Orcollo falls to Ko in Thailand Finals

Dennis Orcollo swept his way to finals and reached the hill first in the title-match, but failed to get over it as he helplessly watched Taiwanese Pin Yi Ko racked up 11 consecutive racks to score a 15-14 squeaker, snatch the crown and leave him settling for the runner-up honor in the Brunswick-Thailand 9-Ball Open late Sunday in Bangkok.

It was a very sorry loss for Orcollo, who wanted no less than a win in his first international foray this year to put a stamp on his tag as the reigning world no.1. But as fate would have it, he ran into Ko, an 18-year-old sensation, who many consider as the best 9-ball player in the world today.

After making it 14-4 in his favor, Orcollo never had a chance to return to the table after surrendering it to Ko, as the Taiwanese ran out one rack after another until completing the huge come-from-behind victory.

“Magaling talaga ‘yang Ko Pin Yi na ‘yan,” said Perry Mariano, Orcollo's manager and head of the Bugsy Promotions, noting that Ko was the same player who trounced Roberto Gomez in the finals of the Taiwan Super Cup last December.

“Dennis is one of the best – if not the best – players in the Philippines today. So him losing to an 18-year-old Taiwanese, who also beat Gomez, our World Pool runner-up, should sound an alarm to us Filipinos,” added Mariano.

“I hope this serves as a wake up call to all billiards officials, whose priority is focused only on money-making professional events. Kumilos na kayo bago mahuli ang lahat.”

Besides the title, the loss also denied Orcollo the champion purse worth 150,000 baht (P200,000). He will instead go home with the second prize of 50,000 baht.

Orcollo made it to the finals by beating compatriot Victor Arpilleda in the quarterfinals and Indonesian Jimmy Jusman in the semis. Ko, on the other hand, defeated Gomez and Indonesian Robby Suarly, respectively.

Like Arpilleda and Gomez, former double world champion Ronnie Alcano also reached the tournament's Last 8 before bowing out with a loss to Jusman.

A total of 128 players, including those from Singapore, England, Malaysia, Hong Kong and the host country, competed in this four-day annual event.