Corteza beats Orcullo and Geronimo to capture Philippine Championship

Lee Van Corteza

MANILA, Philippines -- Lee Van “The Slayer” Corteza subdued reigning Predator International 10-ball champion Dennis “Robocop” Orcullo, 9-7, in the semis then nipped “giant killer” Rodrigo “Edgie Marilao” Geronimo, 11-6, in the finals late Tuesday to rule the Billiards and Snooker Congress of the Philippines (BSCP) 4th National Pool Championship at the famous Star Billiards Center in Grace Village, Quezon City.

In the process, the Davao City native Corteza, the top player of Jonathan Sy's Negros Billiard Stable (NBS), pocketed the top purse of P100,000 in the men's division of the three-day event.

“I would like to dedicate my victory to boss Jo (Jonathan Sy), coach Toper (Christoper Palses), to my family and to God,” said Corteza, also the 2007 BSCP champion.

Zemonette Oryan, who hails from Iloilo City on the other hand, turned back Floriza Andal of Laguna, 9-7, and Mica Claveria of Bacolod City, 9-5 to emerge as the back-back winner of the ladies section and went home with P15,000.

Oryan's hard-earned victory against Claveria prevented what could have been an all-Negros Billiard Stable champion in both divisions.

"I was lucky I was able to lead early, it's tiring to make ground when you are too far behind", said Corteza, who lost to Mika "The Iceman" Immonen of Finland in the finals of this year's World Ten Ball Championships last month at the World Trade Center.

Corteza, multiple Southeast Asian Games gold medallist, jumped off to a 4-1 and 7-3 start and was seriously threatened going to the final canto after Orcollo, prize fighter of Perry Mariano's Bugsy Promotions clustered four straight racks to tied the match at 7-all in this race-to-9, winner's break format after Corteza made a miscue in the red 3 ball in the 11th racks.
On the road to the finals, Corteza started his bid on a wrong foot after losing his first round match to NBS stablemate Elmer Haya, 8-9.

Corteza, however, came back from the loser's bracket, beating William Millares, 9-1; Romeo del Rosario, 9-4; Oliver Villafuerte, 9-7; Godofredo Ducanes, 9-4; Elmer Haya via default; Roland dela Cruz, 9-6; John Salazar, 9-7; Roberto Gomez, 9-8 and Cebuano Marvin Tapia, 9-4, beat Orcollo in the final four and Geronimo in the finals. Over-all, Corteza scored 11 straight wins for the prestigious title.

Geronimo, meanwhile, won his first round match against Jech Limen, 9-6, but bowed to defending champion Marlon Manalo, 6-9, in the second round.

He came back through the loser's side by beating Jomel Sultan, 9-6; Leonardo Didal, 9-5; Elmer Haya, 9-5; Mario Tolentino, 9-5; Benjie Guevarra, 9-7; Michael Feliciano, 9-6; Rocky Tullao, 9-6; Ronato Alcano, 9-6; and Carlo Biado, 9-6, beat Victor Arpilleda in the semifinal then lost to Corteza in the race-to-11 finals.

Manalo, on the other hand lost to Japan based Antonio "Nickoy" Lining, 9-8, and John Salazar, 9-8, to exit in this double elimination format.