Filipino Corteza Wins P1-Million In Japan Open

The Philippines domination in billiard continues not only in our home but also in the overseas competition.

Lee Van Corteza, who hails from Mintal, Davao City made the country proud anew and follows the shadow of reigning world 9-ball champion Ronato “Ronnie Calamba” Alcano after winning the 39th All Japan Championships held at Hotel New Archaic in Hyogo, Japan Sunday night.

Corteza, playing under the Jonathan “Bacolod” Sy stable crushed former WPC runner-up Pei-Wei Chang of Chinese Taipei, 11-3, in the finals to win the championship for the first time since competing in the event way back in 1999. Corteza also pocketed the top purse equivalent to P1 million.

Alcano from Bugsy's promotion, on the other hand, demolished Ralf “Kaiser” Souquet of Germany, 17-11, to win the championships trophy and top purse US$ 100,000 in the just concluded 2006 Philippines World Pool Championships at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).

Billiards and Snooker Congress of the Philippines (BSCP) president Ernesto Fajardo lauded Corteza's feat.

“Sana madala natin y'ung momentum sa Doha Asian games ( I hope we can carry the momentum is Doha Asian games).” Fajardo said, referring the back to back wins of Alcano and Corteza.

Antonio Gabica will play the 8-ball and 9-ball men's individual competition in the Doha Asiad while Jeffrey “The Bull” De Luna will play in the 9-ball men's individual and Leonardo “Dodong Dadiangas” Andam will seeing in action in the 8-ball and Snooker event.

Rubilen “Bingkay” Amit, Mary-Ann Basas and Iris Ranola will carrying the Philippine flag in the distaff side.

Meanwhile, in the 39th All Japan Championships the field is included a strong and noted players like 2005 World Pool championship titlist Wu Chia-Ching of Chinese Taipei, 2006 World Pool Championship runner-up Ralf Souquet of Germany, Tan Tiong Boon of Singapore, Patrick Ooi of Malaysia and Ramil Gallego of the Philippines.

Corteza beat Mika Immonen of Finland, 9-5 and Japanese bets Japanese T. Tobo (9-0) and A. Shiraiwa (9-2) in earlier rounds.

Corteza, a Southeast Asian Games (SEA) Games gold medalist in 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2005, is expecting a child, to be named after Lee Vann, sometime between January and February. Her wife Gelia, is a six-month-pregnant to their baby boy.