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World 8-Ball Final: East vs. West
Feb 25, 2011, 10:51 AM

Orcollo (above) bombed Takhti Zarekani, 9-2, and David Alcaide, 9-3, for his spot in the final.
Few days in professional pool can rival the break-neck speed of Friday at the World 8-Ball Championship. Not only are players stringing together impressive multi-rack runs, but the bracket will narrow from the 16 to two, leaving just the finalists for tomorrow's championship match.

Dennis Orcollo, fresh off a victory in the 9-ball division at the Derby City Classic, punched his ticket in the final with a string of impressive victories. Facing Shane Van Boening in the round of 16, the Filipino turned a 4-1 deficit into a 9-4 victory, swiping the last eight racks to bounce the American out in ninth place.

Orcollo then trounced surprise quarterfinalist Takhti Zarekani of Iran, 9-2, and finally Spain's David Alcaid, 9-3.

A match from his first world title, Orcollo will have his hands full against last year's runner-up, Niels Feijen. The Dutchman, returning to full-time training after the birth of his daughter last fall, dominated Oliver Medinilla in the round of 16, advancing by a count of 9-4.

But he then faced a huge challenge in the quarterfinal from countryman Nick van den Berg. Tied at 4-4, Van den Berg took the next three, then edged on the hill at 8-7. But Feijen, who lost last year's crown to Karl Boyes in the case game, won the next two racks for a dramatic comeback.

In his semifinal against Darren Appleton, Feijen saved himself from such high-wire acts. The steely 34-year-old emphatically punched his ticket to the final with a 9-0 whitewash of the Brit in Friday's final match.