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DJ Tongcopanon wins Resorts World Singles
- Earns the National Master Title

Updated October 12, 2015

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Dolreich “DJ” Tongcopanon of Robson-Gensan won the Open Singles of the Resorts World 300K Dart Attack last October 11, 2015 at the Newport Mall of Resorts World Manila. Fresh from his win in the Emong’s Cup last month, DJ outclassed last week’s champion of the Tamparuli Open in Sabah, Prussian Arceño 5-2 in the finals. 

By winning the Open Singles, DJ became the 12th National Master (NM) of the NDFP having won two previous National Ranking Tournaments. Tongcopanon is the youngest ever to earn a National Master title at a tender age of 20. His nine (9) NDFP Youth Singles championship seasoned his confidence to excel. 

The finals was a heartbreaking loss for Prussian Arceño who was also gunning for his overdue National Master’s title - comparable to last year’s 1M Manny Pacquiao Tournament when DJ won 4-0 in the top 32 to end the quest of Prussian for the 2014 Darter of the Year Award.  Speaking of Darter of the Year Award, DJ’s win further solidified his current number 1 ranking for the said award.

In the T16, DJ Tongcopanon was down 3-0 against John Valdez who was throwing very consistent darts. Out of nowhere and due to missed outing of Valdez, DJ evened the score to 3-3. In the decisive leg, Valdez threw first and reached a D20 outing but missed.  With 125 left, DJ hit T18, T13 and D16 for the win. For the first time, the usually quiet and composed Tongcopanon pumped his fist and shouted out a sigh of relief.

In the T8, DJ faced the recent Malaysian Open Singles champion NM Lourence Ilagan and won 4-0.  The first leg was marred with a lot of missed outing till Toncopanon nailed a D1 out.  The pressure was on. Exchange of T80’s and T40’s continued and both showed the determination to win, Ilagan played his best,  but on this night the stars continued to shine in favor of Tongcopanon.

The semi-finals against Paolo Nebrida of Yeah Baby Olongapo was a tough decision match 4-3 in favor of Tongcopanon.  Nebrida was one of the best players of the night winning over National Master and 2nd ranked player Bong Gabiana 4-3, NM Dixie Ibañez 4-0, and Alexis Toylo 4-2.

In the other semi-finals, Prussian Arceño dominated Alain Abiabi of Gensan 4-1, after Abiabi downed Andy Villamor in the Quarter-finals. In the Quarter-finals Prussian beat Jojit Torres, who eliminated Elmer Maranan in the earlier rounds and Robert Calupit in the T16.
On the side was a rematch of the Federation Cup finals between Ian Perez and Nelson Uligan of Baguio, this time Uligan won.

The nation’s top 16 ranked players were in attendance except for Boy Chucas of Davao and two young players stood out - 20 year-old DJ Tongcopanon and 22 year-old Paolo Nebrida.  Veteran dart player and writer Mao Mauricio heralds this as maybe the “changing of the guards in the local dart circuit”.   We will look forward with anticipation to the unfolding spectacle of the boldness of youth in contrast to experience and maturity.

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