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Lee Vann Corteza at the 2013 U.S. Open Ten-ball Championship. (PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER REYES VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

Corteza rules World 14.1 Straight Pool event

Lee Van Corteza became the first Filipino and first Asian winner of the World 14.1 Straight Pool Championship after beating German Thorsten Hohmann recently in New York City.

According to theworldtournament.com website where the results of the competition were posted on Tuesday, Corteza won in the finals, 200-183.

Corteza, who hails from Davao City, made it to the finals after pulling off a 200-145 victory over American Jonnie Fulcher in the semifinals. His other victories were against Americans Max Eberle, 200-44, in the quarterfinals, and Hunter Lombardo, 200-43, in the first round.

Hohmann, on the other hand, defeated England’s Darren Appleton, 200-87, in the semifinals and Finland’s Mika Immonen, 200-184, in the quarterfinals.

Hohmann won the tournament in 2006, 2011, 2013 and 2015. Immonen won last year’s edition while Appleton was champion in 2014.

Before Corteza’s historic triumph, the Philippines only managed two runner-up finishes coming from icon Efren “Bata” Reyes (2012) and Francisco “Django” Bustamante (2008), who was a semifinalist in 2013.

Other Filipinos who were semifinalists were Warren Kiamco (2015) and Alex Pagulayan (2011).

Corteza also won the US Open 14.1 Straight Pool Championship in Connecticut, USA, and the World Pool Series Kamui Challenge. Both tournaments were held last April.

Corteza has played in the Southeast Asian Games where he won the singles gold in Brunei (1999) and doubles gold in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam (2003), and the singles silver in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2001) and Nakron Ratchasima, Thailand (2007). PNA

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