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First Champions emerge at 2017 BCAPL National Championships

 The first champions have been crowned at the 2017 BCAPL National Championships! The 41st BCAPL National Championships started Wednesday at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. More than 5,000 players are participating in this year’s event, which has more than 40 divisions.
Alex “The Lion” Pagulayan snapped off the 9-Ball Challenge, an event open to anyone. The 92-player field was heavily peppered with top players from across the globe, many of whom had just played in the US Open 10-Ball Championships. But Pagulayan easily cut through the field, beating: Alex Olinger, 7-4; Sam Wu, 7-4; Jerremy Sossei, 7-4; Ahmed Aldulaimi, 7-2; and Jason Klatt, 7-4 before capturing the hot seat by sending fellow Pinoy Lee Vann Corteza to the loser’s bracket. Corteza returned to play in the finals by beating Alex Kazakis of Greece, 7-3. But Pagulayan kept control of the game during the finals and beat Corteza 7-4 to capture the win.
Veteran professional player Loree Jon Hasson of Greenville, S.C. won the Women’s 9-Ball Singles Platinum Division. Michelle Jiang of Harvard, Mass., who was the 2016 BCAPL Women’s 8-Ball Gold Division Champion, took second. Ashea Erdahl, of Las Vegas, Nev. placed third.
Marian Poole of Seattle, WA, won the Women’s 9-Ball Singles Gold Division, with Natalie Stanton of Ewa Beach, HI taking second and Christina Maher of Atlanta, GA placing third.
Las Vegas players Gary Lutman and Donny Branson made the most of their home field advantage. Lutman took first in the Mixed 9-Ball Singles Platinum Division and Branson placed second. Kelii Chuberko of Honolulu, Hawaii took third.
Another Hawaiian player, Mike Madamba, of Hilo, HI, was crowned champion of the 297-player Mixed 9-Ball Singles Gold Division. The runner-up was Evan Edwards, of Cathedral City, CA. John Halter of Mesa, AZ was third.
Bill Larson, of Ft. Atkinson, WI became champion of the inaugural 9-Ball Singles Wheelchair Division, with Daniel Henson of Charlottesville, IN placing second.
Daniel Sardoncillo of Puyallup, WA, who was the runner-up in the Junior 9-Ball Division in 2016, captured the title this year, beating Aryana Lynch of Dallas, TX.
The USAPL National Championships run concurrently with the BCAPL National Championships. John Hemphill of Albuquerque, N.M. won the 8-Ball Singles Gold Division on Thursday, with Rob Pole Jr., of Brooklyn, NY, placing second and Dave Pittelkow of Leesburg, FL placing third.
The 9-Ball Challenge, which features professional players from across the globe matching up with amateurs, will conclude today, as well as the Junior 9-Ball Singles.
Free live streams of the event are available by going to and at
The 41st BCAPL National Championships continues through July 29 at The Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. The event features more than 5,000 amateur players representing 47 states, nine Canadian provinces and 11 countries, competing in approximately 40 divisions, on nearly 300 Diamond pool tables. Sponsors are Viking Cues, Predator, Omega Billiards, Cyclop, Diamond, the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino, Kamui, and Simonis.