Pagulayan Beats Orcollo, The Lion Roars in Guinness 9-Ball

Alex Pagulayan

Alex Pagulayan sealed his status as Number 1 player in Philippine pool with a masterful 11-6 victory over compatriot Dennis "Robocop" Orcollo in the finals of the Guinness 9 Ball Tour 2008 at the Velocity@Novena Square in Singapore.
With the victory, Pagulayan became the first to be officially proclaimed as Filipino Guinness 9-ball pool champion under the title sponsor of Guinness, an Irish stout beer that replaced former title sponsor San Miguel Beer. He adds the title to a long list that now includes the 2004 World Pool Championship, the 2005 US Open Championship, three gold medals in the December 2005 SEA Games, 2006 BSCP National Pool Championship and the 2008 World Pool Masters. He also took home a cool $15,000 (P675,000) in prize.
"At last" commented the 30-year-old Pagulayan, who hails from Cabagan, Isabela.
Orcollo, who is fresh from winning the first Qatar World 9-Ball this month, settled for the runner-up prize of $6,000 (270,000).
The Bislig, Surigao del Sur ace nipped Ching Shun Yang of Chinese Taipei, 9 – 8, in a scintillating semi-final match yesterday to set up an all-Filipino clash in the finals with Pagulayan, who had earlier defeated Chia Ching Wu of Chinese Taipei, 9 – 6.
The last time a Filipino won a title on the Tour was in 2006 when Efren "Bata" Reyes beat Ricky Yang in Jakarta, Indonesia. This also marks the first time since Lee Van Corteza defeated Francisco "Django" Bustamante in Manila in 2004 that two Filipinos will battle for the crown.  
The Chinese Taipei players previously dominated the Tour as they swept all six legs last year and the first three legs this year.
Up for grabs in the Singapore leg was a total prize purse of US$50,000 as well as points to qualify for the Tour's Grand Final in Jakarta, which will feature the Top Ten players in the overall Order of Merit.

The winners of each leg earn US$15,000 while the Grand Final Champion will pocket US$36,000. In addition, the Tour's Top 10 players will also automatically qualify for pool's most prestigious event, the 2008 WPA World Pool Championships later his year. The Guinness 9-Ball Tour remains the only ranking tour in Asia for players to qualify for the WPA World Pool Championship.

Following stops in Chinese-Taipei, Penang, Genting Highlands and Singapore, the six-city Tour will have its penultimate leg in Guangzhou in September before heading to Jakarta for the Grand Finals in October.