Takayama Rules WTA 9-Ball Tilt

Teenage pool sensation Mike “Lightning Kid” Takayama outlasted veteran Godofredo Ducanes, 10-8, in the finals to complete a sweep and rule the 32-man winner-take-all 9-Ball tournament Tuesday night at the Players' Den in Malate, Manila.

The feat earned the 18-year-old Takayama, a member of the star-studded Bugsy Promotions of businessman Perry Mariano, a P32,000 purse and, more important, boosted his stock as one of the future stars of Philippine billiards.

It could also make him one of the top picks in the soon-to-be-launched National Billiards League (NBL).

“I'm very happy for this accomplishment. This may not be as big as the other tournaments, but winning over my fellow young players and some veterans made it special to me,” said Takayama, who came to prominence in the local pool circuit after his semifinals finish in the 2006 Philippine 9-Ball Open, where he defeated some of the country's top cue artists, including former world champion Alex Pagulayan.

Before beating Ducanes, Takayama had earlier trounced two-time World Juniors campaigner Rene Mar “Revo” David (8-2), two-time Billiards Idol champion William Millares (8-7), and Jun Caro (9-4).

Meanwhile, the Search for the New Billiards Idol will have its 12th leg on October 12 at 2007 World Pool runner-up Roberto Gomez's Superman Sports Bar in Libis, Quezon City.