GENERAL SANTOS CITY (December 17) – The tandem of Romeo Silvano and Jordan Legaspi twice came from behind to catch up with their Taiwanese opponents before clinching the doubles title in the US$100,000 2nd Manny Pacquiao 10-Ball International Tournament held at SM City here.
With the game on the line, Taiwanese Hsu Kai Lun scratched the cue ball on the 21st rack of the race-to-11 finals which the Filipinos took advantage for a thrilling 11-10 win.
It was the only time the Filipinos led but it was for the US$ 40,000 champions’ purse.
A dejected Cheng Yu Hsuan, who also scratched the cue ball during his break in the 19th rack, said he was depressed and blamed himself for the miscue. They were then ahead 10-8 and would have clinched the crown if they won in their break.
Hsu blankly stared on the table thinking of the opportunity that slipped their hands after Silvano closed out the match.
The Taiwanese pair raced to a 4-0 and 6-2 leads before the Filipinos knotted the match at 6-6.
They were one rack of winning the title, 10-7, but Silvano holed a difficult bank shot of the 2-ball to clean-up and won the 18th rack.
The Filipinos proceeded to win the next four racks to disappoint the pair of 26-year old Taiwanese.
Philboxing’s Dong Secuya said the turning point of the match was the magical shot of Silvano of the 2-ball in the 18th rack that nullified the safety shot of the Taiwanese.
It was a fitting triumph for Silvano and Legaspi who ousted the defending doubles titlists Jeffrey de Luna and Jeffrey Ignacio in the quarterfinals.
Legaspi was teary eyed when interviewed by reporters after their riveting finals victory.
Efren ‘Bata’ Reyes, who watched the finals from the sidelines, said the tournament hosted and sponsored by Rep. Manny Pacquiao yielded many young Filipino talents in the game he made popular in the country.
“Lalo na sa Mindanao, ang daming magagaling,” Reyes said.(Specially in Mindanao, there are plenty of good billiard players)
Reyes and his partner Francisco ‘Django’ Bustamante lost in the Round of 32.
But Reyes earlier crowned himself the singles champion with breathtaking 11-10 triumph over Demosthenes Pulpul in the championship match.
Rep. Pacquiao and his doubles partner Ronie Alcano reached the round of 16 but lost to Oliver Medenilla and Raymond Faraon 9-4.
Medenilla and Faraon however fell to Hsu and Cheng in the quarterfinals, 6-9.