Former world champion Alex Pagulayan barged into the finals of the 2017 US Open 8-Ball Championship being held at the Griff’s Activity Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Pagulayan earned an opening-round bye then won over Danny Stone (8-6) in the second round, Skyler Woodward (8-2) in the third round and Denis Grabe (8-3) in the fourth round.
However, Pagulayan suffered a 7-8 loss to compatriot Dennis Orcollo in the fifth round and was relegated to the losers’ bracket.
Pagulayan then scored successive wins in the one-loss side including victories over teammates Lee Vann Corteza (8-4) and Orcollo in the do-or-die semis match (8-6) to secure his berth in the championship round.
The 2004 World 9-Ball champion arranged a finals showdown with American Shane Van Boening, who posted an 8-4 win over Orcollo in the semifinals of the winners’ column.
Van Boening is undefeated in the elimination round.
He beat Sina Valizadeh (8-2), Manuel Perez (8-5), Josh Roberts (8-3) and Corteza (8-6).
Roberto Gomez, Warren Kiamco and Francisco Bustamante were not as lucky.
Gomez succumbed to Danny Olson (7-8) and Dennis Hatch (6-8), Kiamco lost to Hatch (7-8) and Olson (5-8), and Bustamante bowed to Grabe (7-8) and Waleed Majid (7-8).
A whopping $13,500 cash prize awaits the champion while the runner-up gets $7,400.
Guangzhou Asian Games silver medalist Warren Kiamco recently bagged the runner-up trophy in the 2017 US Open 10-Ball Championship held at the same venue.
Ironically, Van Boening beat Kiamco in the finals, 5-9.