Bustamante Versus Didal In The Finals

Francisco Bustamante

PARANAQUE CITY, PHILIPPINES - TOURNAMENT FAVORITES Francisco "Django" Bustamante defeated Dennis "Robocop" Orcollo, 13-8, to arrange a titular showdown with early round victim Leonardo "Dodong" Didal Friday night in the San Miguel Beer Philippine 9-Ball Open at the Casino Filipino Pagcor Theater here.

The 43-year-old defending champion playing Puyat Sports stable pulled away late in the rematch between last year's finalists to stay undefeated in the event organized by Solar Sports and supported by San Miguel Beer.

Bustamante's expecting a tighter duel.

"He (Orcollo) commited a lot of erros," said Bustamante.

Orcollo, acknowledge Philippines Billiard money game king from Bugsy's promotion complained of a locked arm midway in the match.

The 38-year-old Didal, meanwhile, cruised to a 13-5 victory over upcoming star Mike Takayama from Edwin Reyes stable.

The pride of Davao won the last eight racks after a 5-all deadlock to secure at least a P250,000 paycheck.

"We are both unlucky in the break but in the end the ball is in my side," said Didal, who failed to win a rack on his first three breaks.

The 18-years-old Commonwealth, Quezon City based Takayama, who impressed pool fans with a stunning run of victories over Gandy Valle, Alex Pagulayan and Orcollo, was getting the better of Didal on their safety exchanges early. He led 4-3, winning three racks off a brilliant placing.

But inexperience did him in.

The turning point came on the 14th rack. Trailing 5-6 and with the cue ball on his hand after a Didal scratch, Takayama chose to go for a 2-9 combination.

He missed – badly – and Didal cleaned up to go two-up. There was a similar scenario on the 16th and Takayama again misplayed a combo.

"He should not aim the 2-9 combo in the 14th rack and that is my turning point," Didal said. "But the young guy had a big chance in pool circuit"

Didal sealed the deal with a tricky angular pot on the green six with two colored balls covering the cue from the object ball.

He didn't and the Cinderella story came to a close for the 18-year-old Takayama. The race-to-17 title match is set late last night with the winner going home with P500,000. Orcollo and Takayama pocketed P100,000 each.

Bustamante beat Didal, 9-4, in the fourth round on the winner's bracket, but the latter edged Ronato "Ronnie Calamba" Alcano, 9-8, on the left side of the draw to enter the semifinals.