World No. 1 Orcollo Aims to End Taiwan’s Guinness Streak

Dennis Orcollo

Dennis Orcollo seeks to continue his hot streak as the reigning world No.1 when he mixes it up with 23 other top Asian cue artists in the fourth leg of the six-city Guinness 9-Ball Tour that kicks off on July 25 to 27 at the Velocity@Novena Square in Singapore.

Fresh from winning the inaugural World 9 Ball Open in Qatar this month, Orcollo, playing under the banner of Billiards Managers and Players Association of the Philippines (BMPAP), will be joined in the five-man Philippine squad by world number six Joven "The Shark" Bustamante, Genting leg runner-up Antonio "Ga-Ga" Gabica, Philippine Junior Pool champion Jericho Bañares and 2004 World Pool Champion Alex "The Lion" Pagulayan. The Filipinos last claimed victory in 2006.
"I feel great about joining the Guinness 9 Ball Tour again and being ranked world number one definitely adds to my self confidence. At the same time, it gives me pressure because I know that people are watching, and I have to live up to my being world number one," said Orcollo, fondly called Robocop in the pool world.
]"All the participants in the Guinness 9 Ball Tour are good and the players from Chinese-Taipei obviously dominate this tour, but wherever I go I do my best and focus on winning. I want to bring honour to my country, so it will be a challenge to defeat the players from Chinese-Taipei this leg," added the petite Orcollo, who hails from Bislig, Surigao del Sur.

Orcollo also topped the First San Miguel Beer-Quezon City 9-Ball Championship and the Japan 9-Ball Open last March.
Orcollo previously joined the second leg in Penang, Malaysia, but was ousted in the group stage by Taiwanese rival Ching-Shun Yang who also beat him in the their one-one-one encounter last year organized by ESPN STAR Sports.
Defending Grand Finals champion Jung-Lin Chang of Chinese-Taipei is still the man to beat as he conquered the 2008 Tour's first three legs in Chinese-Taipei, Penang and Genting Highlands.

The seemingly unbeatable Chang now holds the Tour record for most consecutive legs won with four titles, including last year's Finals. Chang, who surpassed the legendary Efren Reyes' record, spearheads the dominant Chinese-Taipei contingent, which is comprised of 2007 Singapore leg winner Ching-Shun Yang, 2008 Penang leg runner-up Hung-Hsiang Wang and 2005 WPA World Pool Champion Chia-Ching Wu.

Players from host Singapore, Malaysia, Korea, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, India and Indonesia are also expected to get a crack at the title and earn valuable ranking points. The 24 participants will be assigned to eight groups following the draw that will be conducted on July 24 at Velocity.

At stake in the Singapore leg is a total prize purse of US$50,000 as well as points to qualify for the Tour's Grand Final in Jakarta, which will feature the Top Ten players in the overall Order of Merit. The winners of each leg will get to earn US$15,000 while the Grand Final Champion will pocket US$36,000.

Following Singapore, the Tour will have its penultimate leg in Guangzhou in September before heading to Jakarta for the Grand Finals in October.

File photo courtesy of Diana Hoppe - Pool Pics by Hoppe