Monday, July 28

Team Mezz News: Alex wins the Singapore leg of Guinness Tour

Hi, I know its not about me but as a distributor of Mezz cues in the US I am proud to say that our team has notched yet another impressive victory. Another detail not mention in the press release below: Alex was playing with his brand new Mezz Limited edition-Alex series. He must have felt comfortable to say the least!


2004 World Pool champion Alex Pagulayan ended the Chinese Taipei stranglehold of the Guinness 9 Ball Tour 2008 as he defeated compatriot and current world number one Dennis Orcollo, 10 - 6, in the All-Filipino finals of the Singapore leg of the Guinness 9 Ball Tour 2008 at Velocity@Novena Square.

Pagulayan's victory earned him the top prize of $15,000 top prize while Orcollo, who entered the tournament as a wild card bet, settled for $6,000.

The Chinese Taipei players previously dominated the Tour as they swept all six legs last year and this year's first three legs, which were all won by Chang Jung-Lin.

Chang was booted out of the competition by Orcollo in the group stage last Friday.

The last time a Filipino won a title on the Tour organized by ESPN STAR Sports was in 2006 when Efren "Bata" Reyes beat Ricky Yang in Jakarta, Indonesia.

This also marks the first time since Lee Van Corteza defeated Francisco "Django" Bustamante in Manila in 2004 that two Filipinos battled for the crown.

Not counting an exhibition match in Guangzhou match in 2006, Pagulayan's victory gave the Philippines a 13 - 12 advantage over Chinese Taipei in the number of titles won since the Tour started in 2003. No other country has won on Tour.

Known for his comical antics, Pagulayan actually trailed Orcollo, 2 - 0, but seized control of the match as he won the next five consecutive racks. Orcollo managed to make the match interesting as he only trailed by two, 8 - 6, after capitalizing on a scratch by Pagulayan in the 14th rack.

However, the player known as the "Lion" had the final roar as he won the next three racks courtesy of another Orcollo dry break in the 15th rack and a scratch in the 17th to cap off his first victory on Tour.

"Everything went wrong for Dennis and all the rolls went my way. It's about time that we (the Philippines) won because the Taiwanese kept on winning all the legs since last year. It feels good and extraordinary to beat the number one player in the world," said an extremely giddy Pagulayan.

"Alex was really lucky and it seemed that he was motivated ever since the quarterfinals. I played my game, but sometimes it's all about the breaks of the game," revealed Orcollo.

The 30-year old Pagulayan earlier reached the Finals after a 9 - 6 triumph over 2005 World Pool champion Wu Chia Ching. Orcollo advanced following a scintillating 9 - 8 semi-final victory over Taiwanese Yang Ching-Shun.

Pagulayan dictated his semi-final match from the start as he established a comfortable 7 - 2 advantage following two dry breaks and miss on the pink four ball by Wu.

However, Pagulayan suffered a dry break in the 11th rack and missed a corner pocket shot in the 13th, allowing Wu to win the next four racks and make it 7 - 6. Wu had the break in the 14th rack, but an exchange of misses on the blue two ball turned possession over to Pagulayan as he cleaned the rack to stand on the hill.

Pagulayan then had a clean break and clinched the victory with a run-out of the 15th rack

Orcollo had a more dramatic finish in the final four.

Precariously ahead 7 - 5, the player dubbed as "Robocop" missed an attempt on the one ball blocked by the four ball, paving the way for Yang to claim three of the next four racks to make it hill-hill.

With the match and a place in the finals on the line, Orcollo displayed impressive composure as he had a clean break in the 17th rack, putting him in good position for a run-out. After pocketing the four-ball, the Surigao-native found himself in a very fortunate situation as the five-ball lined up right in front of the nine-ball, setting it up for a match-clinching combination. The Filipino ace then calmly hit the cue ball which struck the five-ball before bouncing against the nine-ball that fell into the corner pocket to the collective roar of the crowd.

Up for grabs in the Singapore leg was a total prize purse of US$50,000 as well as points to qualify for the Tour's Grand Final in Jakarta, which will feature the Top Ten players in the overall Order of Merit.

PS. Alex Pagulayan Limited edition series sold exclusively in the US by Mezz USA
For Orders or more information please contact me at

Saturday, July 5

Dennis Orcullo beats Nils Feijen 13-5 in the finals for the Qatar World Open title.

You can probably get more info about that in as soon as they update.

Final 32

I ended up playing De Luna again in the first elimination round. There seemed to be a lot of repeat matches in this particular tournament. For the record.

I started off strong gaining a 3-0 lead. Then the Pool gods started to smile on De Luna.

The referee had a really hard time racking the pool properly, which was in De Luna's favor. He really breaks the balls so hard that eventually at least one of the balls finds a pocket to go to. I on the other hand prefer a more accurate break which wasn't very rewarding in this case. It was almost funny how the rack spread. I think one the breaks I barely got three balls to touch a rail.

On top of having difficulties getting balls on the break I got rattled by the filipino crowd a bit. Some of them were cheering when I scratched or even missed. Its sometimes hard to fade when things are not going your way to begin with. I wish the crowd was more educated about this. Its one thing rooting for your countryman, but yelling "scratch!" even before the cue ball is in the pocket is outright rude and obnoxious.

I lost 11-6. So it was a disappointment.

Group Stage

I won my match to get to the final 32, It was exciting, I was up most of the time but Jeffrey De Luna caught up with me and tied 7-7. Then he played a safety but I was able to kick it in thanks to the mirror system. So I ended up winning 9-7.

The field here is like a world Championships, maybe even tougher because the concentration of quality is high and there are hardly any easy draws when it comes to the final 32.

Tuesday, July 1

Qatar Open

It seems a very big field but the only have 8 tournament tables. thats why It's just 1 match per day so far. Other than that I am resorting to watching Wimbledon on tv.
Its not really a tourist paradise here, Price of a beer in the hotel is around 9 dollars. It's hard to even catch a taxi on the street. . The other day when we were waiting for one it felt like standing next to an exhaust of a bus on Las Vegas strip in the afternoon sun. Though the sun had already set here.

The action is slowly under way here in Qatar. I won my first round yesterday morning against Ibica Putnik from Kroatia. Today I play in the afternoon 4 pm.

The Other Mezz team mates are also doing good. Marcus Chamat beat the red hot Taiwanese young Champion Kuo 9-7, Alex Pagulayan beat Archer 9-2(what a draw), and the Hijigata from Japan beat Ralf Souquet himself 9-6. Jeffrey De Luna also beat a Taiwanese representative 9-7. I will actually face him today

Actually I have to go play now, match starts in an hour and 10 min.

More of that later...