Dennis Orcullo has finally ended his long drought.
The reigning Player of the Year won his first WPA ranking tournament this year following a masterful win over Lu Hui Chan of Chinese Taipei, 11-9, in the China Open 9-Ball tournament Sunday in Shanghai.
Orcullo started the year as the world No. 1 player but fell several notches to No. 11 in the WPA rankings because of his slump. His latest win will boost his ranking, and he is likely to move up to the top five.
He earlier won the US Open 10-Ball as well as the Derby Challenge, but those were not WPA ranking events.
“Magagaling na yung mga Europeans and Asians, but Dennis is the only Pinoy so far who is winning consistently,” said Perry Mariano, the manager of Orcullo.
It was a tough match for the Filipino, who squandered a 9-3 lead and allowed the Taiwanese to get back into the game.
A former World 8-Ball champion, Orcullo made his way to the final round by winning over Chang Yu Lung of Chinese Taipei in the semis, 11-9.
Orcullo didn’t start his China Open campaign on a winning note, losing his opening match in the elimination round, but bounced back strong in his next matches.
The Filipino cue artist demolished local bet Fu Jianbo, 11-4, in the last 32.
Orcullo followed it up with tough victories over two more Chinese bets. He survived Dang Jinhu, 11-9, then outlasted Han Haoxiang, 11-8, to enter the semifinal round.