SHEER bad luck was all Filipino Lee Vann Corteza of Davao City said on his 6-16 loss to Russian Ruslan Chinahov in the championship match of the first series of the 2017 World Pool Series Molinari Players' championship at the Steinway Billiards in New York City Wednesday, January 18.

His defeat came on the heels of a thrilling come-from-behind semifinals victory over Englishman Darren Appleton, 18-16.

"Malas ang bola, talo ako sa finals (The ball brought bad luck, I lost in the finals)," Manila-based Dabawenyo Corteza, who is from Green Meadows Subdivision in Mintal, said in a Facebook chat with SunStar Davao after the titular match.

Chinahov pocketed a $20,000 champion's purse while Corteza received $8,500 or roughly P422,000.

Filipino Johann Chua, who lost to Chinahov (8-15) in the semis, got $5,250.

He seemed to had lost steam after a fiery comeback in the semis where he was trailing 4-8 at the start but he made a 6-1 run for a 10-9 advantage.

Appleton, a 2008 WPA World 10-Ball champion, engaged veteran Corteza to a hill-to-hill battle as a series of deadlocks then ensued. But the Dabawenyo, a 2013 China Open and World Cup of Pool champion, escaped to seal the win and the last finals berth.

The Corteza-Chinahov finale followed shortly after the tight semifinals encounter with Appleton.

It was indeed a long road to the finals, albeit a tough one, for multiple Southeast Asian gold medalist and 2010 US Open 10-Ball champion Corteza who crushed Americans Carl Khan (13-3) and survived Frankie Hernandez (13-10) in the first two rounds of the 8-ball event.

The Dabawenyo cue artist then demolished Nick Ekonomopoulos of Greece, 13-8, in the third round then he went on to subdue Finnish Mika Immonen, 15-13, in the last 16 and Japanese Naoyuki Oi, 15-13, in the quarterfinals.

He will next see action in the Derby City Classic slated January 20 to 28 in Southern Indiana, United States of America.