Dennis Orcollo defeats defending champion Jundel Mazon; advances to semi-final against Taiwan’s rising star Pin-Yi Ko

Pin Yi Ko

WPA World No. 1 Dennis Orcollo continued his scintillating performance in the quarterfinals of the 2011 Guinness World Series of Pool 10Ball Challenge in Jakarta today, eliminating defending champion Jundel Mazon in a lopsided 8 – 3 victory for a place in the semi-finals tomorrow.

Orcollo had the toughest route to the semi-final after hard-fought wins over 2009 WPA World Ten Ball Champion Mika Immonen, 8 – 5, at the round of 32 and WPA World No. 2 Yukio Akagariyama of Japan, 8 – 6 in the sweet 16, there seemed to be no stopping the Filipino's onslaught.

In fact, Mazon who had yet to be tested having faced Indonesian opponents from the round of 64 to the quarterfinals, appeared nervous prior to the match. But the defending champion leveraged on the massive crowd support and made an inspired start to lead 2 – 1 against his formidable opponent.

Unfortunately it all went downhill for Mazon from there. Not even his renowned power-breaks worked for him, breaking dry and getting unlucky positional rolls of the break.

In the 5th frame, with the score tied at two racks each, a magnificent safety on the 2ball from Orcollo led to a missed a 2ball jump towards the corner pocket from Mazon. This led to an easy run-out by Orcollo to surge ahead 3 – 2 - a lead which he did not relinquish.

Eager to finish the contest quickly, a methodical Orcollo allowed Mazon to score just once more in the 10th rack before orchestrating another break and run-out to finally end Mazon's fairy tale attempt to defend his title.

With the win, the Pinoy top-seed earned for himself a semifinals clash with long time pool rival Taiwan represented by young gun Ko Pin-Yi, who himself had a stellar quarter-final match, toppling Filipino new-comer John Salazar in an electrifying come-from-behind hill-hill conquest 8 – 7.

Salazar was on the cusp of victory at 7 – 4 against the Taiwanese, but his inexperience showed as he failed to close out the contest. Ko, a veteran of numerous world tournaments, maintained his poise and kept chipping away to put pressure on his rival. The Filipino could only rue at a lost opportunity to advance after self-destructing with only a game to win.

Indonesian fans celebrated as hometown hero and 2010 Guinness World Series of Pool runner-up Irsal Nasution held his nerves with a strong challenge over 2010 WPA World Nine-Ball Championship runner-up Kuo Po-Cheng of Taiwan with a score of 8 – 5.  With national pride at stake, the lone Indonesian will seek to continue his memorable run in his semi-final match against 2007 US Open 9-Ball Champion Shane Van Boening, who booked his place after an 8 – 6 victory over Canada's Adam Smith.

The semi-finals and final of the 2011 Guinness World Series of Pool – 10Ball Challenge will be broadcast LIVE on STAR Sports tomorrow from 11.00-16.00 HKT (TV schedules subject to change without prior notice).

The 2011 Guinness World Series of Pool – 10Ball Challenge is sanctioned by the Asian Pocket Billiard Union (APBU) and organized by ESPN STAR Sports' Event Management Group (EMG). Guinness is the title sponsor for the Event. The local sanctioning body is the All Indonesian Billiards Association (POBSI). Iwan Simonis and Aramith supply the official tablecloth and official balls respectively. Murray provides the official pool table while Predator is the official cue. Team Sports Marketing Sdn Bhd is the official apparel sponsor.  STAR Sports is the official broadcaster.

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