Billiards

Orcullo back as world No.1 in pool

Dennis Orcullo is back as the world’s top-ranked pool artist, thanks to his quarterfinal-round effort in the recent World Ten Ball Championship the Philippines hosted at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

Orcullo, known initially as Boy Surigao and then Robocop and at times the Money Game King, does not only hold the title as World 8-Ball champion, but also as world No. 1 according to the latest World Pool Billiard Association ranking.

Considered as the immediate heir apparent to Efren “Bata” Reyes and Django Bustamante, the most recognizable Filipino pool icons, Orcullo collared a decisive 600 points in that Last 8 finish at the World Ten Ball won by Dutch-Chinese Huidki See, enough for him to topple another Filipino, Antonio Lining, from the perch.

Orcullo has 1920 WPBA points to Lining’s 1805. Lining could only reach the double elimination group phase of the World Ten Ball and could only be rewarded a measly 60 points.

Remarkably, Filipino cue artists remain as the best in the world as three others got top-10 spots. Lee Van Corteza, a semifinalist also in the World Ten Ball , was sixth with 1446 points, followed by former double world champion Ronnie “The Volcano” Alcano with 1443 at seventh; and another former world No. 1 and reigning world 9-ball titlist Bustamante, with 1432 at eighth. Bustamante did not play in the World Ten Ball for the third consecutive year.

See’s World Ten Ball triumph made him the second Dutchman to pierce the top 10 at third place with 1497, with compatriot Nick van den Berg occupying No. 10 with 1335. Two Taiwanese are also up the table—Chang Jun Lin as joint third with See and Kuo Po-Cheng at fifth with 1472.

Canadian Jason Klatt, who has not won a title so far but has campaigned with modest finishes in all major WPBA events—World 8-, 9- and 10-Ball and the Philippine, China and Beijing Opens—was the “outsider in the top-10 at ninth with 1348.

Conspicuously nowhere near the top of the table was Reyes, who also was a no-show in the World Ten Ball and the Philippine Open.

The idol of practically every Filipino pool player and even most of the world’s best, the 56-year-old ranked 34th with only 827 points to show.

The other Filipinos who made the WPBA rankings were either title contenders, rising stars or unfamiliar names. Oliver Medenilla was 20th, Carlo Biado 25th, Roberto Gomez and Jeff de Luna 28th and 29th, Joven Alba 31st, Vicenancio Tanio 38th, Raymund Faron 43rd, Francisco Felicilda 46th,Marlon Manalo 54, Jundel Mazon 65th, Allan Cuartero 75th, Ramil Gallego 77th, Antonio Gabica 84th, Rodolfo Luat 87th, Demosthenes Pulpul and Jericho Banares joint 94th, Joven Bustamante and John Salazar joint 114th, and Israel Rota and Jonas Magpantay jointly at 127th.

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