Dennis Orcullo had his worries coming into the 8-ball finals of the 2011 Southeast Asian Games against hometown bet Ricky Yang.
Whatever his feelings were, it clearly didn’t show as Orcullo trounced Yang, 7-2, Monday to claim the gold medal in his favorite event where he had already won a world title in the past.
“Malaki ang respeto ko sa kalaban ko,” said Orcullo in an interview with AKTV’s Dennis Principe. “Alam kong mabigat siyang kalaban at nananalo rin siya sa Pilipinas. Kaya mayroon din akong worries.”
It didn’t look that way at the beginning as Orcullo opened with two consecutive racks to take an early lead. Yang won the third rack but sat out for the most part of the match because of the Filipino’s flawless shooting.
“Binibigay ko lang ang best ko sa bawat tira ko,” said Orcullo.
Francisco “Django” Bustamante, head coach of the national team, also noticed that Orcullo didn’t show any hint of anxiety prior to the match.
“Ngumingiti pa siya habang nag-papraktis,” Bustamante told Principe during the television broadcast.
Orcullo won the gold after settling for the bronze in the 9-ball singles of the 2009 Southeast Asian Games. But he retained the Philippines’ supremacy in the 8-ball event after Ronnie Alcano captured the gold in Laos.
After gaining a bye in the first round, Orcullo defeated Chang Keng Kwang of Singapore, 7-5, in the quarterfinals before Muhammad Zulfikri of Indonesia, 7-4, in the semifinals.