Pagulayan trips Liu as Team PH ties AsiaBy Roy Luarca
Philippine Daily Inquirer
FILIPINO-CANADIAN Alex Pagulayan subdued China’s Liu Haitao, 9-6, to win their Philippine Bigtime Billiards (PBB) Face-Off Series duel late Saturday at the Pagcor Airport Casino in Parañaque City.
The 35-year-old Pagulayan, the 2004 world 9-ball champion, allowed Liu to threaten at 7-6 before taking the next two racks to seal the match and enable Team Philippines to tie Team Asia, 4-4, in the series jointly organized by the Mega Sports World and BRKHRD Corp.
Pagulayan, a triple-gold medalist in billiards and snooker in the 2005 Manila Southeast Asian Games, pocketed the $5,000 winner’s purse while Liu settled for $2,500 in the match aired live over Solar Sports, Sky Channel 70 and Destiny Channel 34 and through live streaming at www.megasportsworld.com and www.philippinebigtimebilliards.com.
“The ball rolled in my favor in the end game,” said Pagulayan, one of the top players of Puyat Sports, who raced to a 6-3 lead over Liu.
On March 31, Taiwanese Chang Yu-long bested Filipino Ronnie Alcano, 9-7, to give Team Asia a 4-3 lead over Team Philippines.
Other matches saw Francisco “Django” Bustamante trounce Taiwanese Yang Ching-sun on March 24 and Carlo Biado rout Taiwanese Yang Ching-sun, 9-3, on March 17.
In the series opener on Feb. 18, Taiwanese Ko Pin-yi beat pool maestro Efren “Bata” Reyes, 9-4. Bustamante exacted revenge for his bosom buddy, 9-7, on Feb. 25, but Taiwanese Chang Jun-lin gave Team Asia back the lead with a 9-7 win over Lee Vann Corteza on March 3.
Chang made it a double when he nipped Dennis Orcollo, 9-8, on March 3, but Biado countered with a 9-3 romp over Yang Ching sun, 9-3, on March 17.
The PBB Face-Off series resumes on April 21 with a match pitting Liu and Orcollo on April 21. Taiwanese Fong Pang-chao and Corteza collide on April 28.