Joss Junior 9-Ball Championships, Jan. 26 & 27, 2019, Sharp Shooters Billiards & Sports Pub, Amsterdam NY
Watanabe, DaBreo come from the loss side to win Predator Pro Am Amateur, Pro events
Nov. 27, 2018
Nov. 27, 2018
(l to r): Raphael Dabreo & Joey Korsiak (Photo courtesy of Erwin Dionisio)
Three days after downing their share of Thanksgiving cheer in whatever form it took for them, Max Watanabe and Raphael Dabreo had cause to give further thanks for their respective victories on the Predator Pro Am Tour. During the tour’s annual Thanksgiving Day weekend get-together, Watanabe navigated his way through a 76-entrant field, in the $750-added Amateur event, winning five on the loss side to meet and defeat Jose Estevez in the finals. Raphael DaBreo in the 14-entrant, $250-added Open/Pro event, recovered from a double hill loss in the hot seat match and returned to defeat Joey Korsiak. Both events, as well as a Second and a Third Chance event were hosted, as they are every year, by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.
In the Amateur division, Watanabe, who pretty much evenly splits his time between the Predator and Tri-State Tours, was looking for his first victory in five attempts on the 2018 Predator Pro Am Tour. He’d been defeated in the finals of an Open/Pro event by Tour Director Tony Robles in September and had chalked up a win on the Tri-State Tour back in June. In this event, he worked his way through to a winners’ side quarterfinal before running into Eddie Kunz, who sent him to the loss side 7-5. Kunz advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Estevez. Jonathan Martinez, in the meantime, squared off against Joe Morace. Estevez sent Kunz to an immediate re-match against Watanabe with a 7-4 win, as Martinez downed Morace 7-4. Estevez claimed the hot seat 8-5 and waited on Watanabe’s return.
On the loss side, Watanabe had survived a double hill match against Marco Dy and one game shy of double hill, defeated Jaydev Zaveri 7-5 to earn his re-match against Kunz. Morace picked up Erick Carrasco, who’d eliminated Nick Croce 7-5 and Debra Pritchett, double hill, to reach him.
Carrasco got through a second straight double hill match, downing Morace, and advanced to the quarterfinals. Watanabe joined him after giving up only a single rack to Kunz in their re-match. Watanabe then leap-frogged over the quarterfinals when work-related commitments forced Carrasco to forfeit.
Watanabe had his hands full in the semifinals, as Martinez put up a double hill fight for a second shot against Estevez. Watanabe prevailed, and then, in the finals, won the extended race to 9 to claim the event title.
DaBreo and Korsiak replay March matchup with the same result
Squaring off in the finals of the Open/Pro event, Raphael DaBreo and Joey Korsiak replayed a scene that had played out for the both of them in March. In that event, DaBreo had to win three on the loss side, two of which went double hill, to face Korsiak in the finals. He did so to chalk up his first Open/Pro victory on the tour. This time, they battled in the hot seat and finals.
Korsiak had downed Tony Robles 7-4 to get in to the hot seat match, while DaBreo had sent Alfredo Albay over 7-3. They battled to double hill in the hot seat match, until Korsiak prevailed.
On the loss side, Robles picked up Gary O’Callaghan, who’d defeated Jud Parker 7-2 and benefited from a double hill, deciding-game miss at the 10-ball by Joe Torres to advance. Albay drew Frankie Hernandez, who’d eliminated Zion Zvi 7-3 and Stephen Motilal 7-4.
Robles had sent O’Callaghan to the loss side in an earlier double hill match, but it was O’Callaghan who came out on top 7-4 in their re-match. Hernandez shut Albay out to advance to the quarterfinals against O’Callaghan. Hernandez then eliminated O’Callaghan 7-4.
In the semifinals, Hernandez and DaBreo battled to double hill before DaBreo three-fouled Hernandez to earn his second shot against Korsiak. In another modified race-to-9 final, DaBreo claimed the event title over Korsiak 9-3.
A 15-entrant Second Chance event was won Abel Rosario, with Jose Kuilan as runner-up. Duc Lam and Nick Croce finished in the tie for 3rd place. An 8-entrant Third Chance event, saw Miguel Laboy take home the top prize with Julia Ha in second place.
Tour director Tony Robles thanked Manny Stamatakis and his Steinway staff for their Thanksgiving Day weekend hospitality, as well as his own Predator Pro Am staff and sponsors Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, PlayNAPL.com, The DeVito Team, PoolontheNet.com, Cappelle (Billiards Press), AZBilliards, Pool & Billiard Magazine and Billiards Digest. The final stop of the Predator Pro Am Tour’s 2018 season will be its annual Tour Championships. Open to players who’ve participated in a minimum of five events during the year, the potentially $11,000-added, 2018 Predator Tour Championships will be hosted by Raxx Sports Bar & Grille in West Hempstead, NY.