BATA RULES ALL-JAPAN BILLIARDS; RP OPEN ON TODAY

MANILA, NOVEMBER 26, 2003  (STAR) Efren ‘‘Bata" Reyes won the All-Japan Championship in Osaka Monday in a victory that is expected to further boost his confidence heading into the first Philippine Open and Invitational 9-Ball Championships which gets underway today in Mandaluyong City.

Reyes defeated Tasuki Nishio of Japan, 11-7, in the final of the Osaka meet to pocket the first prize money of US$18,000. It was Reyes’ third All-Japan title.

Returning with Reyes from Japan were Francisco "Django" Bustamante, who finished in sixth place ($2,000), and Alex Pagulayan, who defeated Reyes in the All-Filipino final of the Tokyo International 9-Ball Championship last Nov. 9.

Reyes, Bustamante and Pagulayan are among the 16 seeded players in the Philippine Open slated at Octagon Hall, fourth level, Robinson’s Galleria, with the unseeded entries clashing in the first round of the eliminations starting today.

Sixty players from six countries–Philippines (39), Chinese Taipei (9), Japan (7), Malaysia (2), Norway (2), and United States (1) — are taking part in the elimination round. The top 16 finishers join the 16 seeded entries in the second round of the event sponsored by Café Puro.

The four-day event offers a total purse of US$64,000 with the winner receiving US$20,000. A total of 76 players from 10 countries, including the best pool pros in the world, are participating in the tournament.

The 16 seeded players are Earl Strickland, Corey Deuel and Rodney Morris (United States); Mika Immonen (Finland); Thorsten Hohmann and Ralf Souquet (Germany); Marcus Chamat (Sweden); Park Shin Young and Jeong Young Hwa (Korea); Yang Ching Shun and Hsia Hui Kai (Chinese Taipei); Kunihiko Takahashi and Satoshi Kawabata (Japan); Reyes, Bustamante and Pagulayan (Philippines).


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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