As the Super Billiards Expo (SBE) draws
closer (April 12-15), the ‘pool eagles’
have begun to gather, settling into the Northeast and
deploying to a variety of locations for some pre-SBE
competition. On the weekend of April 7-8, the Philippines’
Lee Vann Corteza, who finished 9th in the SBE’s
Players Championship last year, showed up to compete
in the Open division of a stop on the Predator Pro Am
Tour. Vann Corteza went undefeated through the field
of 16 that showed up for the $250-added event, hosted
by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.
A concurrently-run, $750-added (eagles in training)
Amateur event drew 83 entrants and was won by Alex Osipov,
who came back from a loss in a winners’ side semifinal
to win three on the loss side, and down hot seat occupant,
Belying the type of battles one might expect in an Open
event preceding the SBE, the last four standing in this
one combined for an aggregate game score of 28-3 in
the event’s final four matches. The hot seat match
was a shutout by Vann Corteza, while the final three
matches – quarterfinal, semifinal and final -
yielded 7-1 match scores.
Vann Corteza and Jorge Rodriguez fought twice in this
event; hot seat and finals. Vann Corteza survived a
double hill fight against Zion Zvi in one winners’
side semifinal, while Rodriguez downed Sean “Alaska”
Morgan in the other one. Vann Corteza got into the hot
seat with a rare shutout over Rodriguez.
On the loss side, Zvi picked up Luke Rollison, who’d
gotten by Eddie Kunz and Justin Muller, both 7-4. Morgan
drew Hunter Lombardo, who’d eliminated Mhet Vergara,
double hill and Gary O’Callaghan 7-5. Zvi advanced
to the quarterfinals by coming out on top of his second
straight double hill match, and was joined by Lombardo,
who downed Vergara 7-4.
Hunter gave up a single rack to Zvi in the quarterfinals,
before Rodriguez gave up only a single rack to him in
the semifinals. Vann Corteza completed his undefeated
run with a combined (hot seat and finals) match score
Osipov wins three on the loss side to meet and defeat
Barriento in Amateur finals
In the Amateur event, Alex Osipov came back from an
8-6 loss to Abel Barriento in a winners’ side
semifinal, to defeat him in the extended-race finals
by the same score. Paul Carpenter, after surviving a
double hill match against Luis Carrasco, faced Barriento
in the hot seat match. Carpenter came out on the losing
end of his second straight double hill fight, leaving
Barriento in the hot seat.
Osipov and Carrasco got right back to work on the loss
side. Osipov won an 8-6 match over Gary Bozigian, who’d
eliminated Paul Everton 7-4 and Eugene Ok, double hill,
to reach him. Carrasco, in a 7-4 win, downed Greg Matos,
who’d previously defeated Ramilo Tanglao 7-5 and
Corey Avallone 6-4.
Osipov took the quarterfinal match Carrasco 9-5, and
earned himself a second shot at Barriento with a 9-6
win over Carpenter in the semifinals. Osipov reached
his 8 racks first, ahead of Barrieto, in the extended-race
finals, and added two to win it 10-6.
A Second Chance event that drew 14 entrants saw Max
Watanabe down Erick Carrasco, double hill, in the finals
to win it. Ray Feliciano and Paul Everton finished in
the tie for 3rd place.
Story by Skip Maloney AZBilliards