Corteza beats Alcano for Villar Cup Title

Lee Van Corteza

REIGNING national champion Lee Van “The Slayer” Corteza defeated double world champion (WPA 9-ball and 8-ball) Ronato “Calamba” Alcano, 9-4, in the finals to win the just concluded 2010 Manny Villar Cup 10-ball tournament late Friday at the One Side Billiards and Café Bar in Mabini, Manila.

"Winning a tournament wherein you have to compete against the country's bests players is a very big accomplishment, and I'm very happy for this win," said Corteza, the top player of Jonathan Sy's Negros Billiard Stable.

“I got my confidence after winning against Nickoy (Antonio Lining),” added Corteza, one of six players representing the country in the first World Team Championship in Hanover, Germany, from Jan. 30 to Feb. 7.

The win was the second straight win for Corteza after his victory at the Billiards and Snooker Congress of the Philippines (BSCP) 4th National Pool Championships last month at the Star Billiards Center in Grace Village, Quezon City. It also earned him the top purse of P400,000 in the two-day event (January 14 and 15).

The native Davao City Corteza, also the 2009 World Ten Ball finalist, raced to a 7-2 commanding lead and never looked back in the race-to-9, winner's break format.

"I was lucky I was able to lead early, it's tiring to make ground when you are too far behind", said Corteza.

Alcano, playing under the banner of Perry Mariano's Bugsy Promotions, settled for the runner-up honor and the P150,000 cash prize that goes with it.

On the roads to the finals, Corteza brought down Japan based Antonio “Nickoy” Lining, 8-6, while Alcano defeated another NBS bet Warren “Warrior” Kiamco, 8-1, preventing what could have been an all-Negros Billiard Stable finale.

Lining, the pride of Pinamalayan, Oriental Mindoro and Kiamco, who hails from Pasil, Cebu received P50,000 each for making it to the final four.

Corteza had earlier beaten former two-time WPA World Junior representative Rene Mar David, Elman Aries, Elmer Haya, and Panfilo Damuag.

Other renowned players who also saw action were former world no.1 Dennis Orcullo, 2007 World Pool finalist Roberto Gomez, Japan champion Ramil “Bebeng” Gallego, Southeast Asian Games gold medallist Gandy “Yang'Yang”Valle, Snooker specialist Benjie Guevarra, Elvis Calasang, John “Ramram” Rebong, and Godofredo “Boy” Ducanes among others.