Chang Over Orcollo in Tiger Products Challenge

Jung-Lin Chang

Jung-Lin Chang came to his 9-Ball race to 21 Tiger Products Challenge Match against Dennis Orcollo with a serious mind. He won the first three racks on the trot and then had to play a safety for his first shot in rack four. Orcollo, as is his want, kicked out of the safety into a safety of his own. On his next safety attempt Chang came up a bit short and left Orcollo a tough cut into the corner. He made the shot but then overran his shape on the four. He got lucky on his next safe when he was trying to run the cue behind the eight and instead wound up in the jaws of the corner and the jaws had Chang hooked. He could not escape the trap and Orcollo was awarded ball in hand. With that, Orcollo took his first mark to bring us to a 3-1 score.

Orcollo broke, made the one and then had a very tough position shot to get on the three which was tucked behind the four. He solved that riddle by going two rails into the four and moving it out of the way. That done, he owned the rest of the rack to bring us to 3-2.

Orcollo made three balls on the next break but had no opening shot that carried great odds of success. He tried to cut it in but failed and Chang came to a roadmap layout. This brought us to 4-2 in favor of Chang. On his next break he did not satisfy the demand that three balls pass the head string and had to turn the table over to Orcollo.  Orcollo got out of line on his shot for the five and and was forced to play a safe that kept Chang from seeing anything but an edge of the ball. He made the hit, however, and left Orcollo 9 feet away from the five, but with a full vision of the ball. He made an amazing long-rail bank and then combo'ed the 9 off of the six ball to bring the score close again at 4-3.

When Orcollo shot the one ball in rack number 8 he got an unintentional contact with another ball and wound up with no shot on the two. He tried to tie the table up as he had no real safety and did not complete that task well. Chang had ball in hand but a tough table to overcome. He had to open up a cluster and did that on a table-length cut shot. That was all he needed to take the rack and get his lead back up to two with a score of 5-3.

Chang scratched on the next break and Orcollo with ball in hand easily cleared the table. 5-4. The next rack opened poorly as Orcollo had nothing but a bank on the one ball. The bank went two rails (unintentional) and found the side pocket. Orcollo should have been out from there but he drove the six ball into the rail rather than the pocket and Chang leaped from his chair to claim his prize. He easily cleaned up to take us to 6-4.

Chang broke the next table wide open. He easily claimed that rack and the next to bring us to 8-4 and Orcollo began to realize that he had to step things up before this match got out of hand. He got an opportunity when Chang missed the two ball in the next rack. Orcollo had to shoot the two which was deep in the jaws of the corner pocket and shape on the three had to be achieved via four rails. Again he ran into a ball on his way to position and that caused him to end up poorly and he missed the three. Chang had no shot and played a fine safety. But Orcollo kicked the ball into the side pocket and got great shape on the four. This put the rack in his pocket and he now trailed 8-5.

Orcollo missed the one ball in the next rack but left Chang only a long-rail kick at it. He kicked. He made it, ran the table, and now led the match 9-5. He made three balls on the next break and only had to conquer a long opening shot to own a nice table layout. He made the shot and put the remaining balls into the center of their pockets to jump out to a 10-5 lead. One note here: Unless Chang is cheating a pocket none of his shots hit the pocket facing except those that are shot down the rail. His aim and accuracy is astounding.

Orcollo won the next rack but he was struggling. He was off his normal pace and appeared to have left a bit of his confidence in the chair. Still, at the end of the rack he had moved another bead to go to 10-6. And he regrouped. In the next rack he never hesitated as he banked the two ball cross-corner. His pace picked back up to normal speed. You could see he had his rhythm back. Now only down by two racks at 10-8 he knew he was right back in this thing. After his break shot he called a timeout. He would collect himself in order to mount the charge he wanted to begin.

Orcollo would have to play a safety on the one as no pocket was available. Then Chang was trapped behind the four ball. Chang kicked out of the trap but left Orcollo a long shot on the one. Orcollo made it as if there were never a doubt. He was doing fine but hen he went for shape on the five ball he once again collided with another object ball and wound up within three inches of the four and above it with no cut available as the four was near the rail. He had to use the bridge but still managed to father off of the five ball and go three rails to hide perfectly behind the 6 ball. Chang made the hit but that was all he accomplished. However, Orcollo flat missed the shot on the five ball. It was not an easy cut, the angle was acute, but he missed it badly. However, he got a good roll and left Chang hooked behind the six. Chang made the hit and left Dennis a tough bank or safety. He opted for the safety and at the same time he tied the five up with the seven ball. Chang could see the five but had no way to work it. He tried to hit the five so that it would tie the table up some more but he fluked the ball into the corner and remained at the table to take the rack and put a hatchet wound into Orcollo's comeback. 11-8.

Chang broke and had an easy layout. He was cruising through the rack but when he made the seven ball he over-ran his shape by at least a foot and left himself a near 90 degree cut on the eight. He made the shot but wound up only a half an inch from the nine ball. He had to severely cut the nine into the upper corner some seven feet away.  He left it in the jaws of the pocket and Orcollo took the gift to come back to 11-9.

Orcollo easily broke and ran the next table. 11-10 and Orcollo breaking. His break left nothing to complain about and Orcollo relaxed at the head of the table as he planned his routes. He looked as if he knew the rack would belong to him. It did. For the first time Chang did not own a lead.

His next rack opened poorly with some nasty clusters to manage. When he tried to break out the seven-six tie-up he wound up snookering himself and had to kick two rails to make contact. He got a good roll and the cue ball offered nothing to Chang but a very long tough cut on the four. He made it but left himself long and hard on the five and he missed it. Orcollo could taste the lead coming his way if he could get through the rack. But he had to shoot over the top of the seven and missed the shot. Chang breathed a sigh of relief and came back to the table with only a cross-corner bank or safety option on the five ball. He made the bank and took the rack to regain his lead 12-11.

Chang's next break sent the balls careening but two sets of them wound up coming back close together and the table was anything but a Cosmo. It appeared we could be headed for a safety war. Change began and forced Orcollo into a two-rail kick. Orcollo made the hit but the cue ball went straight into the corner pocket nearby and Chang, now with ball in hand, had an opportunity. He made the four and sent the cue ball two rails to open up the five.After that it was connect the dots and our score line went to 13-11.

After the break Chang had a very long shot on the two ball. When it failed to drop Orcollo went to work and brought us back within one game at 13-12. The break was very unkind to Orcollo. He wound up almost touching the one ball and had to play a safety that left Chang only a long and very tough cut into the upper corner. He missed that shot but left Orcollo only a kick and Orcollo scratched off of the kick to present Chang with ball in hand. That was all he needed. 14-12.

Chang's next break was dry and left a shot on the one ball but the layout was far from easy. Orcollo would need his best cue ball control to navigate this rack. It was not to be. He scratched on his second shot and again Chang enjoyed ball in hand. But the match was beginning to tire both players and Chang lost his focus on the two ball and he missed it.  Orcollo could not take advantage as he missed his second shot. Chang came back to the table with a shake of his head and appeared to have the nuts for the rack but again he over-ran his shape off of the eight ball and nestled up right next to the nine ball to take away many of his options. He tried to play a safety but failed and Orcollo took this sloppy rack. 14-13.

Orcollo pushed out after the next break. He left a long thin cut on the one but it was a low-percentage shot so Chang played a safety that came up lacking. Suddenly both players were way off their normal game. They were out of rhythm and their pace was staggered. The safety war wound up with Chang again having ball in hand. 15-13. Orcollo made a ball on the next break but was hidden from the one ball and pushed out. Orcollo took the shot and played a poor safety that allowed Chang to make the hit and leave Orcollo down-table behind a group of balls. However, there was a tiny window in that group and Orcollo was able to make the shot. Everything was not roses. He had a bad angle on the two ball and when he made that he wound up running into the six ball which became a blocker for the three ball. He missed the shot and Chang had a long shot on the three that he made and drew all the way back to the other end of the table for his shot on the four. Trouble jumped up on the six all. Chang needed to draw the ball about six inches and instead rolled it back nearly two feet that turned what should have been an easy shot into a real tester. Fatigue was wearing on both men now as the match crossed the three and one-half hour mark.  Chang made the seven but missed the eight ball. Orcollo could not send the eight away to rest either and then Chang missed a bank attempt. Orcollo needed to pocket a tough cut on the ball and finally sent it off. He deposited the nine ball then to bring us to 15-14.

His break again found a tough leave on the one ball that required a safety. Chang made a good hit but could not work anything else out on the shot. He left Orcollo with no shot but with a wide selection of safety options. He put the one behind a group of balls and sent the cue ball to the head rail. Chang failed the safety check and gave Orcollo ball in hand. With that advantage he brought us back to a tie at 15-15. Our match now became a short race to 6.

The table finally gave up an at least decent layout on the next break. There was a path to follow but it was narrow and required great speed control on the cue ball. Orcollo was up to the task and for the first time in the match Orcollo led 16-15.  When he broke and ran the next rack he stretched that out to 17-15. He did it again on the next rack. 18-15.

Reenergized, Orcollo made three balls on the next break. But he had no cut on the one, only a bank cross-corner. He opted for a safety but did not hide anything and left Chang a long but basic cut on the one into the corner. Chang made the shot and the rest of the rack was basic. 18-16.

Chang now had the break and needed to begin exerting control over the table. He could not afford to leave Orcollo any good options. The best way to do that is to run out and never let your opponent out of the chair. He did that to get back within one game at 18-17. The following rack opened nicely, no clusters, and Chang knew he could get through this rack. He did and we were tied at 18 games apiece in the race to 21. So anyone who could string together a small run would win the match.

When Chang broke and ran the next rack Orcollo had been forced to sit in his chair without a single journey to the table for fifteen minutes. Now behind 19-18 Orcollo could only sit and hope he would get another shot.  But the next rack opened up like an Easter Lily and Orcollo hung his head.  He knew Chang was headed to the hill. Chang made it. With the score now at 20-18 he would be breaking for the win.

What a critical break shot this was. Chang did all anyone could ask. He made two balls and had a good shot on the one ball. He made the one and got perfect on the two. The two went into the corner and he easily pocket tat and drew back two inches to be correct on the three. Now he had to shoot the six and get the shape on the seven to move over for the eight which was on the side rail. He did that and the rack and the match was his! Final score 21-18.

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