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Orcollo takes crack at 2nd crown

 Dennis Orcollo

MANILA, Philippines -  Dennis Orcollo yielded only seven racks through three matches in another brilliant performance that sent him to a second straight finals of the World Pool Masters at the Block Atrium of SM North EDSA Mall in Quezon City yesterday.

Orcollo got back at two-time Chinese tormentor Fu Jianbo, 8-4, to get a shot at back-to-back Masters crown against five-time champion Ralf Souquet of Germany.

Souquet, a former world top-ranked player, topped Englishman Darren Appleton, 8-7, in a hill-hill battle, completing an amazing comeback from 2-6 down.

“I was nervous playing Fu Jianbo. We’d met in two occasions before and he beat me on both matches,” said Orcollo. “I’m just happy I pulled this one that gave me the chance to retain the title.”

Orcollo rode the momentum of stirring wins over Malta’s Tony Drago and Chinese-Taipei’s Chang Jung-lin in the earlier rounds to snap Jianbo’s own hot run.

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Among Jianbo’s recent feats was a triumphant finish in the 2010 World Cup of Pool over at Robinson’s Place-Manila.

Fu, with longtime partner Li Hewen, took the WPC crown, beating the Filipino pair of Orcollo and Roberto Gomez in the finale.

But Orcollo hardly gave Fu an opening in their Masters rematch.

The world top-ranked player won the lag, ran out the first and made it 4-0 before losing a rack, with Fu pocketing a tough jump shot for a breakthrough.

Fu, however, enjoyed just a temporary relief as he committed an illegal break on the next rack.

Orcollo banked the 2-ball and went on to stretch his lead to 5-1.

He then coasted to 6-1 before committing an illegal break that allowed the Chinese back in business on the green-felt table.

Fu poised a rally in winning the next two racks but his fightback faded away quickly with another illegal break.

The two players, both playing soft break, split the next two racks before Fu eventually kissed his hopes goodbye as he scratched off the break on the 12th.

Right after the Masters, Solar Sports and Matchroom Sports next stage the World Cup of Pool starting today in the same venue.

Orcollo teams up with Ronnie Alcano while Efren “Bata” Reyes and Francisco “Django” Bustamante carry on with their partnership, slugging it out with the world’s best and finest in a tough battle for the prestigious team championship.

The World Cup of Pool, which has been won by the Reyes-Bustamante pair twice, runs from today through Sunday, staking a total cash pot of $250,000.

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