Filipino-Canadian Alex Pagulayan received an early birthday gift after topping the Canadian Open 8-ball championship over the weekend at the Shooter Snooker and Sports Club in Ontario, Canada.
The former world 9-ball champion beat John Morra in the race-to-11 finals, 11-7, in winning his first ever Canadian 8-ball crown, coming exactly a week before Pagulayan turns 34.
A native of Cabagan, Isabela but now based in Canada, Pagulayan beat Morra’s father, Mario, in the loser’s bracket, 9-5, to advance to the championship match.
Earlier, the younger Morra relegated his father in the loser’s bracket after winning their `hot seat’ match, 9-3, as he booked himself a spot in the finals.
The victory came on the heels of Pagulayan’s earlier triumph in the Canadian 9-ball championship, which he won for the third time following a 15-9 win over Jason Klatt in the finals. That earned him a berth in the World 9-Ball tilt slated in Doha, Qatar two weeks from now.
Pagulayan also clinched the Canadian snooker title for the second straight year with a 6-3 triumph over Tom Finstad.
But his streak of wins came to an end when the younger Morra eliminated him in the run for the Canadian Open 10-ball crown, beating the Fil-Canadian by the score of 10-7.
Just last month, Pagulayan finished third in the US Open 10-Ball Championship held at the Riviera Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Dennis Orcollo won the event over Francisco `Django’ Bustamante, completing a 1-2-3 finish for Filipino players.