In a nerve-racking finals at the 888.com World Cup of Pool in London England, the Philippine pair of Dennis Orcollo and Lee Van Corteza held their ground and beat the Dutch team of Niels Feijen and Nick Van Den Berg, 10-8, to win the World Pool Championship trophy.
The Filipino pair battled to an exchange of leads early, took a four-rack advantage before foiling the furious rally of Feijen and Van den Berg to capture the six-day 9-Ball event and the top purse of $60,000 (P2,580,000).
The final rack was a tense affair for both the Pinoys and the Dutch team of Niels Feijen and Nick van den Berg.
Leading 9-8, Dennis Orcollo broke dry, and it seemed that the Dutch could force a final-rack decider. But van den Berg muffed a four ball down the rail, ceding the table to the Philippines.
Orcollo played poor position in sinking the seven ball, leaving a difficult thin cut on the eight for Corteza, whose form had been shaky all throughout the final.
But the Davaoeño displayed no nerves at all in draining the shot and leaving his partner with shape on the nine ball. Orcollo knocked it in, sending the dozens of Filipinos at York Hall into rapture.
For Orcollo, it was sweet redemption after he and Roberto Gomez lost to Li Hen-Wen and Fu Jianbo in the 2010 finals. This time, he teamed up with Corteza to achieve perhaps his biggest achievement in a team-competition event.
“I reached the final of the World Cup in Manila in 2010 but we came up short so it is fantastic to win here in London,” Orcollo said in an interview with event organizer Matchroom Sport.
“I would love it for me and Lee Van to defend the World Cup in the Philippines next year as it would be a dream come true to win it again in our home country,” added Orcollo, whose feat came on the first year the tournament was held outside Manila after four straight editions.
Orcollo and Corteza, ranked third and fourth in the rankings of the World Pool-Billiards Association, made it to the Race-to-10 final by beating Chang Jun-Lin and Ko Pin-Yi of Taiwan, 9-7, in the semis.
This is the third title for the Philippines in the eight editions of the team 9 Ball event. Efren Reyes and Francisco Bustamante lifted the cup in 2006 and 2009.
Photo Credit : JP Parmentier and Matchroom Sport