World 8-Ball Pool Championships Down To Two

Dennis Orcollo

When we began play last week the field in Fujairah consisted of sixty-four hopefuls. As of today that number had been reduced to just eight and six of them would be sent home today. The first task was the quarter-finals from which only four players could emerge.

First to fall was Nick Van Den Berg of the Netherlands who was simply overwhelmed by the aggressive play of his countryman Niels Feijen. Feijen seemed unable to approach the table without running out. Spending most of his time in his chair, Van Den Berg experienced a bitter afternoon and was eliminated 10-2.

Two more countrymen, Ronnie Alcano and Elvis Casalang, were next on stage. Alcano, the current World 9-Ball Champion, never seemed in doubt as his precise cue ball control guided him to an apparently easy victory, 10-4, over his friend. As he exhibited in Manila this past fall when winning the 9-Ball title, a huge key to Alcano's game was his break shot. He pocketed balls and almost always sent the cue ball to a clear spot on the table for his opening shot. With those two matches complete the line-up for the first semi-final was set. It would be Alcano vs. Feijen.

Our next quarter-final match was between Dennis Orcollo of the Phillipines and Marcus Chamat of Sweden. Chamat has had a wonderful week, taking down the great Efren Reyes 10-4 only the day before. But Dennis Orcollo seems incapable of feeling pressure and he took full advantage of any opportunities presented him by Chamat and got out to an early lead, 7-4. But Chamat never gives up. He is as tenacious as any bulldog and he soon charged back to tie the score at 7 games apiece and with momentum clearly on his side. Orcollo seemed not to notice and took the next three games on the trot and won the set 10-7.

The last quarter-final was between Thomas Engert of Germany and Joven Bustamante of the Philippines. This one stayed close in the early stages but then Bustamante took better advantage of the break and began stretching out his margin. When it concluded Bustamante had earned his berth in the semi-finals with an impressive 10-6 win over the strong German player.

Now we were down to the semi-final matches and only four players. The winner of each semi-final would earn the right to play in the final match. First up wee Ronnie Alcano (PHI) and Niels Feijen (NED). Feijen, who had just dominated his opponent in the last match, could never get a good roll going and the power of Alcano's cue could not find an error. In the end, we have to say Alcano easily ruled the match and elivered a marvelous 10-4 victory to gain his right to play another day.

The final pairing of the day was the match between Joven Bustamante and Dennis Orcollo, another battle between two Filipinos. This one started out close but soon the experience of Orcollo proved too much for Bustamante. In the end Orcullo fired his way into the final match against Alcano with a 10-5 blistering and is now close to his dream, that of a World Title.

Credit must be given to the excellent tournament staff who have kept this event running on time all week long. The staff of local referees never failed in their task. Led by two EPBF referees brought here by WPA Sports Director Thomas Overbeck, they all did a marvelous job of being invisible until needed and they never missed a call all week. Our hats are off to this fine team, a group that is rarely recognized but without whom these World Championships would be impossible to run.

Following are the results of play on Wednesday and the pairings for play on Thursday.

Results From Day Six

Niels Feijen d. Nick Van Den Berg 10-2
Ronnie Alcano d. Elvis Casalang
Dennis Orcollo d. Marcus Chamat
Joven Bustamante d. Thomas Engert

Ronnie Alcano d. Niels Feijen 10-4
Dennis Orcollo d. Joven Bustamante 10-5

Final Match Pairing for Thursday
Ronnie Alcano vs. Dennis Orcollo