DENNIS Orcollo and Lee Van Corteza brought the World Cup of Pool title back to the Philippines after trouncing the Dutch pair of Neils Feijen and Nick Van den Berg in the race-to-10 final in London early Monday morning (Manila time).
The Filipino pair won it by a score of 10-8, winning the last two racks to put away what until then had been a tight contest.
They became the third Filipino duo to win the annual single-elimination tournament for doubles teams in 9-Ball competition after legends Efren `Bata’ Reyes and Francisco `Django’ Bustamante won the inaugural event in 2006 and then repeated in 2009.
The Filipinos won the top prize of US$60,000 as they topped the field of 32 teams from 31 countries.
For Orcollo, the victory was a huge redemption after reaching the championship match of the tournament in 2010 with partner Roberto Gomez, only to lose to the Chinese tandem of Li He-wen and Fu Jian-bo, 10-5.
“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 told Matchroompool.com after the win.
“I would love it for me and Lee Vann 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.”
For his part, Corteza said, “Representing my country is such a big honor for me and I’m very thankful and proud to have won the World Cup of Pool for the Philippines.”
The two pool champions likewise credited the support given them by the Filipino community in London.
“The fans here were why we won. There was a lot of pressure and things became very difficult, but the Filipino community in London who supported us throughout really helped us through,” added Orcollo, the former world No. 1.
On the way to the championship match, Orcollo and Corteza beat the Chinese Taipei pair of Chang Jung-lin and Ko Pin-yi, 9-7, in the semis.
In the quarterfinals, they routed the Hungarian duo of Miko Balazs and Gabor Solymosi, 9-1.
Feijen and Van den Berg arranged a title showdown with the Filipino duo after turning back the Finnish partnership of Mika Immonen and Patri Makkonen in the other semifinals pairing, 9-4.