Aranas downs defending champ Shuff twice to win 2nd Annual Barry Behrman Memorial at Q Master

It’s shaping up to be a pretty good year for the Philippines’ Zoren James Aranas. He’s already recorded stronger earnings in 2018, than he did in all of 2017. After winning the Music City Classic’s 2018 Open Division in January, he had something of a below-par outing at the Derby City Classic (20th in 9-Ball, 34th in 9-Ball Banks), before bouncing back to win the Scotty Townsend Memorial in Los Angeles, and, less than a week and 3,000 miles later, both the Bob Stocks Memorial Tournament on the Action Pool Tour (APT), and days after that, the Pro Am Bar Box Championships at the Super Billiards Expo. On the weekend of April 21-22, still in the relative vicinity of the SBE locale, he signed on to the $1,500-added, 2nd Annual Barry Behrman Memorial Tournament, hosted by Behrman’s pool hall, Q-Master Billiards in Virginia Beach, VA. Aranas went undefeated through the field of 35, downing a small set of Mid-Atlantic veterans, in the process, including this event’s defending champion, Brandon Shuff, twice.
Aranas opened his winning bid with a 9-7 victory over Mike Davis, Jr. and then downed Ty Laha, Sr. 9-1 to draw Shuff for the first time in a winners’ side quarterfinal. He defeated Shuff 9-3 and moved into a winners’ side semifinal against Eric Moore, the APT’s 2016 Champion, and currently, #4 on its 2018 rankings list. In the meantime, Tim Colvin, who finished 3rd in the inaugural Barry Behrman Memorial, behind Shuff and Davis, squared off against Bernard Andico.
Aranas and Moore locked up in a double hill fight that eventually moved Aranas into the hot seat match. He was joined by Colvin, who’d sent Andico to the loss side 9-5. Aranas sent Colvin to the semifinals 9-2 and waited on the return of Shuff.
Shuff had opened his five-match, loss-side trek with 9-7 wins over JT Ringgold and Davis, which set him up to challenge Andico. Moore drew Nilbert Lim, who, following a defeat at the hands of Andico in a winners’ side quarterfinal, had eliminated Steve Fleming (the APT’s current points leader) 9-6 and Kelly Farrar 9-4.
Shuff and Lim advanced to the quarterfinals; Shuff 9-7 over Andico and Lim, by the same score, over Moore. Shuff ended Lim’s short, three-match run on the loss side 9-3 in those quarterfinals, and then denied Colvin a second shot at Aranas with a 9-7 win in the semifinals.
Shuff’s hoped-for defense of his 2017 Barry Behrman Memorial title was at stake in the finals, but he fared no better than Colvin had in the hot seat match. Like Colvin, Shuff managed to chalk up only two racks against him (one less than he’d managed in their winners’ side quarterfinal matchup), and Aranas claimed the event title 9-2.