Superman Gomez Wins Villar Cup Davao Leg

Senate President Manny Villar, Roberto Gomez and former Cavite Congressman Gilbert Remulla

DAVAO CITY – Roberto “Superman” Gomez finally broke out from a series of runner-up finishes as he defeated former champion and top hometown bet Gandy Valle, 11-4, in an all-Bugsy finals to win the First Senate President Manny Villar Cup Davao Leg Saturday night before a mammoth crowd at the Atrium of Gaisano Mall here.

It was indeed a breakthrough feat for the 29-year-old pride of Zamboanga, who rose to prominence – albeit with a sour distinction – when he came up second in the 2007 World Pool Championship in Manila, losing to Englishman Darryl Peach in the finals riddled with “comedy of errors.”

“Finally!” screamed Gomez, who romped off to a strong start and did not give Valle an opportunity to recover en route to becoming the fourth winner of this topnotch island-hopping series presented by Villards: Tulong sa Pagsulong ng Philippine Sports in partnership with the Billiards Managers and Players Association of the Philippines (BMPAP).

Gomez also received the P300,000 top purse from Senate President Manny Villar during the awarding ceremony, also graced by Davao City Mayor Rody Duterte and Davao Congressman Vincent Garcia, as well as former Cavite Representative Gilbert Remulla.

Valle, the champion of the Villar Cup Cebu Leg last June, settled for the second-place honor and the P120,000 cash prize at stake in this three-day tournament sponsored by Camella Communities.

“I'm so sick and tired of always being a runner-up, which I've been almost a dozen of times, including that World Pool defeat, which continues to haunt me up to now,” added Gomez, one of the top players of the star-studded Bugsy Promotions of businessman Perry Mariano.

“So when I entered the finals, I told myself that there's no way I'm going to let this one slip away and I'll do all my best to win. Thank God I did.”

Gomez lost the lag but took the opening rack after Valle missed a tough-angled shot of the red-3. That ignited Gomez's run, where he scored seven of the first nine racks for a commanding 7-2 lead.

Valle, easily the favorite of the close to 7,000 Davaoeno crowd to win the crown, could only add two more racks across his name as he failed in his bid to become the first double winner of the series.

“I really wanted to win this for my fellow Davaonenos, but breaks didn't come my way,” said Valle, a former Asian Games gold medalist.

Before facing Valle, Gomez had to endure a tough grind. He opened his campaign by beating two-time world juniors campaigner Rene Mar David, 9-4, before repulsing another rising star Elmer Haya, 9-6, in the second round.

That set him up with a quarterfinals encounter with former double world champion Ronnie Alcano, whom he narrowly beat, 9-7. In the semis, Gomez got off to a good start but had a hard time in disposing off reigning world no.1 Dennis Orcollo before escaping with a 10-7 win.

Valle made it to the finals by subduing stablemate Carlo Biado, 10-8, in their Final Four match.