Zerna Upsets Alcano; Rules UAE Tilt

Ricky “Bai” Zerna pulled the rug from under former double world champion Ronnie Alcano with a surprisingly lopsided 13-3 victory in the finals to crown himself champion of the Knightshot Champions 9-Ball Challenge Wednesday night at the Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

The 25-year-old Zerna, a member of the fast-rising Negros Billiards Stable of businessman Jonathan Sy got off to a strong start and never allowed Alcano any room to recover en route to pocketing the $10,000 top purse in this weeklong tournament.

“I'm very proud of myself for winning this tournament. It's very special to me because I won it at the expense of one of the world's best player,” said Zerna, whose campaign was also supported by the Billiards Managers and Players Association of the Philippines (BMPAP) and Senate President Manny Villar's Villards: Tulong sa Pagsulong ng Philippine Sports.

Before thumping Alcano, Zerna outlasted stablemate Jarry Pelayo, 12-10, in the semifinals. He had also beaten former Asian Games gold medalist Gandy Valle, 11-6, in the quarterfinals.

Alcano, who was looking snap a long title drought, made it to the championship match after downing Middle East-based compatriot Alan Cuartero, 12-9, in their own Final Four showdown.