Manalo, Sambajon Shine In Us Pool Circuit

Santos Sambajon

AFTER a heart-breaking loss in the recently US$50,000 winner-take all Challenge of Champions in Connecticut, Marlon "Marvelous" Manalo and Santos Sambajon bounced back after impressive showing in their separate US pool circuit event to lift the Philippine Flag in a high note.

The 30 years-old Manalo, playing under the stable of Puyat Sports, brought down American Mike Davis, 11-3, in the finals to received the top purse US$2,000 (roughly P104,000) in the just concluded 2006 Blaze Pro-Am 9-ball Sunday night in Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

" I would like to thank Solar Sports, Mandaluyong rep. Benhur Abalos Jr. and Aristeo "Putch" Puyat for their moral support regarding my local and international tournament." Manalo told to this writer in a long distance call interview yesterday.

Earlier, Davis captured the hot-seat match with a 9-8 victory over Manalo in this two-day affair where Puerto Rican Jose Burgos served as tournament director, a close friend of Bugsy's promotion businesswomen Verna Mariano.

Manalo needed to disposed Vietnamese bet Lee Tan Kho, 7-3, and white-washed another American Teddy Garrahan, 7-0, to topped the loser's brackets and forge a rematch with Davis.

Davis received the runner-up prize of US$1000 (roughly P52,000) while Garrahan satisfied third prize of US$ 500 (roughly P26,000).

Another Filipino entry Ramon "Maestro Monching" Mistica bowed to Lee Tan Kho, 7-6, to finishes in the top 8.

In the IPT event over the weekend, Sambajon, a native of Macalelon, Quezon province edges coutryman Antonio "Nickoy" Lining who hails from Pinamalayan, Oriental Mindoro, 10-8, to rules the loser's side in the qualification tournament of International Pool Tour (IPT) 8-ball shoot-out was held in Slate Bayside Billiards hall in Bayside, New York.

With the win, Sambajon got an IPT card alongside with winner's side top notcher Marco Marquez from the United States, conqueror of Sambajon, 10-4, in the winner's brackets.

Both, Sambajon and Marquez advance in the main draw of 2006 IPT grand finale US$3-million total pot on Sept.2-10 at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno, Nevada.

The 80 early casualties are guaranteed of US $5,000 each.

In the 2006 North America Open in Las Vegas, Nevada, last month, eventual winner German ace Thosrten "The Hitmann" Hohman beat Manalo, 8-7, in the finals for the top prize US$350,000.