Raphael DaBreo Wins His First Predator Tour Amateur Event of the Season while Santos Sambajon & Tony Robles Split The Open/Pro 10-Ball

L-R 3rd Place: Hector Ruiz, 2nd Place: Borana Andoni & 1st Place Winner: Raphael DaBreo

The Predator Pro Am Tour's 8th stop of the season was hosted by Amsterdam Billiards in Union Square, NYC. Tour founder and pro player Tony Robles and his team rolled out the red carpet for two simultaneous tournaments for their amateur and pro players.
The amateur event drew several top area players, including strong emerging talent. Among them were Lionel Rivera, Phil Davis, Jerry Tarantola, Michael Yednak, Stewart Warnock, Victor Nau, and Scott Simonetti. There was also an impressive showing of women players in this event, including Gail Glazebrook, Kim Phillips, Diana Rojas, Lenore Donovan, Melissa Rispoli & Borana Andoni.
There were several buzz-worthy stories that unfolded throughout this event, with several different storylines of interest. Hector Ruiz played in his first competitive tournament ever to go through the winner's side of the event undefeated on day one to eventually finish in third place. Hector came in rated as a 'C+' and had wins over Kim Phillips 7-4, Harry Lau 7-4, Gail Glazebrook 7-4, and Borana Andoni 7-6, before losing to Raphael DaBreo 7-4, and Borana Andoni 7-4 in a rematch.
Borana Andoni, as well as Gail Glazebrook, are known as members of the winning 8-ball championships team called Kiss of Death, but are also part of a new exciting venture, a project called RackStarz. The Rack Starz www.TheRackStarz.com are a group of twelve brilliant and beautiful women poised to re-invent the game of pool, while helping bring it into the mainstream to create a sensation that may have what it takes to captivate the world.
Gail, who is also part of the Predator Tour team, showed heart in this event with wins over Lenore Donovan 7-6, Melissa Rispoli 8-6, and Luis Novas 7-5, before losing to Hector Ruiz 7-6 and Kapriel Delimelkonoglu 7-6, finishing tied for 9th place in the event.
Borana Andoni would also make a statement by finishing 2nd. Borana's road to the finals included wins over Nick Meyer 7-4, Ray Lee 7-6, and Alan Chan 7-4, before losing to Hector Ruiz 7-4… but she then came back with a quarterfinal win over Phil Davis 9-5, and avenged her loss to Hector Ruiz in the semifinal, defeating him 7-4.
"Killer B" managed to stop Phil Davis' amazing run through the one-loss side… after losing his first match to Jerry Tarantola 7-3, Phil won eight consecutive matches before losing to Borana to finish 4th.
In the finals, Borana was matched up against Raphael DaBreo from Brooklyn, who has been consistently making strides in his game. The very talented 23-year-old player has been putting an impressive amount of time into practicing and perfecting his arsenal, and has arrived to the 'A' level after capping off a very impressive tournament.
Raphael has put in the time watching an abundance of pool at the professional level, along with being groomed by top pros and veteran players who appreciate his drive and palpable passion for the game. It's clear that the hard work is paying off through his run in this event, along with his play of late.
DaBreo went through the field undefeated, taking wins over Michael Yednak 7-0, Gary Murgia 7-4, Eddie Ng 7-5, Jerry Tarnatola 7-3, Dinko Busanich 7-3, Hector Ruiz 7-4, and ultimately a 7-5 win over Borana Andoni in the finals.
In the finals, Raphael jumped out to a 6-3 lead over Borana Andoni in a very impressive display of shot making and cue ball control. Raphael had only missed one ball up until that point, and looked like he was about to close it out before missing a medium-tough 5 ball. Borana was also impressive in bouncing back with two clutch run outs to close the gap to 6-5, making the set a nail-biter. While Borana made the finals exciting, Raphael was able to capture the last game without a miss, capping off his very dominant run to snap off his first Predator event of the year, and his second overall.
With this win, Raphael has clearly displayed that he has what it takes to hang with the top amateurs and aspiring pros in the Tri-State area. Be sure to keep an eye out for Raphael, who will definitely be a force to be reckoned with if he continues to improve and fine-tune his game.
Amateur 9-ball Final Results:
1st: Raphael DaBreo - $1,000
2nd: Borana Andoni - $600
3rd: Hector Ruiz - $400
4th: Phil Davis $300
5th/6th: Dinko Busavich and Kapriel Delimelkonoglu - $200
7th/8th: Tony Liang, Alan Chang - $150
9th-12: Jerry Tarantola, Marco Dy, Gail Glazebrook, Harry Lau - $100