Alex Pagulayan and American Shane Van Boening will dispute the first title slot from the winner’s bracket even as Efren (Bata) Reyes and Dennis Orcollo arranged another duel for the right to stay alive in the loser’s row of the 37th US Open 9-Ball championship Saturday at the Norfolk Convention Center in Virginia.
Pagulayan, the Filipino-Canadian who won this event in 2005, beat Reyes, 11-5, while Van Boening downed Ronnie Alcano, 11-8, Friday to remain unbeaten in the $175,000 tournament offering $25,000 to the champion.
Reyes, who also won this event in 1994, went on to oust Alcano, 11-9, in the loser’s bracket and set up a second —and knockout—encounter against Orcollo, who lost to Bata in their sixth round match, 11-7.
Under the double elimination format, the loser of the Pagulayan-Van Boening match and the winner of the Reyes-Orcollo duel will tangle for the right to nail the second title slot. The championship is a race-to-13 affair.
As things stand, a Filipino will be shooting for the title and it could even be an all-PH affair if Pagulayan beats Van Boening and the American also bows to either Reyes or Orcollo.
After losing to the 58-year-old Reyes, Orcollo remained in contention by ousting compatriot Jose “Amang” Parica, 11-4. Parica, now 63, earlier fell to Van Boening, 11-5, after beating Jayson Shaw of the US, 11-10, in the sixth round.
Before losing to Reyes, Alcano crushed Niels Feijen of the Netherlands, 11-5, and Chang Jung-lin of Chinese-Taipei, 11-7.
The PH campaign is backed by Billiards Managers and Players Association of the Philippines (BMPAP), Puyat Sports, Bugsy Promotions, Negros Billiards Stable, Hermes Sports Bar and Malungai Life Oil.