EFREN 'BATA' REYES IN BILLIARDS HALL OF FAME

Efren Reyes and Fernando Poe Jr.Manila, May 3, 2003 -- He has been known by many names, from 'Bata' to 'The Magician' to plain Efren. Now we can add Hall of Famer to that list.

Filipino billiards icon Efren 'Bata' Reyes has been voted into the sports' Hall of Fame, a well-deserved spot for one of the most celebrated and charismatic players who ever wielded a cue stick.

Reyes earned his place in the elite list along with 'Champagne' Eddie Kelly, a prominent player in the sixties, after the latest balloting of the Billiards Congress of America.

"Obviously, this is a great thing for Efren, the Philippines, and pocket billiards,'' said Mike Panozzo of Billiards Digest magazine in a communication to Puyat Sports head Putch Puyat.

The Hall of Fame spot has long been considered a lock for Reyes, the gap-toothed former pool shark from Angeles City who has become one of the most dominant players in the US and world circuit.

Reyes, as ever, was humble after the latest accolade to decorate his long career.

"I am very happy and honored, but the honor is not mine alone," he said." I share it with my countrymen who have always supported me.''

Reyes, though, may not be able to attend his enshrinement to the Hall on July 12 in Las Vegas since the event coincides with the staging of the World Pool Championship in Cardiff, Wales.

The world championships, which Reyes ruled in 1999, runs from July 12 to 20.

Also on the ballot, but not elected this year, were Korea-born Sang-Chun Lee, 3-cushion world champion in 1993, and 19th century billiard pioneers Maurice Daly and Jerome Keogh.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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