Morra denies Van Boening a fifth 10-Ball Pro Championship at SBE

John Morra
Canada's John Morra spent most of his time at the Diamond Super Billiards Expo's 10-Ball Pro Championships on the loss side of the double elimination bracket. Sent there by Donny Mills in the second round of play, he won five in a row, including a victory over Johnny Archer, to qualify for the eight-player, single elimination phase of the tournament. He went on to defeat Mike Dechaine, Thorsten Hohmann, and in the finals, Shane Van Boening to win the 10-Ball Pro Championship title. The $15,000-added event, run concurrently with seven other events at the SBE on the long weekend of April 14-17, drew 64 entrants to the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA.
As the winners' bracket evolved throughout the weekend, it was a short list of the usual suspects who advanced to that side's four qualifying spots on Sunday. In the final match for qualification, Alex Pagulayan faced Eddie Abraham, Warren Kiamco drew "The Iceman" (Mika Immonen), Earl Strickland squared off against Vilmos Foldes, and Van Boening met up with Corey Deuel. Pagulayan defeated Eddie Abraham 10-5, as Kiamco downed Immonen 10-7. Strickland moved among the final four winners with a 10-6 win over Foldes, while Van Boening eliminated Deuel 10-6.
On the loss side, Tommy Kennedy earned his way into that side's final four with a 10-6 victory over Mike Davis. Thorsten Hohmann defeated Donnie Mills in a double hill fight, Mike Dechaine downed Shaun Wilkie 10-5 and Morra got by Billy Thorpe 10-7.
The winners' side quarterfinals featured Pagulayan against Kiamco, and Van Boening versus Strickland. On the loss side, Kennedy met Hohmann, and Morra drew Dechaine. Pagulayan defeated Kiamco 13-6, as Shane eliminated Strickland 13-5. Kennedy put up a strong, double hill fight against Hohmann, but was eliminated, while Morra finished Dechaine's run 13-9.
Van Boening and Pagulayan played their 'last winner standing' battle to within a game of double hill before Van Boening closed it at 13-11. Morra, in the meantime, in the 'last loss-side' match defeated Hohmann 13-6.
Van Boening, having won this event five times in seven attempts, including three straight from 2012-2014 was looking for his sixth SBE title (he was third behind winner Dennis Orcollo and runner-up, Jayson Shaw, last year).  Morra derailed Boening's planned trip to the winners' circle, defeating him 13-10 to capture the title.