Before the Philippine Open Pool Championship in Manila this week, very few outside his country knew his name. Now with the Philippine Open crown settled on his head, everyone will know who Ricky Yang and that he comes from Indonesia.
On Sunday, Yang made history in the world of pool by completing his magical winning streak at the Philippine Open with a smashing 11-4 triumph over Filipino Jeff de Luna at the SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City.
The only player who went unscathed throughout the tournament, the Indonesian ace showed complete mastery of the table and his opponent. From an early 1-2 deficit, he leveled the count at 2-2, taking advantage of a stunning muffed shot by de Luna. He then raced to a 6-2 lead and was never seriously threatened from there.
With the count at 9-3, Yang recorded a dry break. De Luna brought some life to his supporters by running out the table. But then in the 14th rack, he muffed a shot at the 9-ball. And that proved to be the end. Yang ran out, and in the 15th, he broke and ran out to end the one-sided match.
“He really played above expectations and was surprised that he would end up unbeaten in this tournament,” said Yang’s interpreter Adrian Goh. “He was one of the underdogs considering that there are a lot of good players, including world No.1 player Ralf Souquet and world ten ball champion Darren Appleton.”
In winning the first event of the WPA World Ranking Tour, Yang pocketed the top prize of $20,000 and raised his standing in the ranking system.
De Luna, who went into the final immediately after his grueling 9-7 win over fellow Filipino Demosthenes Pulpul in the semifinals earlier, secured the $10,000 runner-up prize.
“I was so excited entering the finals when I beat Pulpul,” said De Luna. “But I was so tired and barely had time to rest. My focus was off.”
Pulpul and Lu Hui Chan each received $5,000 for jointly placing third and fourth.