Team Q.C-Philippines Blows It’s Chances, Loses To the World

Senator Manny Villar presents the trophy and medals to the members of Team World

Team Quezon City-Philippines blew their chances after getting to the hill first and squandered three opportunities to nail down victory, eventually losing to the steadier Team World by the narrowest of margins 9-8 in the Q.C. Invasion: Quezon City-Philippines vs the World Grand VILLARDS Showdown  at the jampacked activity center of Trinoma Mall in Quezon City , Thursday night. .
The Filipinos who clawed back from being behind on the first two days of the pool classic started the final day in scintillating fashion to post a 9-6 lead and appear on the verge of winning the event presented by Senator Manny Villar's VILLARDS: Tulong sa Pagsulong ng Philippine sports and the Quezon City government led by Mayor Sonny Belmonte and Councilor Ariel Inton.
Warren Kiamco lost the final day's first match to former World Pool Champion  Thorsten Hohmann, 7-4 before the home team rattled off four consecutive victories. Pool legend Francisco “Django” Bustamante edged Raj Hundal, 7-6; “The Magician” Efren “Bata” Reyes subdued former US Open and World Cup of Pool champion Rodney “The Rocket” Morris, 7-5; the foursome of Bustamante, Alex Pagulayan, Dennis Orcollo and Roberto Gomez prevailed over the quartet of Hundal, Ching-Shun Yang, Mika Immonen and Chia-Ching Wu, 7-6; and Gomez ripped Charlie Williams, 7-3 – for an 8-6 lead in their race-to-nine duel.
But just at it seemed the Filipinos would reinforce their claim to being the best pool-playing nation in the world, they suddenly fell apart.
Orcollo who has at times shown lack of mental toughness  blew an early lead and lost to Williams 7-5 before the quartet of , Alcano, Kiamco and Lee Van Corteza squandered a 5-2 advantage and unbelievably fell apart, losing to  the squad of Morris, Williams, Hohmann and Jianbo Fu, 7-6, to make it a hill-hill battle for the $40,000 top purse at stake in this three-day pool extravaganza organized by the Billiards Managers and Players Association of the Philippines (BMPAP) headed by Atty. Vic Rodriguez.
It was more of the same in the deciding match. The quartet of Pagulayan, Gomez, Alcano and Kiamco also posted an early lead but ended up succumbing to the group of Morris, Wu, Williams and Hundal, 7-5 enabling the  ‘World' team to rule the star-studded event sponsored by Camella Communities with Solar Sports, RPN-9, the Philippine Star and BusinessMirror as media partners.
“They (Team World) are more experienced in team competition, especially the Americans and the Europeans, who have the Mosconi Cup,” said Pagulayan. “We'll try to bounce back next time.”
Senator Villar, who led the awarding ceremonies, praised the locals' gallant stand. He said “I'm very proud of our team for showing courage and a big fighting heart. I will continue to support our players and the whole Philippine billiards for this is one of the fields that consistently brings pride to our nation.”
The Filipinos did not go home empty-handed as they received the consolation prize of $20,000.