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Alcano Wins World 8-Ball Championship
Mar 8, 2007, 12:47 PM

Two Filipinos, sharing the same hotel room in Fujairah, began the evening sharing the stage and in quest of a single trophy. Current World 9-Ball Champion Ronnie Alcano and his roommate Dennis Orcollo are the best of friends, and it must be said that this friendship extends even into the playing arena. They cheered one another’s good shots and smiled as their opponent pocketed each 8 ball.

Save the breaks, neither put hardly a foot wrong. Alcano came up dry on the first break and Orcollo ran out. Orcollo scratched on the next break and Alcano ran out. Then they traded break and runs for three racks before Orcollo scratched on the break again and again Alcano ran out. When Alcano followed this with yet another break and run he led the race to eleven games 5-2 and neither player had as yet missed a ball after the break shot.

Even without missing a shot things had begun to unravel for Orcollo. His break again deserted him in the next rack and the alternating break format was not helping him stay close as Alcano again ran out from the ball in hand start. Then Alcano again broke and ran and so his lead was stretched to 7-2 as he captured five consecutive racks.

Game 10 was more kind to Orcollo as he found his break again and broke and ran the game out. At this point Alcano was resting in his chair comfortably, sometimes even closing his eyes, perhaps to dream of holding two World Titles at once. Orcollo, on the other hand, was noticeably tense, needing an error from his seemingly perfect friend to get back in the match.

He got his chance immediately as Alcano scratched on the break. He capitalized on the opportunity and ran the rack to trail, 7-4, and had the honor of the next break. He again found a break shot that worked and whittled his way through a very difficult layout to take the rack home and trail, 7-5. Then, 12 racks into the match, not a single called ball had been missed by either player.

Again Alcano approached the break and again he was perfect. Yet another break and run to lead the match, 8-5. Orcollo made a ball on the next break but again the balls fell into a difficult layout. Alcano’s break was everything. He was not only staying at the table more often, his break shot was also creating easier layouts with which to work. Still, some masterful cueing allowed Orcollo to break out the two clusters on the table and navigate the rack all the way home to trail again by two racks, 8-6.

Finally, in rack 15, the inevitable happened. Alcano cruised through the rack until his next to last ball. He made that shot but over ran his position on the key ball just ever so slightly. He needed to massé the cue ball around the eight ball and the shot just did not work. He missed the shot and Orcollo came to the table with the chance he needed. If he could get through this rack and win the next as well, he would tie the match he had trailed in so badly just minutes earlier. The first part came easily. He cleared the table and then needed a good break to get through the next rack for the tie.

It would not happen. Orcollo came up dry on his break and a now more somber Alcano came to the table. Alcano cleared the table in less than three minutes to go back up by two racks at 9-7, plus the next break was his. A break and clearance would get him to the hill. And he did it. The balls set up nicely for him and he easily moved through the rack to the hill. Orcollo, trailing 10-7, came to the table for what could be his last break shot.

Orcollo did his part and broke and ran the rack. Now all he could do was to sit and hope to get back to the table. Alcano didn't allow another chance. He broke and ran the final rack to take his second World Title in four months.

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