Corteza bags US Open 10-ball title

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino cue artist Lee Van “The Slayer” Corteza edged Chinese Hi-Wen Lo, 13-12, to rule the 2010 US Open 10-ball Championship at the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).
“Winning a tournament wherein you have to compete against the world's bests players is a very big accomplishment, and I'm very happy for this win,” said Corteza, the top player of Jonathan Sy’s Negros Billiard Stable (NBS).
“I got my confidence after winning against Van Boening (Shane),” said Corteza, who defeated the American, 9-8, in their loser’s side encounter to take the last finals spot.

Aside from getting the top prize of $20,000, the victory improved Corteza’s ranking to No. 5 based on the latest rankings released by the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPBA).
His surge in the world rankings was spurred by his back-to-back international titles. He captured the 1st Annual Hard Times-Mezz Cues 10-Ball Open title in Bellflower, Los Angeles, California two weeks ago.
Lo, on the other hand, received runner-up purse of $12,500 while 3rd placer Boening got $8,500.  Filipino bet Francisco “Django” Bustamante went home with $5,700 as the 4th placer.
“I've hoped and prayed hard enough to win this crown for my countrymen as well as my boss Jonathan (Sy) who has been helping me compete abroad,” added Corteza.
Filipinos win international titles
Earlier, Corteza bested Tony Robles of Mexico (9-6), Chris Bartram of the US (9-5), Francis Crevier of the US (9-8), Kuo Po-cheng of Taiwan (9-2), Mike Dechaine of the US (9-8), and Manny Chau of Peru (9-8) in the winner's brackets.
His winning streak was halted by Lo (9-6) during their first encounter in the hot seat match.
Corteza actually had a 6-3 lead against Lo in their first match but the latter won 6 straight racks and earned the first finals berth.
He then played against Van Boening in a do-or- die match. After a 5-all deadlock in the 10th racks, Van Boening won 3 straight racks to reach the hill (8-5). However the last American hopeful was stuck at 8 after Corteza won 4 straight racks to escape with a 9-8 win.
Other Filipino bets who saw action in the 2010 US Open 10-ball Championship included Efren “Bata” Reyes, Jose “Amang” Parica, Ronnie Alcano, Roberto Gomez, Warren Kiamco, Edwin Montal, Al Lapena and Dennis Orcollo, who won the 2010 Party Poker World Pool Masters last Monday in the same venue.
According to RP billiards spokerman Ramon “Maestro Monching” Mistica, in three weeks time, Filipinos captured 4 international titles—2 titles courtesy of Corteza (LA and Las Vegas 10-ball), the World Pool Masters title of Orcollo, and the Super Billiards League title won by Bustamante in Canada. – by Marlon Bernardino



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