ORCOLLO WINS IN A MASTER CLASS!
By Ted Lerner/WPA Press Officer
Photos Courtesy Tai Chengzhe and Yu Yan/Top147.com
(Shanghai)–With a grand finale performance that spoke of true greatness, the Philippines Dennis Orcollo capped an amazing week in Shanghai, winning the 2012 China Open Sunday afternoon with a brilliant 11-9 win over never-say-day Lu Hui Chan of Chinese-Taipei in front of several hundred people at the Shanghai Pudong Yuanshen Stadium arena.
Anyone who witnessed Orcollo’s efforts out on the TV table today realized soon enough that they were watching a virtuoso at work. Brilliant creative shot making, tenacious offense and defense, terrific concentration and the ability to absorb pressure were all on display from the 33 year old Filipino. The match nearly became a runaway but the fact that it wasn’t spoke more of the courage of Lu, who did himself proud by battling back when it looked like he was finished.
But the beauty of Orcollo’s massive victory in China didn’t emanate from this one match. Orcollo spent the last four days grinding out some of the most hard core wins of his career. The field that descended on Shanghai was deep and at every turn players were leaving pieces of themselves out on the tables. Orcollo actually lost his first match in the group stage 9-8 and had to win two tight matches on the losers’ side to make it to the round of 32.
In the knockout stage which began Saturday, Orcullo put in yeoman’s efforts in taking down three top Chinese players, all of whom brought their A-games to the arena. Today in the semi-final, Orcollo whipped Taiwan’s red hot Chang Yu Lung. And when it came time for the final, the Filipino was primed and ready. And so was Lu.
The match was high quality from the start as the pair split the first six racks, complete with two break and runs each and with both players potting extremely difficult balls.
It was then that Orcollo decided to put his foot to the floor as he went on a seven rack tear, executing creative combinations, kisses, rail first kicks and pots. Up 9-3 he was clearly in the zone and putting on a master class.
Chan could have easily given up hope but he stood his ground and managed to get two back to move the score to 9-5. He then cleared when Orcollo scratched off the break, and then broke and cleared to get the score to 9-7. Orcollo countered to get to the hill and then so did Lu. Lu applied serious heat when he forced Orcollo into a foul and cleared to make the score 10-9.
With the pressure mounting Orcollo sucked it up and waited for his chance, which came in the 20th rack after Lu left the two ball showing. The run out wasn’t easy but since nothing this week had been it seemed only fitting. When Orcollo sank the final 9 ball, he looked skyward, then bent over with his face down on the cloth for a few seconds as the emotions–exhaustion, elation, disbelief–came pouring out.
Clearly overjoyed, Orcollo afterward knew he had taken his game to another level this week in Shanghai. And he planned on making sure to remind of himself and others for a long, long time.
“I feel great. This tournament is definitely more difficult to win than others that I’ve played in. It’s really hard. There are so many good players here. You have to play consistently to win. I played really good all week. I was comfortable, I had good concentration, a good plan. I made sure not to show my emotions.
“This is the first time I played almost perfect from beginning to the end of a tournament. I lost my first match 9—8, then I win my next match 9-7, then qualified by winning 9-8. So when I qualified, I have a lot of confidence after that because I played good against good opponents.
“This is the first time I win a pro event in China. This is a big day for me, a wonderful day. This is the most special win of my career. It is amazing and I will never forget this. This trophy is going to go right in middle of my living room.”
For winning the 2012 China Open, Orcollo pocketed $40,000. Lu took home $20,000.
Dennis Orcollo(PHL) 9 – 2 Lu Hui Chan(TPE)
*The World Pool and Billiard Association(WPA) is the governing body of the sport of pocket billiards. The 2012 China Open is being sponsored by Star Tables, Andy Cloth, Fury, Holiday Inn Shanghai Pudong.