Pinoy Alcano Aware of Taiwanese Wu in World Pool Masters

Ronnie Alcano

World Champion Ronato Alcano believes Chia-ching Wu is his biggest threat in the 2007 World Pool Masters.

The Paranaque based Alcano reached the pinnacle of the sport in November when he defeated German Ralf Souquet in the final of the 2006 World Pool Championships.

That victory elevated 34-year-old Alcano to legend status in his pool-mad home country as he became an overnight celebrity.

One of the other benefits of winning the world title has seen him be selected as one of 16 players in this year's Masters, which begins Friday at the Hotel Zuiderduin, Egmond aan Zee, Holland.

It will be Alcano's debut in the competition and he will be aiming to maintain his good form and collect the $20,000 top prize.

Alcano, bested compatriot Dennis Orcollo in the finals of the World 8-ball in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates last February to follow the foot step of Chia-ching Wu and countryman Efren "Bata" Reyes, the former double world champion (WPA 9-ball and WPA 8-ball).

He faces Italian Fabio Petroni in the opening round on Friday night and, if successful, will then meet either Nick van den Berg (Holland) or female star Jasmin Ouschan (Austria) in the quarter-finals.

However, if he reaches the semi-finals he could meet 2005 World Champion Chia-ching Wu ( Taiwan) in what would be a mouth-watering encounter.

"This is a hard tournament to win because there are a lot of good players," said Alcano.

"It is hard to say if I will be the winner as there are too many top players but I will try my best and maybe I will get lucky. I think Chia-ching Wu is a very good player and will be difficult to beat."

Alcano and Chia-ching Wu will both be getting some match practice ahead of the main tournament as they played in the Challenge the Champions last Thursday.

This knockout tournament features a number of professional players competing against local club players and will be an interesting indication of who is in form and who is not.

In other marquee matches in the first round of World Pool Masters: Naoyuki Oi of Japan vs Oliver Ortmann of Germany; Li He-wen of China vs Pat Holtz of Scotland; Imran Majid of England vs Niels Feijen of the Netherlands; Wu Chia-ching of Chinese-Taipei vs Tyler Edey of Canada and Tony Drago of Malta vs Thomas Engert of Germany.

File photo courtesy of Diana Hoppe - Pool Pics by Hoppe