Mark Mendoza Rules Inaugural RP Junior Pool

A triumphant Mark Aristotle Mendoza

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - Mark Aristotle "Mac-Mac" Mendoza added another feather to his cap after winning the inaugural Billiards and Snooker Congress of the Philippines (BSCP)-Magnolia Health Tea Philippine Junior Pool Championship late Sunday at the Rizal Memorial Billiards Center in Malate, Manila.

The 18-year-old Jolo, Mandaluyong City resident Mendoza, who teaming up with Carlo Biado for a runner-up finish in the country's first-ever SMC Doubles 10-ball event, needed only 90 minutes to beat Jordan Legaspi of Bocaue, Bulacan, 11-3, in the finals to capture the top prize of P50,000.

Legaspi on the other hand, received the runner-up place of P25,000 for his effort.

Mendoza joins invited player Renemar "Revo" David to represent the country's tricolors in the forthcoming 2007 World Junior Pool Championship on November 27 to 29 in Willington, Germany. David made it to the round-of-8 in the last year's World Junior Sydney edition.

The three-day Magnolia Health Tea and e-aji-dip snax sponsored event was open to all Male players 19-years-old and below and attracted 64 cue artists. The event was jointly organized by Raya Sports and Billiards and Snooker Congress of the Philippines (BSCP) headed by its president Ernesto Fajardo and chairman Yen Makabenta.

After winning the opening lag, Mendoza took advantage of his powerful break to jump out to quick 2-1, 6-2, and 10-2 lead in the race-to-11 finals using the winners break format.

"I would like to thank God for my victory. My hard work and preparation was paid off," said the young and amiable Mendoza, who was inspired to play by the presence of his father Ferdinand Mendoza, who works as a Nurse in Libya and watched from the sidelines. Mendoza's campaign here is being supported by Aries Travel and Tours.

No less than Senator Richard "Dick" Gordon, Raya Sports and Events president and BSCP chairman Yen Makabenta and BSCP president Ernesto Fajardo led the closing rite.

"These are the future of Philippine Billiard," said Senator Gordon, who promised to pay for the round trip tickets for both Filipino youth representatives in the 2007 World Junior Pool Championship.

Mendoza's path to the finals included wins over Kelvin Larcena, 9-3 and Gino Villanueva 9-4 before yielding to Alvin Punzalan 9-5. Mendoza bounced back into contention by winning his match on the loser's side against Rennel Dugos, 9-6, Bennie Dayrit, 9-7, Patrick Gonzales, 9-7 and a rematch with Punzalan 9-5. Mendoza then toppled 2006 Philippine Olympic Festival silver medalist Johann Chua, 11-7, in the cross-over semi-final round.

Legaspi's roads to the finals included wins over Jech Jech Limen 9-5 and Richard Alinsub 9-5 before bowing to Romeo Silvano, 9-8. Legaspi then bested Ken Escano 9-5, Edison Dollente 9-5, Arsenio Cenina 9-1, Michael Angelo Mengorio 9-7, and John Carlo Cerna 11-7, in other final four match.

In the battle for third place, Cerna edged Chua, 11-10.

Photo courtesy of Cuycuy Makabenta