Volcano Alcano Erupts in Korea Pro Tour Championship

Ronnie Alcano

The final day of the Brunswick KPT CHampionship started with the Women's Semi Finals with 17 year old Yuram Cha taking on Korea's #1 Sung Hyun Jung and on the MBC ESPN TV match USA's Tina Meraglio took on Korea's #2 player Bora Jung. Yuram Cha seemed to be holding her own against the veteran Jung, but let the lead slip as Sung Hyun moved to a 7-5 decision. Meraglio couldn't get anything going while Bora played her consistent game (trained by Korea's legendary Shin Young Park) to win 5-1 on the TV match.

Next the Men's Semi Finals started with Korea's last hopeful Young Hwa Jeong taking on Ronnie "Volcano" Alcano. Alcano took the lead 2-0, but then Jeong answered with 4 in a row. But the tide turned again and Alcano came back with 5 straight to win the match 7-4. The next TV match had Thorsten Hohmann taking on the red hot Hiroshi Takenaka. Hohmann couldnt get any shots off the 10-ball breaks, while Takenaka seemed to be rolling and he held Hohmann down 7-2 to advance to his 2nd finals in 2 weeks.

The women's finals was another all Korean shoot out showing once more the tremendous talent of women coming out of South Korea. Young 21 year old Bora Jung defeated the #1 Sung Hyun Jeong the last national KPT event finals, but could she stop her again? The match went 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, before Jeong pulled away when Jung scrathed off the 8 ball giving Jeong the match and also #1 status for the rankings for 2005.

The mens's finals went a little closer in the alternate break 10-Ball format. Alcano coasted to a quick 4-1 lead before Takenaka took advantage. Then at 4-2, Takenaka snapped the 10 on the break. Then Alcano made a break and run. Score 5-3. Takenaka again 10 on the break. Score 5-4. Alcano takes advantage of a Takenaka mistake to go on the hill 6-4. Takenaka makes the 10 ball again! 3 in a row, incredible! Alcano tried to shake off the amazement but loses his cue ball to let Takenaka tie the match 6-6 . THe last rack Alcano is visibly nervous at seeing Takenaka break again, but this time the 10-Ball doesnt move but Takenaka has an open table. But he goes for a flyer position shot and hooks himself on the 4 ball, kicks, but leaves Alcano an out and Alcano misses position on the 6 ball only to have it unexpectedly line up dead straight for a 10 ball combo. He lines up, takes a swing, and makes the 10 ball! Alcano then jostles and wiggles his shoulders and body in a funny nervous dance to show his happiness and jitterness to become the 1st ever Korea Pro Tour Championship winner and take home the $10,000 1st place prize.

At the KPT Year End AWards Banquet, players, fans, city officials, and industry members enjoyed a great feast and was treated to a special TV highlights of the past years matches put together by MBC ESPN. THen everyone was treated to a musical slide show of the entire year which was followed up by the presentation of the bonus money for rankings to the top 8 men and top 4 women on tour. The KPT Awards winners were:

KPT Person of the Year: Cindy Lee
PLayer of the Year: Young Hwa Jeong (men) Sung Hyun Jung(women)
Sportsman of the Year: Shin YOung Park(men) Bora Jung(women)
Rookie of the Year: Moon Ji Hyun (women) Kyung Sik (men)
Fan Favorite & Most Exciting Player: Rodney Morris
Best Dressed: Yun Mi Lim

File photo courtesy of Diana Hoppe - Pool Pics by Hoppe