From l to r: Pulpul, Yang, De Luna, and Hui-Chan
They were 64 players from all regions of the world when the Philippine Open Pool Championship began last Wednesday, May 27 – each one hoping to take the top prize $20,000 and the trophy that goes with it. Five days later, this Sunday, May 31, there are only four of them left contending for the prize. And they are all Asians – Ricky Yang of Indonesia, Lu Hui-Chan of Chinese Taipei, and Demosthenes Pulpul and Jeffrey de Luna of the Philippines.
The last three Americans and three Europeans bowed out of the tournament on Saturday. And they included such redoubtable names as world 10-ball champion and second-seeded Darren Appleton, former US Open champion Corey Deuel, perennial top 10 player Marcus Chamat, and women’s champion and last woman in the tournament, Kelly Fisher.
All fell under the onslaught of the new power players from Asia, some of whom were being seen for the first time by their Atlantic rivals.