Orcollo and Furuta round out WPC Qualifiers

Dennis Orcollo could hardly contain his excitement after winning the ninth and penultimate qualifier to reach the 2004 Taiwan World Pool Championship.

The 25 year-old Filipino favourite thrust his cue in the air as he sank the winning 9-ball to defeat Kun-Fang Lee in a nail-biting 9-8 encounter.

Before a large crowd of spectators, Orcollo fought his way back to become the fifth Pinoy to win a qualifier in Taipei.

“I'm so relieved because there wasn't much time left for me to win a qualifier, Orcollo said. “I was very nervous but I stayed in control against a very good player.

“I thought I'd lost but I got a chance and took it and after I didn't play well the previous day there was more pressure on me.

“It's important for lots of us to qualify for the people at home and it was my last chance so it would have been bad news if I'd lost.

Orcollo will join Group 2 where he will face last year's semi-finalist Tony Drago and the legendary Efren Reyes.

“I will try to play as well as I can and practice a lot – I've never beaten Efren but maybe I can now.”

Taiwan-based Japanese player Kazuo Furuta rounded off the week's qualifying for the 2004 Taiwan World Pool Championship as he came from nowhere to take the final spot and with it a place in Group 4, arguably the toughest one of them all.

Furuta, who is married to a local lady and owns one of Taipei's many pool halls, was a first round loser in all his previous attempts to qualify and unfancied by the form book.

However, a string of hard fought wins culminating in a 9 – 4 victory against Jung-lin Chang saw him over the line as the eighth Japanese competitor in the main event.

Group 4 contains the likes of Yang, Schmidt, Peach, Crosby and Lohtander and the 32 year-old will do well to make it into the last 64.

However, he was delighted that his week of qualifying finally paid off, “I felt so much pressure as it was my one big chance of the week.

“I am so happy though to have made it through and I will be doing my best to get some results once the tournament starts.”