DAVAO City's very own Lee Vann Corteza accomplished what no other Filipino nor any Asian, for that matter, has achieved by capturing the bottleneck.net 77th World 14.1 Tournament title at Steinway Billiards in Astoria, New York City Monday, October 9 (Philippine time).
Corteza, who is from Mintal, shared on his Facebook account his joy over the feat as he came from behind to upset four-time champion Thorsten Hohmann of Germany, 300-183, in their finale showdown.
"Wow! The first Asian to win since 1912 according to history. Can't contain my happiness in winning this 14.1 title," the Dabawenyo ace said.
He added, "Thanks everyone for the congratulations. To my family and fellow Filipinos this is for you guys!"
It can be recalled that Corteza also defeated Hohmann, 200-149, for the 2017 US Open Straightpool Championship at Table Magic in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, USA last April.
The 38-year-old veteran internationalist, who has also won several gold medals for the Philippines in Southeast Asian Games in the past, went on to thank his backers including the Steinway family as well as everyone who played a role in organizing the tournament.
He also cited the German cue artist, saying, "And also a great honor for me to play the finals with the four time champion and a gentleman Thorsten Hohmann."
The World Tournament 14.1 Facebook page noted that Corteza made amazing shots under pressure after a 70-point deficit to come back into the game en-route to snatching the world title.
His wife Gelia, who fought off sleep to watch the championship match from 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. via online, said it was worth seeing her husband claim the crown.
"We're very happy. Happy rin sya at proud. Nag messenger sya sa akin pagkatapos. Happy rin sya at proud. Hindi man daw sya kinabahan (nung trailing sya) since race to 300 naman kaya maingat daw sya na wag ibigay sa kalaban (ang game)," Gelia said.
Corteza's mother Yvonne, in a separate Facebook chat, said, "Well, I'm happy for my son. I always pray naman na every laro nya ay manalo sya. It's an answered prayer. As a mother, I'm so proud of him. May God bless him more."
Corteza, Gelia said, is returing to the country on November 6 yet as he will still compete in the US Open.