Marlon Manalo Wins 2005 New Jersey Straight Pool Championships

NEW YORK, NEW YORK---ONCE AGAIN Marlon 'Marvelous' Manalo held the Philippine Flag on weekend (Sept. 30 to Oct. 2, 2005) when he completed an undefeated run to win the 2005 New Jersey Straight Pool Open in Comet Billiard Hall in Parsippany, New Jersey.

The 29-year-old Manalo from Mandaluyong City who's stint here is being supported by Solar Sports and representative Benhur Abalos brought down defending champion Dan Barouty of the USA, 200-123, in the finals. He captured the hot seat with a 150-42 win over Barouty.

Manalo, a former semi-finalist's in this year World Pool (9-Ball) Championships last July in Taipei, Taiwan, earned a US$5,000 for the victory while Barouty settled for runner-up prize of US$ 3,000.

Barouty, on the other had a chance to forge a rematch with Manalo in the championships round after beating Filipino legend Jose "Amang" Parica who now based in West Covina, California in a 150-123 count in the last seat match.

"I feel so blessed and thankful to God for winning this very prestigious tournament." said Manalo, fresh from winning the 2005 NYC 9-Ball Tandem Exhibition Match last September 28 along his team mate Filipino pool icon Efren 'Bata' Reyes. Manalo and Reyes bagged the top prize of US$5,000 by beating the pair of countryman Santos Sambajon and New Yorker Tony "The Assasin" Robles in by 11-5 count was held in Amsterdam Billiard in Manhattan, New York.

"I'am even thinking of winning this tournament, I just want an experience and want to know the straight pool being played. Furthermore, I would like take this opportunity to thank Solar Sports and lone Mandaluyong City representative Benhur Abalos who supporting my US campaign." added Manalo, first time seeing in action in the Straight Pool event using a rules of who ever player first to make 150 points will win the game except in the finals, needed to score 200 points to win the said event.

Barouty had something to say to Manalo. "Once I saw how Marlon Manalo played the straight pool and I concluded that some of the strategies in straight pool written in the books should be amended."

"I even asking myself if I still believe in the book of straight pool." quoted again by Barouty and laughed.

Other renowned player's victim of Manalo were World Straight Pool Champion Allen Hopkins of the USA, 150-92; Jeong Hwa of Korea, 150-107 and Bob Maidhof of the USA, 150-73, the tormentor of another Filipino entries Santos Sambajon, a native of Macalelon, Quezon who now lived in North Terrace, California.

Early this year, Manalo won two major title in the US circuit.

He beat American Tony Chohan, 9-6, to captured the 2005 Reno Open 2005 Reno Open Billiard Championship at the Sands Regency Hotel in Reno, Nevada last June 12 to received the first prize of US$12,000.

Almost a week later, he won the top purse of US$5,000 for winning the 2005 Hard Time Summer Jamboree Billiard Open held in Hard Times Billiards, Sacramento, California from June 14-19, 2005. He beat Gerardo Jamito, 9-7, in the finals.

Meanwhile, according to report of INQUIRER'S renowned and respected columnist Manolo Inigo, Manalo will carrying the Philippine Flag in the upcoming 2005 Manila Southeast Asian Games slated on November 27 to December 5, 2005.

He will join reigning US Open 9-ball ruler Alex "The Lion" Pagulayan, Efren "Bata" Reyes, Francisco "Django" Bustamante, Gandy "Sapsal" Valle, Rodolfo "Boy Samson" Luat, Ronnie "Calamba" Alcano, Lee Van Corteza, Antonio "Ga-Ga" Gabica, and Antonio "Nickoy" Lining and/or Warren "Warrior" Kiamco, the other half of the defending 9-ball doubles champion tandem with Corteza.

Inigo quoted Billiards and Snooker Congress of the Philippines (BSCP) president Ernesto "Ernie" Fajardo said: "We're fielding the best players, that's why I'm confident that we'll be able to win a lot of gold medals in this year's Southeast Asian Games."

Billiards godfather and BSCP director Aristeo "Putch" Puyat stressed that the board decided it would be best to let the players select the team members themselves based on the results of tournaments where the Filipinos competed.