Repeat Victory for Van Boening
U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships / Virginia Beach, VA
Shane Van Boening earned a repeat victory at the 37th U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships, taking first place and the $25,000 first-place prize. Van Boening, who won this event in 2007, went unchallenged through the 217-player field to best China Open champion Dennis Orcollo in the finals.
Orcollo and Fellow countryman Efren Reyes started off in the quarterfinals fighting for dominance, with first Orcollo in the lead and then Reyes taking it from him. When the score was knotted at 4, Orcollo began inching forward to an 8-4 lead. Reyes was able to put a few more racks under his belt to make it 8-6, and then the two traded racks until the score reached 10-8. Orcollo took the final rack to win it 11-8.
In the hot seat match, Van Boening was on fire, only allowing Pagulayan one rack before he reached a 7-1 lead in the race to 11. It was then that Pagulayan, the winner of the Open in 2005, began to mount a comeback, bringing the score to 8-5. But Van Boening was unimpressed and finished off the match quickly 11-5.
Orcollo was off to the lead from the start in the semifinals, putting a three-rack difference between him and Pagulayan. But “The Lion” clawed his way back to tie the score at 6-all, but that was as close as he came. Orcollo won the next four in a row before Pagulayan pushed another bead across the line, but it wasn’t enough, for Orcollo won the following to advance to the finals 11-7.
The final match began evenly, with Orcollo even taking a small 2-1 lead. But Van Boening put on a clinic and claimed the next eight racks in a row before giving Orcollo another chance. At that point Orcollo, the 2012 10-ball champion, began pulling himself back into the race, getting within two at 9-7. But Van Boening brushed him aside and won the next four racks to take the match and title again.
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