Valle advances at Villar Cup

Gandy Valle

DAVAO CITY – Former champion and top hometown bet Gandy Valle leaned on his vaunted defensive prowess to repulse Carlo Biado, 10-8, to advance into the finals of the First Senate President Manny Villar Cup Davao Leg yesterday at the jampacked Atrium of Gaisano Mall here.

The win put the 31-year-old Valle at the threshold of becoming the first two-time winner of this prestigious island-hopping pool series presented by Villiards: Tulong sa Pagsulong ng Philippine Sports in partnership with the Billiards Managers and Players Association of the Philippines (BMPAP) and sponsored by Camella Communities.

“I'm very happy to go this far in this very tough field,” said Valle, who won the Villar Cup Cebu Leg last June.

“The pressure of playing in front of my fellow Davaoenos is so big, and I'm very glad I was able to handle it. I just hope I could continue to do so in the finals, and I'll give my best to win the Villar Cup and dedicate my victory to my kababayans,” added the stalwart of the star-studded Bugsy Promotions of businessman Perry Mariano.

He will face 2007 World Pool runner-up Roberto Gomez in the race-to-11 finals slated to be played last night.

Gomez upended reigning world no.1 Dennis Orcollo, 10-7, in the other Final Four match to likewise move within a win of ruling this topnotch three-day event supported by Puyat Sports, Bugsy Promotions, Negros Billiards Stable and Gaisano Mall.

Valle, who trounced stablemate Joven Bustamante, 9-5, in the quarterfinals Friday night, romped off to a strong start, winning four of the match's first five racks.

But his attempt to go four racks up failed as he missed a relatively easy shot of the red-3 in the sixth frame, which gave Biado a chance to recover.

Biado did, and the 24-year-old pride of La Union, who was the runner-up in the Bulacan Leg last month, pocketed four straight racks to go up, 5-4.

A seesaw battle ensued with both players protecting their breaks until the 17th frame, when Valle stole Biado's break to reach the hill first at 9-8.

Valle's break of the next rack resulted in a difficult layout and the two players traded riveting safety shot to the amusement of the close to 7,000 crowd until Biado's two-cushion shot missed the red-3 by a hairline, giving Valle a ball-in-hand, and he successfully sank a 3-9 combination to close out the match and celebrate the victory that moved him closer to the P300,000 top purse.

Before beating Orcollo, Gomez also scored an upset triumph over former double world champion Ronnie Alcano, 9-7, in the quarterfinals.

Orcollo made it to the semifinals after posting a thrilling 9-8 victory over pool legend Efren “Bata” Reyes.

Biado, on the other hand, entered the Final Four by trouncing fellow Bugsy boy Benjie Guevarra, 9-5.