Pagulayan Picks off Derby City Classic Banks Title
Derby City Classic / Elizabeth, IN
The Derby City Classic staff decided to go ahead with the banks event Monday evening and finish it out, so the final seven players returned to battle it out for the $10,000-added prize fund and 9-ball banks title. Alex “The Lion” Pagulayan came through it all to win top honors over fellow countryman Ronato Alcano.
Alcano and Pagulayan were the only two of the seven without a loss, and they played each other, with Pagulayan winning 3-2. Defending champion John Brumback eliminated Francisco Bustamante 3-2, Justin Hall ousted Shannon Daulton, and Jeremy Jones had the bye.
In the next round Alcano eliminated Jones, Pagulayan dispatched Hall, and Brumback had the bye. The redraw saw Brumback and Pagulayan on the Accu-Stats table. Brumback had a loss earlier from Sylver Ochoa, but Pagulayan had none. Brumback won the lag, banked three balls and missed a jacked-up long bank, but it wasn’t long before he was back at the table and had won 5-2. The second game was a long safety battle, with Brumback winning by a close 5-4. The third game went speedily, as Brumback broke and banked five and out, winning the match 3-0 as Pagulayan bowed low in homage.
The next redraw set Alcano and Brumback against each other in the semifinals while Pagulayan waited in the wings. Brumback dropped five balls on the break and made one ball before spotting the balls and turning the table over to Alcano, who was faced with a layout more like a position exercise than a banks game. Neither player could get a run going, and the lengthy rack ended in Alcano’s favor 5-3. The second game took even longer, with fatigue etched into the players’ miens, and it also went to Alcano 5-2. Brumback came to life a bit in the next, running three and then two banks to win 5-2, making it 2-1. Alcano notched three balls before a series of misses by both players ensued. Finally Alcano pocketed his last two to win the match 3-1.
In the all-Filipino final match, Pagulayan opened up by banking five and out in the first game, exciting the onlookers who had stayed up to watch. It was a defensive game all the way in the following, though, more similar to a one-pocket game than banks. The abnormally quiet Pagulayan eked out a 5-3 win. He missed after his next break shot, and Alcano banked five and out, making it 2-1 Pagulayan. Alcano pocketed the first ball in the next rack, but Pagulayan chipped away at the balls, finally getting the ball count to 4-1 in his favor. Alcano kept playing safe, and Pagulayan was crestfallen when he would miss. “I thought my picture was going to be up there already!” he exclaimed, indicating the enormous pictures of past winners hanging from the ceiling. Alcano was fading quickly—it was 3:30 a.m.—and left a simple cross-side bank for Pagulayan, who studied it briefly and then whipped it in. “Finally!” he cried.
Pagulayan and many other players will report at 10 a.m. for their next one-pocket match. Visit InsidePOOL for the latest news in the sport of billiards and pool.