Sunday, November 30

Team World VS Team Philippines showdown.

The long awaited team event finally happened. Philippines had compiled the best of the best and now boldly challenging the World team to a shoot-out. I can't blame them though, they had plenty of arsenal. Seriously, They could have picked any of their top 16 players and still have about the same fire-power.

Team Philippines: Efren Reyes, Fransisco Bustamante, Alex Pagulayan, Ronnie Alcano, Dennis Orcollo, Lee Van Corteza, Warren Kiamco and Roberto Gomez.

Team World: Rodney Morris, Thorsten Hohmann, Wu Chia-Ching, Yang Chin-sung, Djan Bo Fu, Charlie Williams, Raj Hundal and myself.

We started out strong, winning 3 out of first 4. On the second day, I started with a victory over Dennis Orcollo.

Then Team Philippines started pulling back. We managed to hold the lead by a narrow margin after day two, 5-4.

After trailing for the first two days, the filipinos charged to a 8-6 lead, winning four out of the first 5 games. Francisco “Django” Bustamante edged Hundal, 7-6; Reyes subdued Morris, 7-5; the foursome of Bustamante, Pagulayan, Orcollo and Gomez prevailed over the quartet of Hundal, Yang Ching-shun, Mika Immonen and Wu, 7-6; and Gomez blasted Yang, 7-3, for an 8-6 lead in a race-to-nine duel.

Then Charlie williams against Dennis Orcollo in the singles. It was a race to 9, so we could not afford to loose. Charlie fought his heart out and came trough with a 7-5 victory.

The team of Efren “Bata” Reyes, Ronnie Alcano, Warren Kiamco and Lee Van Corteza lost a 5-2 advantage and fell to the squad of Rodney Morris, Williams, Thorsten Hohmann and Fu Jianbo, 7-6, paving the way for the hill-to-hill battle.

As the draw would have it, again it was a four on four for the title. I had to sit in the sidelines, probably more nervous there. the final four for World Team consisted of Morris, Hundal, Williams and Wu. The Filipinos had the squad of Pagulayan, Gomez, Kiamco and Orcollo.

It looked as though the thought of a loss had finally creeped in the Filipinos minds and the pressure was adding up. We had a great momentum after being down. Specially Wu came with some fantastic shots to put us in the "drivers seat". It was 6-5 for Team world when Alex was breaking to make it hill-hill, but had a dry break. Then even the usually emotionless Wu was practically giggling and started wiping down his cue in excitement for the run-out. The last three shots of the tournament were by no means easy. Wu was shooting a tough 7 on the back rail bridged over the 8, Hundal speared a long 8 from the back rail, and Williams deservingly clinched the title with a 9 near the head spot, again cueball near the rail by the side.

I jumped over the railing in joy, and the whole team was jumping around in disbelief. It was a comeback to remember!


Monday, November 24

"We are the Champions, my friend..."


I finally got another monkey off my back. I Dismantled Ronnie Alcano in the Finals of the All Japan Championships..hmmmm. Was it 11-2 or 11-3? Anyways, It took the 5th try within 10 years to finally snap it off!!!! I am so happy right now.

I hope to update you soon with more details, now I gotta go party!!!

Thanks for all the support, you are the best.


Wednesday, November 19

Korea is history, now let's focus on All Japan Championships

I ended up losing to Thorsten Hohmann in the finals of the Asian 10-ball Championships in Seoul, Korea.

My road to the finals wasn't too tough except of one hill-hill match that I playd against Kamihagi from Japan.
He had a chance to win after I came dry on the break at 8-8, but missed a tough long one-ball. He left it
semi-tough fro me and I made it. I then had to play a billiard off the two into the 10 and made it. whew!

I guess I was just a little out of focus in the finals. I missed some key positions and a few easy shots as well.
Thorsten on the other hand was playing great and also getting some good rolls on some kick-shots that I left
him. Or if he missed I was hooked. That's the way it goes sometimes. When you play good, you deserve good
rolls and visualize things you may not be conscious off.

All in all combination of bad play bad rolls-good play good rolls added to a 8-1 victory for Toasti. Good job.

PS. I think I might have been a little cocky going into the match. I really wanted to make it three in a row...I got
punished for that. As I should. It's the wrong focus.

Wednesday, November 12

IPT PRO-AM and off to Asian 10-ball Championships in Korea

I was able to win that fluky format IPT Pro-Am thing in Chicago, and the very next day we had to fly to Seoul, Korea.
Check out updates and probably they have some video clips for you.

I was travelling with Rodney "Rocket" Morris, which made it easier to kill time on that 14-hour flight.

Anyways, luckily we caught a "bye" first round, so we didn't have to play until the following day after arrival.
Even then, my first opponent had read the chart wrong so I also got a forfeit. Hey, no complains.

I managed to win my 3rd round just now. Next I will play a Japanese guy. I have to win just that to get in the final
eight. Then its a single knock-out.

The other top seeds include Thorsten Hohmann, Charlie Williams, Hayato Hijigata and there is also a few players from
Philippines. It seems like the turn-out of Korean top Pros was disappointing. There was a lot of empty slots in that 64
men Double Elimination format. Dragon Promotions had expected to fill that chart.

Good thing the tables are pretty tight and we are playing 10-ball. Nobody will run more than 2-3 racks here. More
strategy involved.

See you again soon

Tuesday, November 4

Yes we can...

Congratulations to the people of America for electing Barack Obama for President.

I watched and stayed up all night in awe of the new spirit that has touched this nation.
It touched me too. It will effect my life as well.

I am ever so grateful that on this same historic day I find myself a legal resident of this
country of restored hope for a better future. I really feel like I have so much more to look
forward to living in America.

Now we once again may call it a land of opportunities. Or perhaps time will tell. But I do feel
a sense of relief all over the world.

God Bless America!