Manalo wins Tri-State Open event

Marlon Manalo

The Tri-State Tour doesn't tend to draw a lot of players who compete in places like Qatar, China and the Philippines. On Saturday, September 26, though, in a $1,000-added Open event on the tour, Marlon Manalo, from the Philippines, who had participated in Open tournaments in all three of those countries this year, chalked up his first 2009 victory. Manalo had to get by George “Ginky” Sansouci twice to capture the first place prize in this event, which drew a small field of 17 entrants to Master Billiards in Queens, NY.

The two first squared off in the hot seat match after Manalo had sent Jorge Rodriguez west 9-3 and “Ginky” had done likewise to Frankie Hernandez 9-2. The hot seat match went back and forth to a 6-6 tie, before Manalo established a lead, won the last three games and sent “Ginky” to the semifinals.

On the one-loss side, Danny Cintron survived a hill-hill battle versus Basdeo Sookhai and eliminated Tony Eglesias 9-1 to face Rodriguez. John Alicea defeated both Jerry Tarantola and Scott Simonetti 9-3 to square off against Hernandez. It was Alicea, with a 9-3 win over Hernandez, and Cintron, with a 9-7 win over Rodriguez, who advanced to the quarterfinals. Though Alicea had a 5-3 lead over Cintron in the match that followed, Cintron started to fight back. It was, though, too little-too late, as Alicea widened his lead to three games, before closing it out at 9-6.

Sansouci, in search of his first Tri-State win of the current season, got by Alicea in the semifinals 9-6 and got a second crack at Manalo. At a much slower pace than their hot seat match, the two battled to a 3-3 tie in the extended format finals that required Sansouci to reach 9 wins, in order to extend the match to 11. He never got the chance. Manalo moved out in front, shortly after the 3-3 tie and established his second three-rack lead of the day over Sansouci and finished it for a second time, at 9-6.