the feat of Taiwanese sensation Wu Chia-ching who clinched the world 9-ball and 8-ball titles in succession in 2005 and early 2006.

Largely unknown, Alcano rose to prominence when he beat Ralf Souquet of Germany in the finals of the World Pool 9-Ball Championship held in Manila last November. Alcano arrives tomorrow

Alcano, the AZBilliards Rookie of the Year, will arrive tomorrow. Orcollo, who pocketed $12,500 (P600,000), planed in last night.

BSCP president Ernie Fajardo also lauded the acceptance of 10-ball as a legitimate event.

“The game (10-ball) requires more skill and provides more thrill with the addition of one ball.” As far as Alcano is concerned, Filipino cue masters have a bigger chance to win the World 9-Ball crown if the organizing committee of the WPC will allow players to use the “soft break.” Filipinos have edge

“That's for sure, the Filipinos have the edge with the soft break,” said Alcano.

“Bawal sa Japan at Korea ang soft-break (The soft break is not allowed in Japan and Korea),” he said. “Pinayagan nila ang soft break sa Taiwan, pero dahil ako lang ang may style na ito, di ko na rin ginamit (They do allow it in Taiwan, but because I was the only one who preferred the soft break I opted not to use it.”