Yang Beats Alcano in Shanghai Guinness Tour Stop

Ching-Shun Yang

Reigning Double World Champion Ronato "Volcano" Alcano failed to end the Philippine's drought when he lost to eventual winner Taiwanese Ching-Shun Yang, 12-10, in the fifth and final leg of the Guinness 9-ball tour late Sunday in Shanghai, China.

Yang surged to a 5-1 lead before Alcano rallied with six straight racks to take a 7-5 lead in this race-to-11, alternate break format. Yang then clustered another three straight racks to seize an 8-7 lead before Alcano managed to the tie the game at 8 all in the 16th frame.

Alcano won the 19th rack for a 10-9 lead that forced the match to race-to-12 since a player must win by a two rack advantage. From then, the Taiwanese never looked back by clustering three straight racks for a 12-10 victory.

The consolation for Alcano is that he unknowingly towed his compatriot and current Philippine National champion Negros Billiard Stable (NBS) ace Lee Vann "The Slayer" Corteza back into the Top Ten on the tour's points list.

Alcano bested Korea's lone representative Ryu Seung Woo, 11 – 6, in their semifinals match which resulted in a four-way tie for the 10th and last berth to the Grand Finale on August 31 to September 2 in Bali, Indonesia.

Tied for tenth together with Japan's Naoyuki Oi and Singapore's Chan Keng Kwang with 100 total tour points in the Order of Merit, a finals entry for Ryu would have meant the final slot would be awarded to the Korean as he would be assured of 50 points and a total tally of 110. Now, with the Ryu bowing out, Corteza gets to claim the last Top Ten spot based on his superior racks won average against Oi, Chan and Ryu.

Yang, who beat local ace Fu Jian Bo in the other semi-final match, secured the top prize of US$15,000 and his third tour leg crown. He had already won the Kaoshiung and Singapore legs to earn a total of 225 points and first place in the order tour of merit. Alcano, meanwhile finished with 160 points.

Other Filipino entries were Roberto Gomez with 90 points, and Jeffrey de Luna with 60 points.

After the Shanghai leg, both Alcano and Corteza will carry the country's colors when the 2007 US$50,000 winner-take all International Challenge of Champions gets underway on August 9 to 10 at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut in USA.

In last year's edition of the tour, the Philippines swept the four legs behind pool maestro Efren "Bata" Reyes, who won twice, and countrymen Rodolfo Luat and Ramil Gallego who took a leg each.

Bata Reyes and former world no.1 Francisco "Django" Bustamante, both San Miguel Beer endorsers, failed to compete in the Guinness tour. Guinness is a direct competitor of San Miguel Beer.