Manalo edges Kennedy for Florida Pro Tour Win

Marlon Manalo

An all-star field of 78 players made their way to Capones Billiards in Spring Hill, Florida this weekend. It was hard to pick a favorite with such heavyweights as Alex Pagulayan, Marlon Manalo, Corey Deuel, Buddy Hall, Warren Kiamco, Dennis Hatch, Ronnie Wiseman, Tommy Kennedy and Lee Van Corteza all in attendance.

A large number of the top players at this event were Filipino, but surprisingly at the end of Saturday play there were only two Filipino players left on the winners side.

When the event got down to six players on Sunday, it was two Americans (Tommy Kennedy and Stevie Moore) still on the winners side and four Filipinos on the one loss side.

Tommy Kennedy took the hot-seat with an 8-5 win over Moore and Moore was sent to the left side of the board.

Manalo had lost a hill-hill match to Moore on the winners side, but he scored back to back 8-3 wins over countrymen Dennis Orcollo and Warren Kiamco to earn a rematch with Moore in the semi-finals. That match went to Manalo by a lopsided 8-2 score.

Manalo looked to have all of the momentum going into the extended race to 9 final match with Kennedy, but it was Kennedy to raced out to a 6-1 lead. Neither player was able to do much of anything with the break, but Manalo won the next four games to get back to 6-5 before Kennedy could win another game. The players then traded the next two games to put Kennedy on the hill and 8-6.

Kennedy would not be able to complete the deal though, as Manalo won the next three games to score the 9-8 match win for first place.

Manalo earned $3500 for first, while Kennedy took home $2000 for second. Moore and Kiamco filled out the top four spots.