On the third day, 2010 US Open Ten-Ball champion Lee Vann Corteza towered over the best of Philippine billiards in the culmination of the prestigious San Miguel Oktoberfest Beer Festival’s Nine-Ball Open Masters Category held recently at at the Resorts World Manila.
Corteza doused Dennis Orcullo’s attempt for last ditch rally and closed it 11-8 in the race to 11 after Orcullo, the World Pool-Billiard Association World Eight-ball champion and last year’s winner, failed to sink any ball in the break.
Corteza, who dominated 2010 World 9-Ball champion Francisco “Django” Bustamante 9-4 in the semi-finals, seized the momentum in the 16th game when he pocketed the 9-ball while shooting for no.4 in the upper right hand corner giving him the 9-7 lead.
Orcullo started strongly, leading 3-1 after the fourth rack. Then Lee won three consecutive games to snatch the lead. Orcullo tried to keep it close at 8-7 in the 15th until Corteza’s magnificent play in the 16th.
Corteza’s victory earned him Php350,000 but more than the money, he cherished the win because of the tournament’s prestige which attracted world-class Filipino pool players the likes of current World’s no. 3 Ronnie Alcano who lost to Corteza in the eliminations, no. 10 Antonio Lining, no. 14 Carlo Biado including World’s Woman no. 10 Rubelin Amit.
“Special itong panalo na ito dahil ang Pinoy pool players ay the best in the world,” Corteza said. “Matindi ang competition dito.”
Pool legend and World’s current no. 42 Efren “Bata” Reyes succumbed to Orcullo during the semis in a close 9-8 finish.
Meanwhile, Jomel Sultan of Angeles defeated Ruben Cuna of Davao 9-8 to capture the regional amateur division championship and bagged Php50,000.
The San Miguel Oktoberfest Beer Festival Nine-Ball Open is organized by beer market leader San Miguel Brewery Inc. as part of its annual Oktoberfest celebration, together with Puyat Sports in cooperation with Resorts World Manila.