DIGOS City native Oliver "Batman" Villafuerte had a stellar start to 2024, clinching the Jinkee Pacquiao 2024 International Open 10-Ball singles title at the Robinsons Mall in General Santos City on Sunday, January 14, 2024.
Known as Cocoy in his hometown, Villafuerte hacked out a convincing 9-2 victory over Jack de Luna of Montalban, Rizal to go home with the $12,800 top cash prize, estimated at P715,372.80.
Runner-up De Luna settled for $5,000 (P279,477.50).
Villafuerte barged into the finals after demolishing Baseth Mocaibat of Cavite, 8-5, while De Luna eclipsed Davao City's veteran cue artist Val Pajuay, 8-7, in their respective semifinal encounters.
Pajuay thus shared the third and fourth places with fellow semis loser Mocaibat. Each claimed $2,500 (P139,732.50).
On his Facebook, Pajuay shared a photo with the caption: "My first trophy of the year. Finished 2nd runner up in Jinkee Pacquiao 2024 International Open 10ball Tournament."
Villafuerte and Pajuay competed under Team KLA (Kim Lope Asis).
Pajuay said he's thankful to be a part of Team KLA. He also congratulated his champion teammate.
Villafuerte's success included victories over Dean Mark Castronuevo in the quarterfinals and Tino Jimenez in the last 16.
In the doubles event, former world 8-ball champion Dennis Orcollo of Surigao combined forces with Mocaibat to defeat Jonald Galve and Emmanuel Delgado, 10-6, in their titular showdown.
Orcollo and Mocaibat received the champion's prize of $8,600 while the Galve-Delgado pair claimed $3,000.
The event was sanctioned by the United-Philippine Association of Cue Artists and Managers (United Pacman), headed by Manny Pacquiao as chairman and CEO.
United Pacman secretary-general Edgar Acaba also served as tournament director. MLSA