Bata, Django eye World 9-ball title
FILIPINO pool maestro Efren “Bata” Reyes is raring to weave his old black magic while his buddy, Francisco “Django” Bustamante is bracing to win another title at the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) World 9-Ball Championship on June 22 to 29 at the Al Sadd St. Sports Roundabout, Doha, Qatar.
The two grizzled veterans of Philippine pool, playing under the banner of Puyat Sports, will take centerstage anew and carry the country’s colors in one of the biggest billiards tournaments in the world.
The 57-year-old Angeles City pride Reyes, one of the oldest players in the circuit, is a two-time world champion and is eyeing to become the only Filipino player to win the world billiards crown thrice.
Reyes and compatriot Ronato “Volcano” Alcano have already won the World 8-Ball and World 9-Ball crowns, and one of them has a chance to become the winningest Pinoy in the world pool scene.
The 48-year-old Bustamante, on the other hand, won the World 9-Ball crown in Doha two-years ago to join Reyes (1999, Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom), Alex “The Lion” Pagulayan (2004, Taipei, Taiwan) and Alcano (2006, Manila, Philippines) in the elite list of Pinoy world champs.
“We have a very good chance of winning again the World 9-ball crown,” said PH billiards godfather Aristeo “Putch” Puyat, longtime supporter of Reyes, Bustamante and Pagulayan.
American Earl “The Pearl” Strickland won the World 9-Ball crown thrice (1990 Bergheim, Germany; 1991 Las Vegas, United States; and 2002, Cardiff, Wales).
US player Johnny “The Scorpion” Archer (1992, Taipei, Taiwan; 1997, Chicago, United States) and Taiwanese Chao Fong-pang (1993, Konigswinter, Germany; and 2000, Cardiff, Wales) both won twice.
Up for grabs in the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) and Qatar Billiards & Snooker Federation (QBSF) event is a total cash prize fund of $250,000 with the champion set to receive $36,000.
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